On air: The right move?

_44825777_missile226iafp The Czech Republic PM says the US is going to abandon its plan to develop a missile defence system in Europe. The BBC’s Paul Reynolds says, it’s a ‘huge shift’. But is it the right one?

111 Responses to “On air: The right move?”

  1. 1 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    September 17, 2009 at 12:27

    Is Cech Republic not an independent country? then if its soveriegn country,why then bother about them?.

  2. 5 Mohammed Ali
    September 17, 2009 at 12:27

    This is absolutely amazing cause now we are getting to see a US leader whose primary objective is not spending billions of dollars on weapons but building security on friendship and coorporation. i think we are beginning to see a new relationship between Russia and the US.

  3. 6 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 13:18

    I’m sure whomever gets nuked by North Korea or Iran will be overjoyed by this decision.

  4. 8 gary
    September 17, 2009 at 13:31

    I think this is probably a wise move. Any defense can be flanked. A kinetic or nuclear-tipped antiballistic missile system presupposes a specific nuclear weapon delivery mode. While specific data concerning physical dimensions and other attributes of nuclear devices is not freely available, one may surmise any vehicle capable of transporting drugs or young girls into forced prostitution would be also be capable of transporting such a device, and no government has demonstrated an ability to stop these deliveries.

  5. 9 anu_d
    September 17, 2009 at 13:36

    Obama can talk the poltically correct talk on reducing weapons, and friendship with Russia……but it is a blunder in Real Politik to give up the already existing positions of supremacy…taking hsi own talk too seriously.

    Yet again Obama shows his lack of understanding of Real Politik……..Putin must be smiling

    • 10 Sam
      September 17, 2009 at 18:32

      A ridiculous position. We have not made any agreement — more importantly we have not made any treaty — saying we will not establish the sites. Therefore we can change our minds at any time! In the meantime, maybe it will aid in receiving cooperation with Russia on the multitude of things where we need it. Get a grip.

  6. 11 Dave in Florida
    September 17, 2009 at 13:58

    Yes, it is absolutely the right thing. I am tired of having my money spent on other countries’ (most of which are ingrateful for the efforts) security and economies. Close the Bank of the United States and force others to pay their own way. Not one more drop of American blood should spill for an ingrateful world — bring every troop home within our boarders.

    • 12 Michael in Ft. Myers, Florida
      September 17, 2009 at 14:35

      I couldn’t agree more. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, If we were to bring ALL troops home from everywhere right now, stop foreign aid and all other give aways, we would have all the security we need right here at home. If we even did this for one year, we would have enough money to cover all Americans, feed, clothe, house and provide medical care. Charity begins at home. Sorry if this smacks of xenophobia, but in today’s world, each nation must improve itself before it can even think of helping others. Neither North Korea not Iran are even close to a viable delivery system, let alone fissile material. America never should have began trying to be the world’s policeman, which is exactly what put us on the terrorist wishlist in the firstplace!

  7. 13 scmehta
    September 17, 2009 at 14:15

    Only if it does not jeopardize/disturb the security balance in the region; the move may contribute towards reducing the economic burden and to improve relations with Russia.

  8. 14 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 14:21

    @ Dave

    Virtually everything we do is with borrowed dollars. The chinese completely own us now, and increasing the debt makes us further dependent upon China.

  9. 16 Kelly
    September 17, 2009 at 14:28

    Cheers!!! I hadn’t heard about this yet until I got Ros’ email. How fabulous! Weapons just lead to more weapons and a greater chance of mutual destruction (not supremacy, anu_d). Cheers to Obama for making a huge and positive decision here!

  10. 18 Jerry Cordaro Cleveland OH
    September 17, 2009 at 14:28

    I’m continually amazed by the people ranting on about “caving in to Putin.” It. Doesn’t. Work. Twenty-five years of R&D and even in highly controlled tests it still misses more than it hits. It’s long past time to stop pouring money down this rathole.

    BTW – the link in the Daily Email is misspelled.

  11. 19 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 14:36

    Aww, that’s cute, Obama wants Russia to love him.

    • 20 Rebecca del Rio
      September 17, 2009 at 21:24

      Steve, if you communicate using sarcasm and demeaning jabs, you communicate nothing more than your own ignorance. Please feel free to make an informed comment.

