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The missile defense system was promised not to be directed against Russia, Mr McCain

Senator John McCain claims that the ongoing reorganization of Crimea should be interpreted as a justification for the resuscitation of the U.S. missile defense system composed of a radar in Czechia and missiles in Poland. The plans were scrapped in September 2009. Perhaps, they were "postponed indefinitely" (or at least through 2015). So far, it didn't make any difference.

When the project was still a hot issue in 2009...

The planned radar site near Míšov, Brdy Hills (Břízkovec, "spot height 718", Google Maps) is located 30 kilometers from my home. As a clearcut defender of the project, I have visited the place about 15 times. At some moment, Greenpeace activists were living in the treetops over there. The landscape is beautiful there; the deep forests in the Brdy Hills were protected from the civilization because they have been a military space for many decades. Since 2015, the place will be open to the civilians (including the cowards who have avoided it so far) so the landscape may suffer a bit...

The picture above shows that I have forced one of them, the Czech Republic's Greenpeace Director for Climate Hysteria Mr Jan Rovenský, to wave the U.S. flag. He argued he wasn't anti-American and to a large extent, I think he's right. Months later, I would accidentally meet him in a radio program about the climate hysteria (as an opponent) and we fully realized that we were friends in the Summer 1988 camp in Sverdlovsk, our Soviet twin city. He would be more or less as anti-communist as I was which made it surprising to me that he would become a top apparatchik of Greenpeace (which he joined just 4 years after the summer camp).

But let me return to the main topic here. The missile defense system was marketed as a general defense facility for the U.S. in particular and the West in general – against unknown threats and perhaps Iran. It has been repeatedly and explicitly stated that the system was not directed against Russia. This has been said by many U.S. politicians and NATO officials. For example, as recently as in May 2012, top NATO official Alexander Vershbow would say the following in a talk.

The word "Russia" actually appears 45 times in the talk and it's interesting but just a few sentences:

At Lisbon a year and a half ago, NATO invited Russia to cooperate with us on missile defence, and Russia’s President agreed on this goal. Regrettably, progress on NATO-Russia cooperation has not matched progress within NATO.


Russia has sought reassurances that NATO's missile defence system will not undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent. We in NATO have taken Russia’s concerns seriously, and have discussed them in detail many times in the past year. We have welcomed every opportunity to explain why our missile defence system is not, and will not be, directed against Russia.


For the benefit of our discussion, let me just summarise why NATO’s missile defence is not a threat to Russia.


First, geography and science do not lie. Our system is aimed at protecting NATO and Europe from ballistic missile attacks from outside the Euro-Atlantic area, not Russia.
And so on. I may find very similar talks by other NATO officials and U.S. politicians. So it is very clear that a missile defense system that would be directed against Russia would be a different project, politically and technologically.

Politically, it would be a different project because both Czechia, Poland (the U.S. allies) and Russia were assured that the facility was not directed against Russia. Technologically, it would be a different project because, as Vershbow's talk above reviewed, science and geography implied that the project was only efficient against missiles launched outside the Euroatlantic space.

An unofficial anti-radar clip for a pro-radar song sung by Mr Jan Vyčítal and Ms Vlasta Parkanová, then the Czech defense minister. The punch line is that 3 external powers – U.S., Russia, and Al Qaeda – finally launch missiles against the poor farmer in the Brdy Hills. After the huge explosion, President Klaus would repeat his "I have never seen any destruction of our planet." The song itself is a parody of the 1961 official song Greetings to the Astronaut ("Good morning, Major Gagarin..."). BTW Gagarin would be 80 yesterday.

Even if the project were effective against Russia's capabilities, it would need a new approval by Czechia and Poland. Poland would probably agree even more than before because most of the Poles sufficiently hate Russia. It would be different in Czechia. I would personally oppose the project remarketed as an anti-Russian one, for many reasons. The first and most important reason is obviously that I am closer to the Russian government's attitudes to the Ukrainian events than to the U.S. government's attitudes.

Second, I do tend to think that the project originally designed to be against countries like Iran and North Korea wouldn't be helpful against Russia for technological reasons. Third, I think it is just silly to start to think such a defense facility at the moment when the tensions are already running high. It's just too late: America shouldn't have scrapped the project five years ago. Defense facilities like that are meant like a prevention, and when you're already feeling the heat, you need a cure, not prevention. Fourth, I just don't want my region to host a facility that is explicitly hostile to a country whose economy is responsible for 5% of our exports and 5% of our imports, if I ignore other types of ties (that surely exist, too).

Those five years ago (and more), I supported the project mostly as a tool to confirm and strengthen the American-Czech relationships – as a guarantee against some slightly hypothetical, remote, abstract, rare threats, not as a poison harming the relationships with an important enough nearby country on a daily basis. But I just don't want to restart the Cold War. I don't want a facility hostile to Russia to be 30 kilometers from my home. And yes, I would find it rather understandable if Russia decided to bomb the facility as a hostile facility that is too close to its borders – and I just don't want my region to go through a similar hassle (or even a risk of it).

