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United States Government Politics

Putin Threatens US Missile Bases In Europe 997

Posted by kdawson
from the reagan-won-this-didn't-he dept.
Melugo writes to let us know that Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned that US plans to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe would force Moscow to target its weapons against Europe. This reader notes: "It feels like the Cold War all over again." "'If the American nuclear potential grows in European territory, we have to give ourselves new targets in Europe,' Putin said... 'It is up to our military to define these targets, in addition to defining the choice between ballistic and cruise missiles.'"
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Putin Threatens US Missile Bases In Europe

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  • by adnonsense (826530) on Monday June 04, 2007 @12:47AM (#19377819) Homepage Journal

    As the post is crying out for it:

    In Soviet Russia, strategic weapons target you!

    (The best contribution wins a 10 year all-inclusive activity holiday to Siberia.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by thedarknite (1031380)
      In Soviet Russia, you threaten strategic weapons
    • by fm6 (162816) on Monday June 04, 2007 @12:57AM (#19377891) Homepage Journal
      Slashdot so needs this mod: -100: Old and lame!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tribbin (565963)
      I Soviet Russia, Siberia includes you!
    • they want their cold war back.

      (Or Reagan called, or whatever, think of something, this space for rent)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @12:47AM (#19377825)
    The US defenses are oriented and located to where they will NOT be able to counter ANY Russion launches toward the US or Europe.

    Just do the damned trajectory math. It does not work for much anything except stuff being flung from Tehran.

    Putin is doing what Bush does, just rabble rousing to distract people from all the crap he is pulling behind the scenes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just do the damned trajectory math. It does not work for much anything except stuff being flung from Tehran.

      You are a fucking idiot. The reason it would be more effective in defending from Iran than Russia is because Iran has less missiles.

      Nothing whatsoever to do with trajectory math. Be glad you posted anonymously.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blowdart (31458)

      Just do the damned trajectory math. It does not work for much anything except stuff being flung from Tehran.

      Share your math, because I don't see how. Placing a missile base in Poland, with, if the publicity is to be believed (and there are more unsuccessful tests than successful ones) the capability to shoot down incoming missiles two minutes after detection means that unless Russia is going to put missiles right on its border with Europe rather than their current locations then it is more than capable o

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:39AM (#19378207)
        Share your math, because I don't see how. Placing a missile base in Poland, with, if the publicity is to be believed (and there are more unsuccessful tests than successful ones) the capability to shoot down incoming missiles two minutes after detection means that unless Russia is going to put missiles right on its border with Europe rather than their current locations then it is more than capable of intercepting missiles inbound from the Urals.

        The point for the US is that the missile shield does not protect the *US* from Russian missiles. And that point is correct. Russian missiles launched at the US travel north over the polar icecap, not across Europe. You don't take down a ballistic missile by launching a non-ballistic missile directly behind it. It won't be able to outrun the ballistic missile. Preferably you take it out by launching a missile at a right angle to it when it is launched or it is re-entering the atmosphere. The missile bases in Europe are useful for this purpose.

        And of course why would you be protecting against Iran when (right now) the Shabab 4/5/6 missiles are theoretical? If anything the major threat to the US is (still) North Korea.

        The US has moved significant anti-missile resources to Japan, including several AEGIS cruisers and Army PAC-3 systems. You need to pay more attention to the news.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by packeteer (566398)
        And of course why would you be protecting against Iran when (right now) the Shabab 4/5/6 missiles are theoretical? If anything the major threat to the US is (still) North Korea.

        How are they a threat? They don't have any oil we want. I was under the impression that only countries with oil were a threat to us.
    • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:05AM (#19377965) Journal
      That is false. It actually will protect Europe from Russian, Chinese, NK, and Iranian launches. Why? Because this gets the rockets in cruise phase as opposed to boost or targeting. So anything that is coming overheard or just to the side will be blocked. The real issue is, how many missiles are we looking to put in? Not many. Russia can easily overrun our number with current inventory. The simple solution for Russia is to have verification of launchers/missiles. But it would be better for everyone if Bush would spend more time talking to Putin about this.
      • by mikerich (120257) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:11AM (#19379469)
        It doesn't matter what the current missiles CAN do, its what future missiles COULD do and what the Russians THINK America wants to do.

        To clarify. Poland and the Czech Republic are on Russia's doorstep, less than a generation ago they were firmly inside the orbit of Moscow. Now, not only are they members of NATO but they are enthusiastically embracing the policies of the US military. This is bound to set red lights flashing in the Kremlin. Imagine the reaction in Washinton if Ottawa announced it was placing Russian missiles in Ontario - the US would see it as a grave provocation within its sphere of influence.

        Secondly, long term treaty aims are to reduce the amount of MIRVing on missiles AND to reduce to the number of missiles. The Russians are already coming from behind on this, they have large fleets of liquid fuelled SS18 missiles, well past their sell-by date, but capable of putting 10 warheads pretty much anywhere in the US. If they go down the treaty route they'll find themselves surrounded by anti-missile stations that MAY be upgradeable to take out Russian missiles.