      As to this decision: Bush’s motives for placing this shield were never clear in the first place. His rationale was based on a theoretical problem. I applaud Obama’s decision to drop this ill-conceived plan.

  12. September 17, 2009 at 14:48

    It’s about time we decided to stop wasting our money on missle “defense”, and antagonizing Russia unnecessarily. The major impetus behind our development of missle defense has been to ensure a revnue source for the defense industry in the US. The shrill minority on the right in the US will oppose this, as they will be funded by the defense industry lobby. It is amazing how hard it is to make progress in the US. The shrill minority on the right is attacking healthcare now, and will soon turn their attention to the icredible vulnerability we now feel, knowing we won’t have these missles in Poland to help protect us.

  13. 22 Mohammed Ali
    September 17, 2009 at 14:52

    North Korea will not nuke anybody if they are not provoked.

  14. 23 anu_d
    September 17, 2009 at 14:52

    Cheers!!! I hadn’t heard about this yet until I got Ros’ email. How fabulous! Weapons just lead to more weapons and a greater chance of mutual destruction (not supremacy, anu_d).

    @ Kelly….you are right…the chance of “mutual” destruction gets reduced if one party gives up it’s weapon unconditionally………but the chance of destruction of the “giving-up party” goes up.

    Putin must indeed be smiling at this simple realization

  15. 24 Jim Newman
    September 17, 2009 at 14:59

    Hello again

  16. September 17, 2009 at 15:05

    President Obama is a pragmatic leader determined to mend fences and ma

  17. 26 Eric in France
    September 17, 2009 at 15:06

    Hello folks,

    if Poland and the Czech republic are independent countries, it then should have been to them to decide to get or shelve those military equipments. Obviously, there are still the pawns of others: yesterday of the URSS, today of the USA.

    My point is if you want to be protected then buy it for your self, or help building an EU defence out of NATO. But do not count on others to decide what is best for you. They will decide on what is best for THEM.

    • 27 Petr, Hradec Kralove
      September 17, 2009 at 19:31

      Build an EU defence out of NATO…?
      A) There is no reason to duplicate historically proven NATO
      B) Why bet our security on an dubious entity where France would have a major influence?(which is of course the reason for your beef with NATO). Been there done that. No thanks. Lesson learned in 1938.
      Perhaps France should decide whether they want to be full-fledged members of NATO or just as half-members effectvely sabotage it as they did the past 50 years.

  18. 28 Rob in Vancouver
    September 17, 2009 at 15:08

    The missile shield is about as relevent today as the Maginot Line. It creates enemies, not security. That alone is reason enough to consider it a failure before it’s construction even began.

  19. September 17, 2009 at 15:09

    The so-called missile defense system doesn’t work anyway. At least it doesn’t work well enough to place any faith in it during hostilities. Would you risk your life in this system?

    What it does is give billions of dollars to the war industry and give a little symbolism to Eastern Europe who are being scammed by global capital.

  20. 30 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 15:11

    @ Mohammed Ali

    North Korea invaded south Korea in 1950 without provocation. The son of the person that invaded is leading N.K. now. Soon his son will be leading it.

    • 31 Mohammed Ali
      September 17, 2009 at 15:36

      I guess you are judging from the example of George Bush Sr. and George Bush Jr. The father, George bush Sr. fought war in Iraq and the Jr. followed is footsteps. Well that does not hold in all cases. it is a logical falacy think that because the father invaded South Korea, therefore the son too will invade S. Korea.

      • 32 Steve G
        September 18, 2009 at 18:35

        Human history is a history of war and conquest.

        “In time of peace prepare for war” is just as valid today as it was in the last 200 centuries.

        I do not want to base my future on the good will of others – in particular other leaders who vowed to destroy their neighbors. Other leaders who do not adhere to the UN, nor give personal freedom to all their citizens.

        Wishing that “everyone will get along” is well and good. As long as you have a backup plan when humans return to acting like humans always have…

  21. 33 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 15:13

    I’m curious why you’re not doing a show on Carter’s comments. Is any criticism of Obama grounded in race? Carter came out and said that he thought Wilson’s comment “you lie!” was based in racism. I think that’s a very large accusation and worthy of a show.