The support and opposition to the radar project would be reorganized a bit if the purpose were redefined. Up to 2009, the opposition would include feminists, environmentalists, communists, and the local village people brainwashed largely by the old-fashioned communists. The rest of the society didn't care and would be OK with the radar even though the polls were showing a split nation if the respondents were asked simple Yes/No questions. But an anti-Russian radar would attract lots of new, pragmatic opposition.

For these reasons and others, Mr McCain, your plan to resuscitate the missile defense system is a bad idea.

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snail feedback (26) :

reader thejollygreenman said...

Sorry Lubos, but who, outside the Washington bubble, take any notice of what McCain has to say.

Obama is to busy with his socialist agenda in the USA to find money to waste on military matters, unless it is to promote the rights of minorities.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks for reminding me, the jolly green man. It's good to see the things in proportion. In Czechia, the McCain idea was the #1 news for a while (now #2 at, for example).

reader Eugene S said...

I'm with Jiry, Luboš. In the wiretapped phone call between Paet and Ashton you had Paet reporting hearsay, which they both agreed should be investigated. That's all it was. It's always good to go to the source and hear what Dr. Bogomolets herself said (thanks Jiri for doing the legwork and finding the verbatim quote).

Here it is in full:

Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and
protesters had been killed in the same manner.

"Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people," she told The Telegraph. "I have no access to those people."

But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into
the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. "No one who just sees the
wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of
weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.

"I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the
heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them
died in my arms.

"Our nation has to ask the question who were the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine. We need good answers on the basis of expertise."

Mr Paet's assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she could share.

"I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact," she said. "Its not correct and its not good to do this. It should be based on fact."

She said the new government in Kiev had assured her a criminal
investigation had begun but that she had not direct contact with it so far.

"They told me they have begun a criminal process and if they say that
I believe them. The police have not given me any information on it."

Her words strike me as eminently reasonable and your suspicion that she said them out of fear is at best conjecture, at worst innuendo.

If you had done minimal research then you would know that high-powered rifles (sniper weapons) do not always leave their "calling cards" in the victims' bodies. A bullet may go through and through and never be found, or it may fragment inside the body so badly that one cannot even be sure of the caliber.

With a victim on the operating table, a surgeon has more important things to take care of than to perform forensic analysis. Even if Dr. B. had given her opinion as to who shot the victims based on her inspection of the wounds, it would be near-worthless.

Leave that task to the people who are qualified (possibly with assistance from third-country investigators).

Jiri is exactly right to say that Russia Today is not a reliable source. I am mystified by your credulousness regarding RT "news", for example the laughable claim that 675,000 Ukrainians had fled the country to seek asylum in Russia.

And quoting the crazy nutball conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (elsewhere)? Really, Luboš?

reader Eugene S said...

This is my comment on Aaronson's weblog:

Eugene S Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Comment #190 March 9th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Scott — You could have announced your interaction ban with Luboš at any time and written one line about it, done.

Instead, you published this blog article in which you reference Luboš in the very first line, guaranteeing that he responds. The style of his responses could not have come as a surprise to you as you were familiar with it already.

Quite frankly, I don’t believe either your professed surprise at the quality of his content, nor do I think the content is as low-quality as you make it out to be; at least your opinion is not shared by all your colleagues commenting here.

So now, while the comments section is still open, you prohibit Luboš from responding to comments by suppressing his responses from appearing.

Looks to me like you are hoping to inflict maximal frustration while insulated from any repercussions. The two of you have very different ways in which you express your aggression, but I can’t say that I find yours superior.

reader Mikael said...

This is what the homepage of Soros says to the topic:

Are you sure that you have strong evidence and not just hate a man because he is so rich?

reader Eugene S said...

Another Disqus glitch? I know there are four replies to my above comment but I cannot get this page to display them (wanted to upvote Luboš' answer).

reader Brian Valentine said...

Yeah, why hate Communists just because they are rich and want to tear down civilization because they are delusional about "global warming"?

He didn't get rich from his global warming delusions, trust me.

Same old thing with all the actors and celebrities sponsoring a communist agenda, go apologize for them too, they're all progressive and they all hate deniers.


reader lukelea said...

He does seem like a simple-minded man in many ways. I read his book a few years back, the main idea for which was something he called reflexivity or something like that. It was an idea utterly without content.

I have a thesis: Ashkenazi activist/intellectuals in the West are remarkable for their political naiveté. It goes all the way back to Marx and his idea of "the withering away of the state."

This naiveté may have its historical explanation in an absence of political experience at the state level, i.e., above the level of the small, independent, self-governing local Jewish communities that existed in Eastern Europe, whose member did not even speak the languages of the host nations in which they lived for centuries. The Torah and the Talmud and the Rabbinic commentaries on the same were the only things they studied. This is just a guess, but the naiveté is there whatever its reason.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Sorry, you're living in a fantasyland, Eugene. If you think that a public interview for a newspapers tells you as much (if not more?!) than the most intimate hacked recording of two of the politicians who operate close to the scene, then you must have lost the marbles.