        Russia was humiliated by the end of the Cold War, it lost its Empire, saw its beliefs collapse and then allowed its economy to be destroyed by Western 'reformers'; the end result was millions of Russians in horrifying poverty, the collapse of the economy, social system, education, and in large parts of the country, law-and-order. Now, it has discovered it has unbelievable power in the form of its energy reserves, it has massive amounts of foreign currency sloshing around, AND in the form of Putin, the fabled Russian strong man who can unite the country.

        American policy towards Russia under Bush has been a disaster, it has provoked confrontation after confrontation, rolled its tanks up to the borders, abbrogated long-standing treaties and acted like Russia was a backward nation. Putin is using national resentment to give America (and Britain in particular) a serious case of the jitters.

        Whether American missiles can destroy Russian missiles is almost immaterial, it gives the Russians a chance to throw their not-inconsiderable weight around, and it offers their, let be honest, stunning missile designers, plenty of opportunities to bring in a new generation of planet killers. Putin can now make sure he's succeeded by a fellow strong man and Russia can really start to influence European politics - at the end of the day, it's going to be the gas taps as much as the warheads that will make Europe gradually turn towards the East. And that may not be a good thing.

        But you can be sure this will also have been noticed in Beijing - another cash-rich country will soon be pouring money into solid-fuelled, MIRVed missiles. China is almost certain to build a missile submarine fleet and expand its own Pacific fleet - which brings another force into direct conflict with US strategic interests. At the end of the day, can the US compete in an arms race against TWO superpowers?

    • by reporter (666905) on Monday June 04, 2007 @02:21AM (#19378449) Homepage
      "The Economist" recently published a concise summary of relations between the West and Russia [economist.com]. The summary stated, "DEMONSTRATORS thrashed on the streets of Moscow; the impending mugging of another big energy firm, this one part-owned by BP; cyberwarfare against a small neighbour; the bellicose testing of a new ballistic missile, supposedly able to bypass the American missile-defence system about which the Kremlin fulminates--and all that was only in the past fortnight. When the G8 group of rich countries meets next week in Germany, one of its biggest if unadvertised concerns will be the snarling behaviour of one of its own members, Vladimir Putin's Russia--and the urgent need for a more coherent Western policy towards it."

      One of the biggest mistakes that we Westerners committed was to admit the Russians into the G-8. The original G-7 was intended to be the group of leading industrialized democracies committed to Western values.

      We admitted the Russians in the hope that, although Russia was still highly non-Western (in, for example, its treatment of sexual-orientation or ethnic minorities), being lenient on Russia would encourage the Russians to modernize their society along Western lines. Well, we were wrong. Just last week, the Russian police smiled in approval as ordinary Russians [nytimes.com] violently beat up participants in a demonstration calling for rights for homosexuals. Some of the victims of the violence were European politicians who had participated into the demonstration.

      The Russians make a mockery of the G-8 and its principles. Now, Putin is idly threatening to point his nuclear missiles at Eastern Europe. Nuclear annihilation is serious business. Before Russia joined the G-8, no member of the G-7 ever threatened nuclear annihilation against a prosperous, Western democracy.

      The time has come for us to end this nonsense. We should expel Russia from the G-8, restoring the orignal name of "G-7".

      • by reporter (666905) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:17AM (#19378761) Homepage
        In a report [bloomberg.com] issued today, the Bloomberg news service is also asking why Russia is in the G-8. The report states, "The tensions are again raising questions about why Putin is even a member of the [G-8] club. The original Group of Six leading industrialized nations -- the U.S., Japan, U.K., France, Germany and Italy -- first met in 1975, and Canada joined a year later. While Russia's economy is only the world's 10th largest -- behind nonmembers China and Spain -- it was admitted to the club in 1997 as President Boris Yeltsin struggled to manage the nation's transition to a capitalist democracy. G-8 membership was an 'advance payment' that assumed Russia would gradually move closer to the values of the other members, Volk says. Among leaders of the other nations, there were 'a lot of illusions that by engaging Russia they can influence Russia,' Volk says. That hasn't happened. These days, 'there's a consensus among every major western country' that Russia is going backward on democracy, says Masha Lipman, a political analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center."

        When the Kremlin threatens nuclear annihilation against Eastern Europe, the very least that we can do is to expel Russia from the G-8. Expulsion from the G-8 does not terminate relations between Russia and the West. Those relations shall continue. However, expulsion does send a strong, symbolic message that we Westerners condemn the authoritarian impulses of the Russian government.