  22. 34 Ibrahim in UK
    September 17, 2009 at 15:16

    The US, in it’s current state, cannot afford expensive military projects abroad that do little or nothing to increase it’s own security. If Europe wants to be “protected from Iranian and North Korean nukes” by having a missile system on Russia’s border, then Europe should carry the financial and political burden of the project.

    As for Americans spilling blood for an ungrateful world, Americans spill blood for a very grateful group of capitalists and foreign interest lobbies that benefit from war. The same group that promote a US policy towards war and conflict in the first place.
    How successful Obama is in this battle with the lobbies and capitalists largely depends on the willingness of the American people to support him in taking the decision-making power away from the lobbies and back to the people.
    More healthcare at home, less military abroad. Sounds like a sensible choice.

    • 35 Steve G
      September 18, 2009 at 18:52

      We in the USA tried isolationism after the First World War. We debated our involvement in the Second World War. In fact we SAT OUT WW2 until we were directly attacked. (1400 citizens killed at Pearl Harbor)

      Many of our citizens would be pleased to walk away from any leadership position in global politics. It costs a lot of money. It costs lives. It is divisive.

      We “spilled American blood” to free Europe from fascists. Spent billions on a “cold war” to ensure that the iron curtain did not fall across all of Europe.

      The reality is isolationism does not work. Being prepared with a strong military appears to guarantee peace.

      p.s. The USA put nuclear missals into silos in the Great Plains, aboard Nuclear submarines….was, and is prepared…and for the last 60 years not one country has launched a nuclear attach against us or any other country. Mutual Assured Destruction as a strategy worked with the USSR. It may or may not work with a fanatic leader. So do we allow for millions of our citizens to be killed or do we prepare as best we can to defend ourselves? We can wait for another attack and THEN act, or we can be prepared.

      • 36 Tan Boon Tee
        September 22, 2009 at 03:57


        Well said. Highly pertinent from an American’s point of view.

        Would the rest of the world take note?

  23. 37 SUE
    September 17, 2009 at 15:17

    If it’s true, it’s marvellous. This was the kind of program that was never put forward even during the worst of the Cold War. We elected Obama to put our country back on what it’s right path should be.

  24. 38 Roy, Washington DC
    September 17, 2009 at 15:18

    Building a missile defense system makes it look like we’re in another Cold War. It’s good to see that we’re moving on from that mindset.

  25. 39 Gary Paudler
    September 17, 2009 at 15:19

    One boondoggle down, one thousand to go. How often will we have to get Real Politik wrong before we stop pretending that it is understandable and stop pouring trillions of borrowed dollars down that hole? If some fraction of the US’s defense spending went to give safe drinking water, primary education and a shower a day to the third world then we’d have real security.

  26. 40 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 15:26

    @ Roy

    How many hot wars were there during the cold war and how many deaths were there due to the coldwar vs wars like ww1 or ww2?

  27. September 17, 2009 at 15:27

    before getting too excited, wait to see where this provocative system is finally installed – neither Iran nor Korea are threats – state propaganda and hot air from useful fools – this system is aimed at Russia and nowhere else – no sane populations (the majority btw) in Central Europe want to restart the Cold War, but you can bet the NGOs will keep working overtime to instill fear and foment “color revolutions” on all of Russia’s borders – also these madmen will keep wasting everyones’ taxes until they are disciplined: investigated, indicted, prosecuted and executed

  28. 42 Tom K in Mpls
    September 17, 2009 at 15:27

    I know we have several systems to keep nukes off of the US. I also know I am tired of paying for us to be the police to the world. I would like to see a UN resolution for a predefined violent response to any country initiating a nuclear attack, basically a multinational retaliation. This is part of why I have never cared if Iran or North Korea has nukes. They would be/are useless. As for politics, everybody will find something else to get nasty about, they always do.

  29. 43 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 15:28

    @ Sue

    They didn’t put it forth during the coldwar because they didn’t have the technology to do it. Now we have to rely on goodwill, which was like Europe and giving the sudentenland to Germany to hope it would secure peace in our time. Apparently, we have nont learned any lessons from WW2.

