Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dropping Missile Defense

In a rare victory for common sense, President Obama has dropped the (shrub) planned missile defense system that was to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic. Shrub's missile defense plan was one of his greater boondoggles; spending billions on a system that didn't work to defend against a threat that didn't exist marketed by a dishonest rationale. Pure Shrub.
Originally, the system was purported to be a defense of Europe against the threat of Iran's nuclear 'threat'. Among the minor flaws with this idea are:
1) Iran doesn't have any nukes, nor do they look to have any in the near future.
2) Iran doesn't have long range missiles, nor do they appear to be getting any anytime soon.
3) Nobody sane could think of any reason why Iran would drop a nuke anywhere in Europe.
The standard neocon paranoia fantasy is that Iran would use a nuke on Israel is absolutely crazy, and won't happen, but simply looking at a globe shows that missile defense in Eastern Europe would do nothing to prevent such an attack.
The real, but unstated, reason for the missile defense system was to piss off the Russians. The old 'cold-warriors' in the shrub administration were still stuck on the old battle with the 'commies', and were more than happy to shovel billions to the defense industry for that reason alone. But we're in a very different world now. The cold war is over and Russia is a global trading partner. They're not going to be nuking Europe any time soon.
I'm sure that the (never) right-wing will attack Obama for "weakening America's defense" and "surrendering to the Russians" by killing the program, but here in reality all he's doing is ending the waste of billions on a really bad idea. An expensive defense system that doesn't work to defend against a threat that doesn't exist is a prime example of the shrub legacy. Killing the boondoggle is an act of common sense.