Wednesday, July 04, 2007

This is supposed to scare us?

From The Financial Times:

Russia could site cruise missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, if the US goes ahead with plans for a missile defence shield in central Europe, Russia’s first deputy prime minister warned on Wednesday.

The televised comments by Sergei Ivanov – a possible successor to President Vladimir Putin – came two days after Mr Putin proposed using a new radar station being built in southern Russia in place of a planned US radar in the Czech Republic. The proposal was made during informal talks with US president George W. Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine.

“If our proposal is accepted, then the need will disappear for us to place ... new weapons, including missiles, in the European part of the country, including Kaliningrad, to counter those threats that ... will appear if the decision is taken to place the missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic,” Mr Ivanov said.

His comments, during a visit to Uzbekistan, appeared calculated to reinforce Mr Putin’s repeated warnings of a new arms race in Europe if the central European missile shield plan is implemented.

It is eating the Russians alive that they have lost their empire. As far as pretty much every Russian, from the highest to the lowest, is concerned any place which a Russian soldier has ever set his foot is the eternal possession of Holy Mother Russia.

The fact that former possessions like Poland and the Czech Republic are not only out of their control, but beyond any realistic hope of reconquest due to their membership in NATO is a bone in the Russian throat. The fact that the USSR was the focus of evil in the world of its day and that any nation which has once escaped its domination will do anything to avoid falling back into slavery is utterly lost on the Russian mind.

The fact is that all those who once suffered under the iron boot heel of communism have absolutely no faith in Russia's ability to avoid slipping back into one form of totalitarianism or another and most are surprised that they have managed to remain semi-free for as long as they have.

So I say let the Russians start a new arms race. But before they do they might recall that it was that very thing which cut the heart out of the old Soviet Union. So if Putin wants to get into a fight that can only be won by spending large amounts of money on new weapons systems and the research and development costs that go into them then let him.

Bring it on Ivan. We'll hand you your heads this time just like we did last time.