  30. 44 Anthony
    September 17, 2009 at 15:43

    @ kelly and patti in cape coral

    Thats true, but imagine if the U.S. was as powerful in the 30’s and 40’s as today, and had “big guns” in Europe. Do you think that Nazi Germany would have caused all that distruction and mass killings?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 45 patti in cape coral
      September 17, 2009 at 16:45

      @ Anthony – Yes, I think Nazi Germany would have had a harder time causing all the chaos in the 30s if the US had been as powerful then as it is now, but I don’t think the US ceases to be powerful because of this particular move.

  31. September 17, 2009 at 15:45

    So much has changed since May 2007 when former US president George Bush was ready to invade Iran.
    if Tel Aviv can block delivery of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles destined for Iran, there is no need for American involvement. Europe is quite capable of defending itself and sending troops to Afghanistan. British air defenses can repel any attack by Russian air force. It’s a different world. President Obama is moving in the right direction. He may have dampened Russian enthusiasm to sell arms to Lybia and Venezuela.

  32. 47 Andrew in Australia
    September 17, 2009 at 15:48

    Just an appeasement to the Russian Mafioso of Don Putin. A 4th world nation with big big resources the west bends over for.

  33. 48 Roberto
    September 17, 2009 at 15:50

    RE “” US is going to abandon its plan to develop a missile defence system in Europe. “”

    ———- Great. Now hows about the US developing a missile defense system to protect honest US citizens from political and governmental corruption and malfeasance that gives these unceasing boondoggles?

    Fat chance.

  34. 49 Ann
    September 17, 2009 at 15:57

    Excellent move!

    It’s time to move away from the paranioa and war-mongering of the Bush era.

  35. 50 Belinda in NC
    September 17, 2009 at 16:05

    @Gary Paudler – well said!

    Recent wars (whether you agree with them or not) have shown that high technology is useful for a short time to establish a stronghold (e.g., Iran), then the success or failure of the mission is almost entirely dependent on people – ferreting out insurgents, building internal capabilities for governance and security, etc. The US needs to focus more on this latter phase because our recent engagements in Iran and Afghanistan have displayed a weakness in the people-centered aspect of achieving the mission.

    The missile defense program is so far above the highest of high tech required for the reality of defense in this era that the decision is almost a no-brainer.

  36. 51 Paul Nesdore
    September 17, 2009 at 16:07

    This is a great move. The only reason this was introduced anyway was the hawkishness of George Bush’s war-like posturing. We don’t need more weapons.

  37. 52 Julia in Portland
    September 17, 2009 at 16:15

    Just finished writing my ‘thank you’ note to President Obama. What a great step towards better relations around the world.

    Does anyone really want to have a neighbor who is constantly shoving a gun in your face and telling you that it is how we are going to get along? Diplomacy, intelligent discussion and mutual benefit will go much farther in making better neighbors, much more so than shoving guns and power in people’s faces.

  38. 53 patti in cape coral
    September 17, 2009 at 16:23

    I wonder where Deryck in Trinidad is, I would like to see his take on this. I think this is the right move right now. I agree with Ibrahim’s statement “The US, in it’s current state, cannot afford expensive military projects abroad that do little or nothing to increase it’s own security.”

  39. September 17, 2009 at 16:32

    Hi Belinda in NC
    “The US needs to focus more ……in Iran and Afghanistan,” you say. Certainly. The US media did a wonderful job of reporting developments in Iran over the last several months.
    We don’t want the “peace corps’ or patronizing words of comfort. Try to understand our dilemma and where we we are getting at. We don’t want to come to LA or New York but try to plot out a realistic. long-term strategy for people who have their own aspirations and aims. Then maybe we will drop our defenses altogether!

  40. 56 Mountain Adam, Portland, Oregon USA
    September 17, 2009 at 16:34

    As a US taxpayer I’m glad this is not going through, I never saw the value.

  41. 57 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 16:48

    gee, what neighbor of Russia will they invade next in celebration of this?

  42. 58 Robz
    September 17, 2009 at 16:49

    I agree with Tom K,there are other ways to deal with nations who attack with WMDs.
    The US needs to pull back from playing town sheriff for the world and fix it’s own problems.
    If any nation attacks another with nuclear,chemical,or biological weapons;then the UN should move to take out the ones responsible immediately.
    And I don’t mean economic sanctions or meaningless resolutions.
    Rob in florida.

