Bush wins NATO backing on missile shield
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent Thu Apr 3, 5:54 PM ET
BUCHAREST, Romania - gave strong support Thursday for a in and urged to drop its angry opposition to the program. The unanimous decision strengthened Bush's hand for weekend talks with .
said it was "a breakthrough document on missile defense for the alliance." At Bush's first in 2001, "perhaps only two allies gave even lukewarm support for the notion of missile defense," Rice said.
This was Bush's final meeting with members of the 26-nation alliance, and White House officials described it as a day of freewheeling talks in which leaders and their foreign ministers got off script and gathered in crowds to debate the wording of a statement. "It doesn't happen in a lot," said Bush's national security adviser, .
He said a group of leaders — "men in suits" — gathered around to talk about putting former Soviet republics and Georgia on a path toward NATO membership, a step she opposes. Moscow heatedly opposes any further eastward expansion of the alliance.
Summit leaders refused to grant the two countries a membership plan now, but said they would look at the issue again in December and they empowered their foreign ministers to decide it. The Balkan nations of and were invited to join the alliance. was turned aside at the insistence of , which says the country's name implies a territorial claim to a northern region of Greece, also called Macedonia.
helped resolve a sensitive issue for by pledging to send as many as 1,000 more combat troops to Afghanistan's eastern part. That would free up U.S. forces to move into the south, home of fierce fighting with and forces. had threatened to pull its soldiers from the south unless it received 1,000 reinforcements from another ally.
Some allies, notably , , Turkey and , refuse to send troops to the Afghan front lines because of the unpopularity of the war at home. Hadley said military commanders in are pleading for more forces.
Already the largest contributor to NATO's 47,000 troops in Afghanistan, the United States is dispatching an additional 3,500 Marines and readying plans to send in more in the south next year, Hadley said.
Putin, in the last days of his presidency, arrived Thursday evening and joined the leaders at dinner. Putin planned to meet more formally with Friday.
With U.S.-Russian relations in a deep chill, Bush and Putin will meet Saturday and Sunday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in their last talks before the Russian leader steps down in May. Bush's term ends in January.
Rice said the two leaders were expected to produce "a strategic framework" to guide relations between Washington and under their successors. "Part of that has to be some discussion of missile defense," Rice said, but she stopped short of saying the two leaders would find agreement on the prickly subject.
views the system as designed to weaken its military might and upsetting the balance of power in Europe. Bush argues that the shield is not aimed at Russia but at Mideast countries such as .
In a series of concessions, the White House has offered to let Moscow monitor the sites and promised to delay activation of the shield until Iran or another adversary tests a missile with a range to reach .
Rice said the Russians said those measures were viewed as "useful and important" when she and were in Moscow last month. "We hope that we can move beyond that to an understanding that we all have an interest in cooperation on missile defense. But we will see."
Aside from the endorsement, the anti-missile program advanced on another front with the 's agreement to host a radar system that would track the sky for any threats. The White House has to complete a deal with where 10 interceptor rockets would be based.
The NATO statement said " poses an increasing threat to allies' forces, territory and populations. Missile defense forms part of a broader response to counter this threat."
The statement called on NATO members to explore ways in which the planned U.S. project can be linked with future missile shields elsewhere. It said leaders should come up with recommendations to be considered at their next meeting in 2009.
What makes this all the more hypocritical is that while we extol this shield as being for peaceful means, to protect our Eastern European brothers and sisters, the US and some other NATO generals recently have claimed the need for the organization's doctrine of first use nuclear pre-emption, whereby NATO would reserve the right to initiate the use of nuclear weapons on any country they deemed a threat to world peace.
Least anyone willfully forget what this means, here is one of the consequences of what a city (filled with such pesky creatures like women, children, and other oppressed masses) would be reduced to, if such a doctrine was ever followed.
And all of this is under the guise of self-defense (by the one country whose government has actually used nuclear weapons), as if anyone would care to launch a nuclear attack on such great power/terrorist threats to global peace like the Czech Republic.
In essence, what the US, through NATO, is telling the Russians and the rest of the world is that we are going to contain Moscow, while simultaneously threatening to use nuclear weapons on revisionist states who disobey our orders and perceive to be threatening us. It should be reminded that our government five years ago defined an imminent nuclear and biological threat, necessitating the use of force, to exist in Iraq. There is no way Russia, or any country who does not get along with the US, can look at this and not see this as a direct threat.
The saddest part is the acceptance of this foreign policy colonialism on the part of the Eastern European democracies. Throughout the Cold War, all the Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs could do was constantly complain about the interference in their internal affairs by the Russians. When it is the US, however, such doubts immediately disappear, and being NATO's doormat is seemingly of no consequence to these ex-anti-imperialists.
Of course, the Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs would object to being called for what their governments are. They might demur about their worry of the evil Russians, but even now, what is the power of the Russians? Economic power, trade, energy, maybe, but Russia is no military threat, except maybe to its own soldiers who have to use their weapons. Does any of this stop the Poles or Czechs from excluding the Germans from using their trade to penetrate and dominate some of their industries? These are the same Germans who wiped out large percentages of these countries' populations during World War Two, much worse than anything the Russians ever did after 1945. Who would not mind having such a wonderful neighbor come back into your country six decades later and use your markets and population as their cheap labor pool?
Meanwhile, the Czechs have descended into allowing NATO to use its country as one of the headquarters of this nuclear shield. The same Czech Republic who only nine years ago helped facilitate a NATO bombing campaign of Serbia that killed 5,000 people, most all of them civilians. And these are the same people who cried such tears a few decades before when Warsaw Pact tanks came into their country, killing a grand total of 72 people. Yes, the tears for the dead so to rationalize a future "revolution" of freedom, to submit yourself to those who want to put mushroom clouds and cluster bombs on the rebellious states of this world. Freedom has never felt so liberating.
And what about the principle of first use for NATO powers? Very few media outlets mention or talk about the issue. On the one hand, NATO is claiming to use this missile shield for purely defensive purposes, while also asserting the right to use nuclear weapons on other countries that its leaders do not like (even potentially those with nuclear weapons), thereby further necessitating the defense shield.
Welcome to New Europe, practicing the oldest profession in the world, as always, in service of others, anyone but themselves. After consideration, it is not so hard to wonder how such governments could produce the likes of a Husak, Tiso, and Szalasi. What a pity their so-called free voters have lost touch with such terms as Quisling. It could be useful in preventing their territories from becoming future launching points in a global nuclear war.