        • by Magada (741361) on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:28AM (#19379193) Journal

          When the Kremlin threatens nuclear annihilation against Eastern Europe, the very least that we can do is to expel Russia from the G-8.
          That's exactly the kind of escalation mentality that brought us the Cold War. Russia is NOT threatening Eastern Europe with nuclear annihilation. Putin simply stated that the missile defense bases will be included in the Russian military's nuclear target list. That makes a lot of sense and is actually a measured response. If the Russians planted anti-missile-missile batteries around Guadalajara tomorrow, Bush would have them bombed the day after. Putin simply cannot afford that US military types begin to believe they could "win" a nuclear exchange because that would threaten the very existence of Russia. That is the only button you can push to make him behave aggressively right now, and Bush is pushing it, hard. Witness Putin's lame reaction when US troops landed in Afghanistan - Russia does not want conflict and cannot afford conflict even if it wanted it.

          Speaking as someone who's directly interested in this: the best you (Americans) can do (as a nation) is stop threatening Russia (with starvation or nukes) and normalize your relations with China while you're at it. No-one much minds that you're carrying a big stick, as long as you walk softly. Build missile defense if you so wish - on your own territory. Try to change mentalities and regimes if you so wish - but not by force of weapons. And finally, and most importantly, _bring_the_boys_back_home. The US military, as it is now deployed, seems ready to make war on the whole world. That is insane.

          Take down the morons running America, get a new government that is strong enough to afford putting the leash on Israel, effect regime change in Iran (no, nuking Teheran does not count as regime change, yes, it is possible and has been done before, no, bringing back the Shah's cronies is also not an option) and re-instate the kind of policy that has kept NK in check for as long as Kim Ir Sen was in power. Better yet, give China carte blanche in NK - they'd like nothing more than to serve Kim Jong Il the traditional last cup o' tea, if only paranoid americans would not fear them more than they fear the Koreans. Those are the real nuclear threats, not the two paper-tiger ex-superpowers.
      • by master_p (608214) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:11AM (#19379465)
        Western values? like supporting dictatorships in Chile, central America countries, Greece, Pakistan etc?

        Western values like allowing friend countries to invade and occupy foreign countries (Turkey over Cyprus) while doing the exact opposite thing with non-friend countries?

        Western values like increasing the price of imported goods from Africa in order to protect domestic production?

        Western values like economically supporting all the 'orange' revolutions in former soviet union countries in order to get the geopolitical advantage?

        Western values like dismantling Yugoslavia because the southern part has the largest deposits of a rare metal which USA wants for replacing enhanced uranium in its weapons?

        Western values like lying about WMDs in Iraq?

        Western values like taking the culture of one country and arbitrarily assign it to another (yeap, I am talking about the so called country of 'Macedonia', one of the biggest thefts of cultural identity in history) ?

        Western values like giving money under the table to enemies of Chaves so as that he is overthrown, even if he is legally elected?

        Western values like illegally giving money to Israel under the table, as well as advanced technology that no other one has?

        Western values like don't doing anything about Israel's 200 nuclear warheads, even when they openly admit it?

        Western values like privatizing everything and leaving over 60 million americans in the mercy of god, without medical insurance and health care? and with private health care companies sucking everything out of their clients?

        Western values like banks increasing their profits 500% each year while the average payment of an american employee has remained almost the same in the last 30 years?

        Western values like stealing ancient artifacts from all around the globe and displaying them in your museums?

        Western values like changing the borders of other countries (for example in the Balkans) so as you can divide and conquer, while in Africa there are thousands of slaughtered people every day in Sudan, yet you say 'it's not your problem'??? (as Angela Merkel told us a few days ago)...

        Western values like not destroying the drug factories and plantations of south America, even if you have accurately mapped all the globe with your satellites?

        Western values like not doing anything for the environment because it will hurt your wallet?

        What western values are you talking about? all your values were invented somewhere else, and you might not know it, but almost all your habits and things you use daily come from other countries that you bash as 'non-western'. Your clothing habbits probably come from Europe. Your food from Europe and Latin America. Your language comes from Europe. Your political system comes from Europe. Your music comes from Africa. Your religion comes from Middle East. Your sports come from Europe and the Far East. The foundations of your technology come from West Germany, where almost all top scientists came to USA before and after WWII.

        Get a grip on reality. The battle between USA and Russia is far from over, because Russia got the biggest natural energy resources, and USA is scared to death about Europe depending on Russia for its energy needs. That about sums it up, really.

        • by Sinical (14215) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:02PM (#19388701)

          Western values? like supporting dictatorships in Chile, central America countries, Greece, Pakistan etc?

          What are you talking about? You're going back to 1973 for Pinochet in Chile. He's dead, for Christ's sake. Chile has had a deomocratic government for ~18 years.

          Central American countries? Who? I don't think anyone would believe that the Contra affair was a swell idea, but there's no "dictatorship" there. Guatemala? The coup there was in 1954: Carter cut off military aid in 1979.

          Pakistan? Musharaff is an asshat, but would you have us do? Depose him? There's not much choice but to deal with him. And holy Jesus, can you imagine the cries of "interference" if we did depose him? Damned if you do, damned if you don't. We've put pressure on him, and I think he is finding out that being a dictatorial asshat can be hard work: his attempt to remove the Supreme Court Justice will hopefully moderate his stupidity.