  43. 59 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    September 17, 2009 at 16:51

    America is denounced as a bully if it does anything, and as a weakling if it does nothing. President Obama has the intelligence, good sense and integrity to see beyond this no-win kind of thinking.

    The peace of our world is not, in fact, threatened by ballistic missiles. If Iran or North Korea launched and landed any, they would be flattened in no time, and faulty missile shield technology would have nothing to do with it.

    The peace of our world is threatened by fanaticism and misguided ideologies. President Obama understands this and, difficult though the task is, is working to neutralize that danger. Anyone in the world who wishes to live in peace should wish him well.

  44. 60 Belinda in NC
    September 17, 2009 at 16:56

    @ Akbar – thank you for providing an example of one of the weaknesses that exists in the relationship aspects of US military engagements! I am sitting in NC and do not pretend to know the details of what is missing, the best I can do is realize that there is a serious gap. Thanks for helping me see the situation from the perspective of one who is living with the reality.

  45. September 17, 2009 at 17:23

    Hi Again Belinda in NC
    I have grown to respect America and Americans. I would do anything to put things right. We have a long way to go, hand in hand. God Bless.

  46. September 17, 2009 at 17:33

    The decision must be bad news for Iran as now it will paradoxically be under more pressure to abandon its nuclear programme. The decision is apparently for the US to have more rapprochement with Russia on this issue. The Iranians will somehow be short of a key ally if Russia joins in putting more pressure on them.

    It must also be good news for Europe as an area of tension between NATO and Russia will be scrapped.

  47. September 17, 2009 at 17:35

    Obama would like to make the world a safer place. Rather than pointing missiles at ‘enemies’, he would like to explore chances of burying the hatchet and extending the hand of friendship. Nothing wrong with that. In fact it is a jolly good idea. Belligerance should be consigned to the past. ‘Detente’ should be the name of the game and one should concentrate on unarmed victory. Countries should strive for world peace and international understanding not weapons of mass destruction.

  48. September 17, 2009 at 17:43

    I think that this is a right move. The USA should take care of its citizens within its own borders without military alliances. Instead of military alliances, there should be increased trade and commerce between nations [via small corporations and individuals instead of government.

  49. 65 Tom K in Mpls
    September 17, 2009 at 17:50

    HELLO!!!!! You people need to read other posts before you post. The news changed an hour ago, I posted a link, and everyone still thinks the US will not be building an antimissle system. This is *wrong*. It will be a different system in a different location.

    • 66 patti in cape coral
      September 17, 2009 at 18:12

      @ Tom – I did see your post, thanks for the update.

      • 67 patti in cape coral
        September 17, 2009 at 18:18

        Sorry, hit the submit button before I was done! I can’t say anything authoritatively, not knowing much about missile defence, but it sounds like the different system is just as effective, less expensive, and more “politically friendly” than the old system.

  50. September 17, 2009 at 17:54

    President Obama is bending himself backwards to make the world a safer place. He is concerned about the world we bequeth to generations to come.

  51. September 17, 2009 at 17:57

    The U.S. is not the policeman of the world. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say we are responsible for defending Poland or the Czech Republic. We need to continually tweak our defenses in the best interests of the U.S. And if this latest move does indeed accomplish that, then I am for it. Personally, I am not a military expert. But, at first glance, the Obama tweak seems to make sense. It will get defense systems online faster.

  52. 70 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 17:57

    Question for the lefties who approve of this, let’s ignore Iran for now, and talk about Russia. I’m curious how you will excuse future russian invasions of neighboring states to protect the interests of russians living there? Which will be first, Ukraine? Will you condemn such invasions like you didn’t in Georgia because it’s not done by the US or Israel?

  53. September 17, 2009 at 18:00

    Hi Abdelilah Boukili in Morocco
    Russia will continue to sell military hardware to Iran. In case anything goes wrong as in the S-300 missiles destined for Tehran but intercepted by Israel, Venezuela ended up getting them.
    Former Eastern Europe must stand on its own feet. American money, funds from Brussells and goodwill all round is not the way forward for Poland, Romania, Hungary and the rest.

  54. 72 John in Salem
    September 17, 2009 at 18:07

    The proposed system was only a bargaining chip from it’s inception and was never going to actually be built. Iran, North Korea, etc. won’t be a credible intercontinental threat for decades and the idea of building an unreliable shield to protect us from thousands of Russian missiles is ludicrous and a pointless waste of money.