          Let's talk about Russia, then. Chechnya? Kazakhstan? Ukraine? Georgia? Cyberwarfare over a fucking war memorial? Assassinations on foreign soil. Destroying Yukos through "taxes". Putting potential political opponents in jail (Khodorkovsky, if not more). Assassinating journalists critical of the administration. Seeking extradition of others (Berezovsky) for completely bullshit reasons?

          Western values like allowing friend countries to invade and occupy foreign countries (Turkey over Cyprus) while doing the exact opposite thing with non-friend countries?

          Oh, yeah, totally we should have stopped that. Everyone loves us when we interfere. Hey, is it the United States or France that wants to (or could) keep Turkey out of the EU (god forbid all those poor Muslims get freedom of movement)?

          Western values like increasing the price of imported goods from Africa in order to protect domestic production?

          Yes, you're absolutely right. No one except the United States has protections on agriculture. Not the Europeans, not the Japanese, no one except the United States. We must prostrate ourselves before the will of all international fuckwits.

          Western values like economically supporting all the 'orange' revolutions in former soviet union countries in order to get the geopolitical advantage?

          Instead we should have let Putin install his toady. God forbid we support the Ukrainian people's choice. It's a little known fact that every single person that camped in the city's square was a CIA employee: wow, huh?! I guess that Putin miscalculated the dose on the dioxin poisoning there, huh? "Geopolitical advantage"? Give me a break.

          "Western values like dismantling Yugoslavia because the southern part has the largest deposits of a rare metal which USA wants for replacing enhanced uranium in its weapons?"

          You smoke too much crack. We "dismantled" Yugoslavia? What, we went back in time and incited the hundreds of years of historical hatreds. We invaded them and kept them under an iron curtain until the friction of authoritarian rule from above caused them to explode?

          Western values like lying about WMDs in Iraq?

          Bush is a fucking retard. I don't think anyone is denying this.

          Western values like taking the culture of one country and arbitrarily assign it to another (yeap, I am talking about the so called country of 'Macedonia', one of the biggest thefts of cultural identity in history) ?

          Totally. We assigned McDonalds and Nike to go in there and set that up. We R teh Awesomez!

          Western values like giving money under the table to enemies of Chaves so as that he is overthrown, even if he is legally elected?

          Maybe some evidence with those accusations, hrm? Our approach to Chavez is, "Oh god, what a nutcase". Do you know *anything* about

  • by iamacat (583406) on Monday June 04, 2007 @12:50AM (#19377843)
    I call Putin's bullshit. Defense is defense, it's not necessarily aimed against US. Iran and North Korea could come up with some primitive missiles in a few years. A mere defense mechanism doesn't "force" anyone to target nukes at a peaceful country.

    It's the whole different matter that the missile shield is ineffective and a colossal waste of money.
    • by rumith (983060) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:04AM (#19377947)

      Sure, North Korea could come up with some primitive missiles in a few years... that's why the US must deploy interceptors in Europe, instead of Japan, Taiwan, or South Korea. Same goes about Iran: the US has huge military presence in Turkey, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, why not use those bases?

      Besides, something tells me that if Russia attempted to deploy similar ICBM countermeasures at Cuban or Venezuelan territory, all hell would break loose. Just because somebody is at peace with you now, doesn't mean that he won't be at war with you some time later, especially if you're dealing with the world's mightiest and most aggressive superpower.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:12AM (#19379859) Journal
      If you're a russian expatriate, you might be interested in this little fact: right before WW2, there were a _lot_ of voices in the USA advocating _carpet-bombing_ the USSR with nukes preemptively. Just, you know, because they happen to be a _potential_ adversary.

      What stopped them was when the USSR finally got their own nukes and you couldn't bomb them without getting bombed right back.

      Just to put things into perspective: The USSR had until that point behaved like a pretty loyal ally. Sure, they had some different ideas about the economy, and securing their own sphere of influence, but by and large they were still grateful for the help in WW2. They stopped when they were told to stop, and stuff like that.

      E.g., the reason why today there is a North Korea and a South Korea is because the USSR got asked by the allies to declare war on Japan after it's done with Germany. The USSR had little to gain there, but it honoured its treaty obligations. So it did take Manchuria from Japanese (dealing quite a bit of economic damage to Japan), and handed it over to China. And then proceeded to take Korea from Japan too. So the USA got a bit scared and asked Stalin to stop at the 38'th parallel. Noone actually expected that Stalin would actually stop at the 38'th parallel, but again, the guy actually did what his allies wanted, and actually stopped there.

      E.g., a little known fact is that on 10 March 1952, Stalin actually proposed to let Germany reunite, if the result stays neutral (i.e., doesn't join either block.) It was the western powers that refused that.