  55. 73 Mark in FL
    September 17, 2009 at 18:07

    Do they really need it?
    There’s a “loose cannon” in the region that will deal with this preemptively, should it get to that point.
    It’s happened before, and I’ve no doubt it will happen again if need be.

  56. 74 Edward Craig
    September 17, 2009 at 18:07

    The missle defense was never proved successful. Did not work for Desert Shield, nor ever since. No substance to the promise, much less style.

    • 75 Tom K in Mpls
      September 17, 2009 at 18:22

      In Desert Shield, all we had was the Patriot system. Its minimum range is about 500 miles and its maximum range is something like 3000 miles. In Desert Shield, it was being used with a maximum range of about 350 miles. Well short of its design minimum range. Since Saddam was using unguided SCUDs at extreme short ranges, the Patriots did more harm than good.

      It was literally a bad sales demonstration by daddy Bush to sell it to our allies. When used within its design limits, the Patriot is still an excellent and relatively inexpensive and mobile system. We have developed new systems since then too.

  57. September 17, 2009 at 18:08

    I voted for Mr. Obama because I respected more than his doctrine of change… he is smart, he gathers the best brains in their fields, and he balances all aspects of reality as they now stand. Given the intelligence, the financial costs, the problems with the missiles, etc., etc., he has moved the program to sea-based missiles (does not give up the defense shield itself), AND he reserves the right to re-evaluate the decision in future, AND he has reassured Poland and the Czech Republic… it’s a win, win, win choice. Bravo.

    • 77 Petr, Hradec Kralove
      September 17, 2009 at 19:14

      Dear Jodie, let me tell you that we feel anything but reassured by Mr. Hope & Change. Maybe he is smart but at the same time he appears to be incredibly naive about Russia, Iran etc..

  58. 78 Lew in Ohio
    September 17, 2009 at 18:11

    Yes. This is a starwars style program. We need to find a new way forward. The problem is on the timing and we should have done this yesterday not on the day USSR invaded western europe. Thomas PM Barnett says ” This is not a viable weapon detterent system”. Ie we have other means. Let’s go in another direction.

  59. 79 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 18:13

    Russia has a little history of invading its neighbors, like Georgia, and especially Poland. I’m hoping at least secretly Obama got something in return from Russia, otherwise he makes himself look weak, and he’s well on his way to becoming the next Jimmy Carter.

    I’m curious why all the socialists are opposed to weapons programs, except when the russians are developing weapons? You realize that the Soviets made the most powerful thermonuclear bomb ever? You seem to only oppose weapons and space programs when WE do it.

  60. 80 Chintan in Houston
    September 17, 2009 at 18:14

    this stops the arms race in the region. Great decision president Obama.

  61. 81 Jerry Cordaro Cleveland OH
    September 17, 2009 at 18:15

    Jennifer quoted President Obamam as stating that the missile shield would be put in place if it were cost-effective and proven. Since it’s neither, scrap it!

  62. 82 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 18:15

    To the greenies out there that support a sea based platform. Ships burn fuel, bases on land do not. Won’t this add to the greenhouse gases? Or heaven forbid, it’s a nuclear ship with a nuclear reactor that could be subject to being destroyed in an attack. What’s more important to you, your socialist ideals or the environment?

  63. 83 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 18:17

    Can we have a guest from Eastern Europe who lived under communist rule, explain what Soviet domination was like, to the lefties here that love everything Russia because it was/is Communist?

    • 84 Petr, Hradec Kralove
      September 17, 2009 at 19:21

      Steve, it’s hard to explain what it was like living behind barbed wire of the Iron Curtain under one party-state system with censorship and without rule of law or independent courts to someone who grew up running around in Che Guevara t-shirt, attending usefully idiotic “peace rallies” simply because it was so cool to be anti-establishment while taking all the freedoms and liberties for granted.

  64. September 17, 2009 at 18:17

    We are in no position to attack anyone since the internal situation in Iran is volatile. We don’t have funds, the legitimacy of the Administration in Tehran is being queried, and the opposition simply will not tolerate any adventurism abroad.
    The latest Iranian motion at IAEA to put a ban on any attack on NPT signatories was defeated. I don’t think President Obama is appeasing Iran. We will know on October 1st when we meet the American delegate at the 5+1 talks.