      Stalin was a bad guy, but in regards to the western powers he was _not_ at the moment the enemy. The USSR was in fact still by and large an ally of the USA, a member of the alliance that had just won WW2.

      Even the later degrading into Cold War was slightly more a result of USA brinkmanship games than of USSR's doing any evil. The western capitalist world had gotten its panties in a knot at the idea of communism and became obsessed with opposing and thwarting the USSR at every step. The USSR was treated as the enemy, complete with violating their airspace daily, which helped deteriorate diplomatic relations very very fast.

      I'm not saying that to defend Stalin or communism, I'm saying it to put it into perspective who did those guys want to nuke: an _ally_.

      Without the USSR developping a counter-threat quickly, chances are you wouldn't even be here to brag about being a russian expatriate. Unless you immigrated some time in the 50's, you or your parents might well now be casualties in a statistic, because someone preemptively nuked Russia wholesale.

      A missile shield turns all that right on its head. If the USA had a shield back then, it would have nuked Russia by now. The moment one side is immune to retaliation, it can threaten the other side with impunity, or even make good on those threats.

      At any rate, maybe that little historical detail is why Putin is now getting his own underwear in a knot.
  • what exactly are we talking here in regards to these defense in europe- because if it is that new fangled starwars like defense net Bush was talking about I hear the success rate is about 3/8
  • This is the same "targeting" rhetoric from the early 1990s all over again. Pretending that whether missiles are 'targeted' at some city somewhere, really changes the strategic position at all.

    It's bullshit. Where a missile is 'targeted' has almost no real-world meaning. You can re-target a missile in a few seconds; in fact all submarine-launched and mobile missile systems have to be targeted right before launch, because the trajectories need to take into account the launch position.

    The only scenario in which the 'default target' or preselected target of a missile might matter, would be an accidental launch. But even then, having the missiles aimed at neutral territory might not buy you much, because the unexpected launch itself might be perceived as hostile and engender a response; you can't depend on the mis-targeting for security -- that needs to be built-in to the command-and-control systems absolutely.
  • It's not as if the system actually works [google.com]!!
  • by thelima (1045360) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:02AM (#19377931)
    To cast little bit more light on the topic. America decided to locate this shield in Poland and Czech. Since the decision had been taken, Russia started to threaten both countries, we (Poland) have export embargo (for example for meat) and some "warnings" and "good advices" from Russia. Now they try to convince Us other way around... My posting is little bit biased - Forgive me, but I spent all my childhood under the Russian occupation and regime in Poland, sorry, could not resist. So before anyone starting shouting at Bush please - thing twice. First Russia occupied Poland, Czech, Slovakia etc for 40 Years, then, after the collapse of the communism, they were against joining NATO by Our, independent then, countries. Then they are against this shield. Technically shield located partially in Poland and in Czech is no threat for Russia at all, they now this. Also, technically, this shield cannot defend nuclear attack for this part of Europe. Please Russia understand that You are Our "supervisor" no longer, we are independed countries and taking Our decisions Ourselves. lima
    • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:20AM (#19378057)
      To follow up on this excellent post, I'd like to point out that I'm American and I've spent a good deal of time in Ukraine in the past. My Ukrainian ex-girlfriend had 2 great-grandparents who were murdered by Stalin's henchmen while her grandfather was forced to watch for the "crime" of supposedly being Ukrainian nationalists. Putin is drunk with power and money thanks to Russia's oil and gas reserves. Times are more or less good in Russia for people who live in bigger cities. Even for common people. They're making more money than ever before and they credit Putin. He not only has little real opposition, but what little there is has been suppressed by him and he's stacked the deck to be sure that his party and his eventual hand picked successor will become the next president. Putin is an ex-KGB guy and he laments the breakup of the USSR. His wet dream is to rebuild the USSR, but I think at some level he knows that won't happen, so he'd prefer to have vassal states that pay homage to him and give him a virtual USSR to rule. He flipped out when Ukraiane protested the bogus presidential elections in late 2004 and eventually elected Yushchenko in a fair election. He wasn't happy with what happened in Georgia first in the Rose Revolution, but I think until Ukraine elected Yushchenko, he thought he could just bully Georgia back into line. I have little doubt that Putin would love to tell all of the old Warsaw Pact countries what to do just like in the "good old days". The US has stated that they intend to put 10, yes, 10 interceptor missles in Poland. Since Russia has well over 1000 nuclear missles, this is just more of Putin's nonsense that such interceptor missles are a "threat" to Russia. My ex-girlfriend and her family knew first hand what kind of "love" Mother Russia gives to her children and I can't say I blame thelima for not being interested in falling under Russian influence again.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kisak (524062)

        2 great-grandparents who were murdered by Stalin's henchmen

        First, Putin is definitly a person who does not believe in democracy and free press. Putin also clearly see murder as a political tool. But, Putin cannot be blamed for what Stalin did, the same way todays German politicians cannot be blamed for Hitler's actions.