  65. 86 kerry phibbs
    September 17, 2009 at 18:18

    The missle shield was always a stupid idea. It would have protected us from something that didn’t exist. It would have started Cold War II. Obama’s decision has nothing to do with strength or weakness, it is a return to intelligence and common sense from the stupidity of the Cheney/Bush mess.

  66. 87 Doug in San Francisco
    September 17, 2009 at 18:20

    Definitely related to Isreal’s hijacking of the Russion cargo vessel carrying anti-aircraft missiles. Netanyahu flies to Moscow to make a deal. Putin/Medvedev say they’ll back an embargo against Iran if US backs off the missile defense.

  67. 88 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 18:23

    Look at a map of Russia and europe. Kaliningrad is not physically inside of Russia, but is part of Russia, and is filled with Russians. It is separated from Russie by Lithuania and Latvia. How long until Russian invades Lithuania and Latvia to “protect” the russians in that Island of Russia outside of Russia? Will this sign of weakness by obama speed this up?

  68. 89 Susan
    September 17, 2009 at 18:29

    Funny that the right wing nuts have already turned up their fear-mongering apparatus and loudspeakers!! How in the world would a puny country like Iran be considered a threat to the entire western hemisphere (not mentioning Israel!!) by the nukes she does not have!! Everybody knew from beginging that Iran was used as an excuse to develop MDS in Europe to serve the grand fantasies of the only superpower left to take over the world.

  69. 90 Tom D Ford
    September 17, 2009 at 18:31

    Wow, this Jennifer Rubin sure is a far right wing dissembling fear-monger, isn’t she?

    She pretends to know the minds of and to speak for Russia, Poland, Iran, and the Czech Republic, she over generalizes outrageously, all the great techniques of dishonesty.

    The three ways of lying are, Generalizations, Distortions, and Deletions, and she uses them all.

    I heard John Boltons’ voice in the intro and he is just another pea in the same right-wing fear-monger pod as Jennifer Rubin.


  70. September 17, 2009 at 18:32

    At last the United States has a leader who uses his brains to think about peace and progress.

  71. 92 steve
    September 17, 2009 at 18:32

    Russia, you know, has this little history of invading its neighbors, like Poland in 1939. Or sending in their troops if people were protesting in nations like Hungary or the Czech Republic. Doesn’t the west owe espcecially protection to Poland? I mean, Britain and France had treaty obligations to defend Poland from Germany, but just sat there and did absolutely nothing while Poland was taken over by the Nazis.

  72. 93 Tom D Ford
    September 17, 2009 at 18:37

    Ros, the email said “Jane” Travers but it was “Mary” who died and who was the Mary of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

    Sad day for all of us who listened and sang along back in the day.

  73. September 17, 2009 at 18:41

    Obama is inching in the right direction toward sanity and realism. This obsession with Iran’s nuclear program is entirely about Israeli paranoia. Israel alone has all the neighborhood nukes in the Middle East, Israel alone has repeatedly invaded its neighbors, Israel has refused to declare its nukes and submit to IAEA inspections, and Israel has been relentlessly pressuring the US to attack Iran. Israeli threats are the only reason Iran might want nukes. Iran has invaded nobody for 250 years and is certainly no threat to the US, nor would it have any reason to attack Israel. They are neither insane nor suicidal. To remove the threat to peace, we need to guarantee Iran’s security from Israel (a role Russia appears to be assuming).

  74. 95 Petr, Hradec Kralove
    September 17, 2009 at 18:42

    The fact that B. Hussein Obama served this moral victory to neostalinist Russia exactly 70 years since they invaded Poland shows how little he cares about allies and how much he courts thugs and dictators of all sorts.

  75. 96 Justin Durueke
    September 17, 2009 at 19:07

    The world has changed so much and we do not need the missile defense shield anymore. The cold war is behind us and we now live in a new world where we are faced with global challenges like international terrorism, global poverty, global warming, piracy on the high seas, global diseases and immigration problems. I applaud the Obama led administration on its decision to scrap the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

  76. 97 Eric
    September 17, 2009 at 19:33

    This is clearly a wise choice. Let France protect Poland from any Russian Aggression.