        Putin is drunk with power and money thanks to Russia's oil and gas reserves.

        And the EU and USA is just slightly intoxicated with the power and money we got? You cannot blame Russia for gr

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:12AM (#19377999)
    ...makes me wish the EU to take a stronger stand. This isn't the cold war anymore where Europe was divided and I don't appreciate power plays over my head when the EU has more than enough economic might to not have to deal with this crap coming from the USA trying to install weapons in Europe and the Russians reacting to it.
  • Mr Putin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LarsWestergren (9033) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:21AM (#19378075) Homepage Journal
    Let's drop the pretense that Russia is in any way a modern democracy please. Elections are a joke, independent journalists are permanently silenced [usatoday.com], and if you didn't order it you are certainly didn't doing much to investigate it. You are bullying surrounding nations as soon as they take any steps towards democracy or independence from you or displease you in any way [timesonline.co.uk]. Fascists [bbc.co.uk] and neo-Nazis [bbc.co.uk] run rampant in the streets, with the police literarily looking on with arms crossed doing nothing.

    And even with all this, Putin has soaring approval ratings, proving once again that nationlist pride is one of the most dangerous memes ever.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:24AM (#19378091)
    This is nothing more then rhetoric for the domestic crowd.

    The Russian objections to the US missile defense system are silly. Even if the system ever worked perfectly (it doesn't), it would never be able to stop more then a handful of missiles. Russia has more then a handful of missiles. The only thing the missile defense system can do is blunt an extremely small scale nuclear attack by ballistic missiles. Launch anything BUT that exact type of attack, and the entire missile defense system is worthless. Beyond this, the US has offered to include Russia in the shield, share their tracking data, in general, make a worthless defense against Russian attack even more worthless by making it transparent. North Korea, Iran, and anyone else thinking of how much fun it would be to hold a dozen nukes should be worried. For Russia, this is a joke.

    Putin really is just playing to scare his population and score a few 'against America' points. It is a cry for attention and a desperate pleading to PLEASE start some verbal shit to keep his population focused on foreign 'threats' rather than some of the more crushing domestic issues Russia faces. If the Dems kill the program, he will happily take credit for scaring the American weapons of Russia oppression away... when the reality is that the Dems have always found the program to be a waste of money and are happy to tear into a lame duck president on the issue... not because Putin is a scary guy.

    Look, the ballistic missile defense system is a joke. We already have one; it is called a few thousand nuclear missiles that can hit anywhere in the globe. I would be the first person to advocate throwing this worthless money hog on a chopping block, or at least relegating it to a lab for more 'research'. That said, Putin's saber rattling has nothing to do with reality. Putin knows that the ballistic missile defense program is a joke, and even if it wasn't a joke, it is only effective against nations with less then a dozen nukes... and it is safe to say Russia has more then a dozen nukes laying around these days.

    If you want a real headline, make it this "Putin recall history and tries to invoke Cold War to score domestic political points, Americans continue to piss money into the wind and uphill". This is a domestic issue getting bounced around by a global media and nothing more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hengist (71116)
      > Look, the ballistic missile defense system is a joke. We already have one; it is called a few thousand nuclear missiles
      > that can hit anywhere in the globe.

      Two points to consider:

      Firstly, not having a nuclear warhead explode over your country is a preferable option than having one go off, then turning its lauchsite into glass.

      Secondly, the deterrent value of thousands of nuclear warheads is somewhat lost on religious fanatics who don't care if they and a million other faithful get sent straight to A
  • Putin wants to increase the threat of violence because it allows him to have more control.

    Bush wants to increase the threat of violence because it allows him to have more control.

    Bush's actions give Putin a chance to increase the threat of violence so he can have more control.

    Then threatening actions by Putin give Bush a chance to increase the threat of violence so he can have more control.

    Mental illness feeds on itself.

    See the free 3-part BBC movie: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear [reallynews.com].

    Threatening violence is only one of the formulas of manipulation. Here are others: The Bush administration found support for war through manipulation. [futurepower.org]

    (If you are a U.S. citizen and you don't like my summary of U.S. government corruption, you must write your own. You can't say you love your country if you abandon thinking clearly when your country is in trouble.)
    • 2nd option (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:10AM (#19378699) Homepage
      Perhaps Putin is afraid of what the US might do if Mutually Assured Destruction was no longer mutually assured? After all, while a good shield can help save lives, it can also cost a lot more if the bearer of the shield no longer has to worry about the consequences of drawing his sword.

  • by tm2b (42473) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:45AM (#19378239) Journal
    Bush and Putin are geting together for a nice friendly sleepover in Connecticut. They get into their pajamas, have a pillow fight, and are sipping the hot chocolate that Barabara Bush brings them.

    Bush: So, Putey. We have a problem here in the US. We don't have a rubber stamp Congress any more, but our milkies [that's what he calls the Military-Industrial Complex] need their allowance. We need some sort of way to make sure that they'll be getting their money even with a hostile Congress. A big threat of some sort, just like during the Cold War - you guys had everyone so scared nobody would challenge a vast military budget.
    Putin: Da. The old days when I could get my GRU and KGB buddies everything they needed out of the huge military budget are long gone - it was bad for the economy, but great for us! These days, we have more resources but the people are scrambling over whatever crumbs organized crime leaves behind. We need a unifying opponent, who will let me get those citizens and mob bosses solidly back under my thumb. We too need a new Cold War - the Chechnyans just aren't doing it for us.
    Bush: Great! Ma!
    Putin and Bush together: More Ovaltine, please!
  • by XNormal (8617) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:45AM (#19378249) Homepage
    Yes, only this time Europe goes dark without access to Russian natural gas.

    Perhaps the French had the right idea with going 80% nuclear for their electric power needs.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EaglemanBSA (950534) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:47AM (#19378257)
    It's not so much that the Cold War is starting all over again, but that it never really ended.
  • by polar red (215081) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:55AM (#19378293)
    The best missile defense system is ending this excessive military spending, it seems like we're going back to the cold war! Everybody rolling muscles does NOT bring security ONE step closer.
  • Great Title ??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eyeb1 (522766) on Monday June 04, 2007 @02:04AM (#19378363)
    Great title .. "Putin Threatens US" ..

    who is threatening who ???

    ah!! .. glorious news speak .. formerly called propaganda ..

    really what chose do the other countries of the world have ..

    given the current ..

    and in truth very old american imperialistic foreign policy .. and the trillions of dollars america and it's allies .. flavor of the day .. are pouring into the stockpiling of strategic materials .. new weapon and detection systems including nuclear .. significantly increased strategic FOREIGN military bases .. and a stated intention to weaponize space ..

    after all .. america is the ONLY nation currently with FOREIGN militray bases of any significance ..

    under the specter of "ur either fur us .. or agin us"

    and just as in the past .. all started by the robber barons of america and it's allies of the day ..

    sold to the american public .. this time .. under the guise of fighting (read: military escalation) an "unending" global war on terrorism ..

    after all Wolfowitz did in fact call it World War III .. WAR= We Are Right

    and just as in the past it's really all about profit .. only now with the Cheney's master plan fully implemented .. the outsourcing of the US military .. and implementation of a substantial global mercenary force .. operating outside of any goverment oversite or control .. even more so ..

    when corporations go to war it's always about money .. regardless of the rational .. ethical .. or moral justifications made ..

    it's really all about the ME and MINE and the BOTTOM line ..
  • A reminder (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday June 04, 2007 @02:59AM (#19378655) Journal
    Here is a 30 minute film (shown in the 80s by the BBC, in the TV programme 'QED') that will just remind you why we must never, ever have a nuclear war. It is in three parts on YouTube. Here is a link to the first part:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vdzyqQIEAI [youtube.com]

    Also, look up "The War Game", and "Threads".

    And as usual, with this current posturing, Europe gets it in the shorts _again_. Nuclear war between US and Russia? Europe gets carpet bombed.

  • Cold War (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:46AM (#19378909) Journal

    This reader notes: "It feels like the Cold War all over again."
    Sure as hell it does feels like it when it was the whole intent! Mr.Putin said so himself:

    ... Russia has not specifically aimed its missiles at Europe since the end of the cold war but, asked if it might do so again if the US missile shield went ahead, Mr Putin said: "Of course we are returning to those times ..."
    Que the "this is madness" jokes here - they've never been as appropriate. I'm a Russian, and I'm scared. Not because of the MAD being back, but because, if our rulers are now willing to toy so easily with such serious things, then all limits are off, and they don't care what the West says anymore, even nominally. This means the next Dissenters' March in Moscow might as well be met with real bullets...
  • by Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:21AM (#19379153)
    You all forget the one thing that explains Russia's reactions: Russians are afraid that US with its allies will eventually get the missile defense system working and they will find a way to scale it to disable first Chinese and then secondly Russian nuclear threat. When we set our time frame to 2030 or 2050 and start project future advances in technology and manufacturing, it isn't so far fetched idea that the West could have in the future capabilities to build and deploy working SDI against any other nuclear power. This is what Russia is afraid.

    It should also be pointed out that because Russia doesn't have large economic, industrial and technological base, and it will not have these in foreseeable future, there is no way to challenge the west after a working version of SDI has been build and deployed. It should also be pointed out that if and when west builds it SDI, China will probably build it's own version of SDI quite shortly after the west. So if we look at 2050, the strategic outlook may be very different: we have the West and China safely behind SDI and the rest of the world either trying to remain neutral or aligned to either party. In this situation Russians would be in very difficult situation: they must supply oil and gas to China or China will use it's military might to get what it wants and the West that challenges Russia in it's neighbourhood (Ukraine, Georgia etc..) leaving it either to accept that and join west, or be in mercy of Chinese.