  77. September 17, 2009 at 19:33

    I agree whole-heartedly with Justin Durueke. Not only was (is) the “defense shield” not a proven weapon, it was a provocation to Russia, and a distraction from the real problem: How to get a diplomatic conversation going with Iran & N. Korea.

  78. 100 David
    September 17, 2009 at 21:26

    What a brilliant and thoughtful idea from an extremely brilliant and humane President. Dialogue, peace initiative are needed today and tomorrow.

  79. 101 Bert
    September 17, 2009 at 22:24

    I’m sort of okay with this move, but I think almost all of the comments have missed the point.

    I’m okay with the US spending less money on everyone’s else’s security. And I’m especially glad when the people who benefit from our expenses for their safety do not make it plain to the rest of the world that THEY want US forces or US equipment on their soil. It is aggravating to always be made out to be the agressor, for the benefit of local politics within those host countries.

    What I think most people totally MISSED in this turn of events is that Poland and the Czech Republic preferred to have a missile shield that would be effective against Russian ICBMs too. This move to supposedly optimize the shield against medium range Iranian missiles is somewhat silliness. The whole Iran angle, I think, was nothing more than a way to appease the Russians. A storyline for their benefit. I doubt the Poles and the Czechs are so thrilled about this “optimization” strategy.

    If I’m right about this, it would be just fine for Poland and the Czech Republic to raise a huge stink. Not that it would change Obama’s ideas, but at least the record would be set straight.

  80. 102 T
    September 17, 2009 at 23:17

    The States and the U.K. continue to insist that Iran doesn’t have the right to nuclear weapons. It doesn’t have the right as a sovereign nation to defend itself. Israel is the ONLY Middle Eastern country with nuclear weapons. What’s wrong with this picture?

  81. 103 tanboontee
    September 18, 2009 at 03:22

    How could it not be right?

    If Iran’s missiles pose little threat to Europe, where is the necessity of the defense shield plan? Abandon the proposal — a smart move from the White House indeed.

    Peace YES, please. War (be it hot or cold) NO, thank you.


  82. 104 Mark
    September 18, 2009 at 06:39

    What’s the difference between 1960’s Cuba and 2000’s Czech Republic?

    The flag of the idiots that want to have a missile base next to another major power…

  83. 105 Mark
    September 18, 2009 at 06:42

    P.S. DEFINITELY the right move. Mr. Obama is much more intelligent than Mr. Bush.

  84. 106 ONLOOKER
    September 18, 2009 at 11:00

    I think that Mr. Obama is like former J. Carter, the wrong man for the job. All he has going for himself is that he is the first black in the White House. An exotic event, that´s all. Sooner than later the americans ( black – white ) as well as the rest of the western world will come to see it

  85. 107 Moeka
    September 18, 2009 at 12:42

    Now for the first time after 12 years I now beleive the world is now saver than ever before.Say what you may but mr Obama is proving to be a peace loving man.All we need to do now is wait and see the results form all his recent actions.
    We should be proude of Mr Barak Obama for taking seroius steps at a crucial times like this.

  86. 108 nora
    September 18, 2009 at 18:59

    Let us hope the President does not cave in to pressures and reverse himself.

  87. 109 Bert
    September 18, 2009 at 22:02

    Odd how so many people think the world is safer now, even though there are far more conflicts than there were during teh cold war.

    There’s another detail that I see missing in this debate, and that is the purpose of having these defensive installations in certain foreign countries. And why other countries, like Russia, find them so troublesome.

    If the US were to install a (defensive, in this case) missile base in Poland, let’s say, the US could not possibly allow the installation to fall in Russian hands, right? So Russia would know this, and Russia would not be able to pull a “South Ossetia move” on Poland. See?

    It’s not even all that critical that the missile shield be 100 percent effective.

    Remember: these are not ICBMs. These are anti-missile missiles. So they pose no threat TO Russia. They merely help guarantee that Russia bahve itself.

  88. September 19, 2009 at 13:13

    International diplomacy is about horse-trading. This particular nag has been exchanged for its equivalent or a stallion depending on the contextual mood.

  89. 111 Joshua Kwaku Hodinyah
    September 21, 2009 at 18:57

    I think it is a good idea for the US to abandon th missile defence system, for the reason being that it would not contribute to the fight against terrorism in the world.

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