    The only way that Russia can play time and maybe avoid all this is to have west not deploy any kind of missile defense. If west doesn't deploy missile defense, the Chinese don't any motivation to start building their own. Thought it should be pointed out also that Chinese have, even with out west building SDI, impetus to do something: either have enough nuclear war heads to challenge both west and Russia, or to disable the nuclear threat all together by building SDI.
  • putin isn't that bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by backtothelight23 (1111081) on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:26AM (#19379177)
    The reasons why putin is so popular at home are simple: When he took office russia was bankrupt, people had lost all their savings, wages and rents were not paid. Since then wages have quadrupled, russia is not just defacto debt free(~debt is at 8 % of gdp), but has currency reserves of over 400 billion dollars plus a stabilization fund of 117 billion dollars. Capital influx reached allready 40 billion dollars jan-may.The economy grew by 7.9 % in the frist quarter. And this growth is now driven by demand, and not longer by the gas and oil sector. Oil and gas revenues now stay in the country, without putin russia would not profit from the high oil prices, all money would end up in western bank accounts like under jelzin. Even birth rates are rising. The so called "opposition" figures like berezovsky and kasparov have no backing in the russian population, they are seen as thieves and hated. Putin brought stability, and the state has regained control over the country, which was lost in 1999. If the politics of the nineties were continued, russia could not exist anymore. In fact, putin saved russia. The west allready believed it was dead, and expanded nato to it's borders and ignored russia's concerns. This time is now over, and the west should accept russia as an equal partner, because without russia most problems we face today can't be solved, and the russian economy is a huge market for western goods. Russia can help us in many spheres, but has also the capability to create giant troubles for the west. As an european i don't want to see a europe full of weapons. I don't believe we have the right to interfere with russia's internal affairs - everytime the west tries to enforce so called "democracy" another desaster happens, just look at afghanistan, iraq and the political crises in the ukraine. Putin is no angel, and he makes difficult decisions which might look bad to the west, but are right from a russian perspective. Russia suffered more than most countries(for example it lost more people than any other country in WWII), and it's no germany, it's much bigger, it has over 100 nationalities, and has/had problems you can not solve with a western style government, just look how difficult it is for an european government to make just the simplest reforms. It's time for the west to make concessions, to get russia back in our boat, we need it to fight terrorism, as a market, for resources, and to solve all other outstanding issues. Russia is pragmatic, you can have everything from them if you respect them, and in contrast to the us which wants to control the whole world, russia only wants a backyard without foreign troops to feel save. Russia is back.
  • by theolein (316044) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:00AM (#19379411) Journal
    Frankly, this is so ridiculous, it's almost funny. Here we have a Russian politician threatening firstly the USA, then Western Europe with nuclear weapons if they install what is almost certainly going to be a big fat white elephant that would not stop an Iranian nuclear weapon in any case (because the Iranians would certainly not be dumb enough to actually launch one, thy would pass it on to Hezbollah or some other radical grouping who would use it in a suicide nuclear bombing).

    Basically, I'm pissed off with almost all the "players" at the moment:
    a)The Americans. The current US government, not content with fighting two insurgencies concurrently, one of which is almost certainly already lost and the other one looks ominously like it's going that way as well, is blindly carrying on with this utterly useless missile defence scheme in Poland and the Czech republic which the majority of the populations do not want [bbc.co.uk], but whose governments have been bought by big promises from the same group of corrupt (Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Feith, Cheney, Bremer et al) incompetents who bled Iraq dry while promising the sun and the moon.

    b)The Russians. While I can certainly understand Russians in general wanting a strong government after the chaos and national humiliation of the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent robbery by Oil thieves and chaos of drunk and corrupt politicians, Putin is still in his heart a KGB man who wants a return of Russian might and power and who is just too dumb too see that the only place threatening the Europeans will lead to will be a gradual and then rapid rearmament of Western Europe, with the majority of nations bending over even further for the protection of American weapons than was thought possible. The American, Russian and European Arms lobbies must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of new satanically expensive weapons systems of questionable value for their respective clients. The slashdot weapon groupies will be loudly masturbating over these same toys as they dream of killing millions in their science fiction dreams of sexual impotence.

    c)The Eastern Europeans. Just how far did these nations expect to be able to provoke the Russians before the Russians went ahead and drew a line in the sand? Do the Czechs and the Poles, both of whom are so fond of criticing Western Europe (but happily take its cash and forgetting that England and France went to war for Poland in 1939 and that the Americans did sweet fuck all in 1968 when the Russians reinvaded Czechoslovakia) for not being totally willing to support their Russian baiting think that the USA would risk nuclear war for them so that they could threaten the Russians? I mean, I know the Nazis and the Soviets killed off a lot of intelligent people there, but really, just how dumb are they? The EU will unhappily be pulled into this mess by these three fuckups playing very dangerous games.

    The only people who really profit in this is the arms manufacturers. Think about that and look at the situation again.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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