In the interview, it is self-evident that the woman is lying.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Mikael, here is the transcript of an interview where Soros explicitly says that his father pretended that the boy was Christian and the boy, George Soros, was actively helping the Nazis to confiscate the Jewish property:

reader pickaname said...

I am just afraid that Putin's opposition to the missile defense shield was nothing but a chess game in geopolitics. A military presence in one country means that this country becomes off limit to Russia because of a possible direct confrontation with the U.S. forces would risk WWIII.

It may be unthinkable today to consider some kind of invasion from Russia into the central European area. But look how the world changed in the last 20 years. Who knows what the situation will look like in another 20. Weak U.S., useless NATO, strong and assertive China, and there might be some good opening to march in and reestablish the privileged sphere of influence.

reader nnon said...

Defense systems cannot be directed against anyone because they are DEFENCE systems. Meanwhile, russian missles in Kaliningrad are pointed against some NATO countries. Rational person, in a situation when someone is pointing a gun at him starts to look for a shield.

reader Bob said...

Lets not forget also that Soros is one of the main financiers of the most radical anti-Israeli and pro-Arab NGO's within Israel (the NIF), whose aim is to constantly di-stabilize Israel's democracy.

reader lukelea said...

Eugene: "And linking to the crazy nutball conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (elsewhere)? Really, Luboš?"

Frankly, I've never heard of Alex Jones. Listening to his rant, however, he made a lot of factual assertions and I couldn't help wondering how many of them were really true. Did you bother listening? If so, did you spot an error of fact? What would be your criticism? Or is it just his demeanor that puts you off? He does seem really pissed.

reader Mikael said...

Well, I am not the lawyer of Mr. Soros but as a 14 year old boy Soros could not be and would not be actively responsible for confiscating goods and it is just objectively true that he had to be a spectator. One may also argue that some psychological condition kept the young boy from getting insane. Maybe there are more things hiding but we don't know. The video alone I would still find mostly innocent and telling us more about people in general than about Mr. Soros. The written interview I find quite different because he is not just honestly reporting what the boy was feeling but one would expect some reflection from the adult man and his comparison with an actor in a market appears disturbing for both sides of this comparison.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Luke, I think that I have already given answers to all these questions.

I am not a regular listener of his but I know his name. But I have listened to this whole monologue. I have done the usual checks that I always do when similar serious claims are being made. His assertions unfortunately passed. And his anger, however unpleasant it may sound even to me, seems fully justified to me. To a large extent, I share it. I am actually offended by the people who are *not* angry in a similar way when a disgusting Nazi collaborator asshole is placed at the top of a machinery that tries to paint itself as morally superior while trying to spit on others. It's disgusting and a person who is not upset about this is immoral according to my deeply held values that have been fixed since my childhood and that will never change.

Any more question? Please don't ask the same questions because I would interpret as bullying attempting to change my basic moral views by violence.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Fine but I call your comment as "Nazi apologism".

One may be legally irresponsible for his deeds when he is 14 but as far as I know how people think, he's already a half-completed person and most seriously, he is explicitly saying now that he wouldn't change an iota about what he did.

Sorry, we just don't share any moral values. I think it's right when people like Soros try to control others or influence propaganda that may get to a bulk of a nation, someone else stops them and/or arrests them and/or kills them if necessary.

reader cynholt said...

You're right, Lubos. George Soros is hardly an impartial observer in this conflict. He's a mouthpiece for the Financial Cabal that runs the world using debt as its weapon, co-opting "elected" leaders from Obama to, Merkel, Hollande, Cameron etc., forcing them to obey orders to suck the wealth of the world's productive workers for the benefit of Soros and this cold-blooded Cabal.

Why in the world would any weak country like Ukraine want to be part of the EU while seeing how maltreated the weaker countries are in this Union? Greece is being raped miserably by the Troika under the control of this Cabal in its pursuit to apply the NWO agenda. Spain, Portugal, Ireland are all suffering as well.

This is what Soros wants for Ukraine -- to be looted.

reader lukelea said...

Sorry, Lubos, My question was actually directed at Eugene. I should have made that clearer. Anyway, I appreciated your own take on Mr. Jones. I'm just a learner here, a beginner really.

reader Mikael said...

Dear Lubos,
would you mind telling me what I was writing what may not be compatible with the laws in the Czech Republic?
In fact I agree, that a 14 year old boy can become guilty and evil. For example if he would actively tell the Germans during German occupation where some Jews are hiding I would consider it to be an accurate description. I also said that I find the statements of the adult man quite disturbing although we talk about a rather small passage of a longer interview but still. One main point I also said is that some things a 14 year old can not do even if he wanted to. For example in my world a 14 year old can not buy a house.
I read your blog for quite some time and if I thought we fundamentally disagree about some moral values I wouln't do it or at least not communicate with you.

reader waveaether said...

"Top U.S. diplomat who cares about Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, revealed that the U.S. invested over $5 billion to destabilize the regime in Ukraine and to ignite the 2014 Messy Revolution."
She never made any such statement.

reader waveaether said...

"The unequivocal support of George Soros for "suicidal attacks" makes me think that he could have hired the snipers who were shooting people on both sides himself."

There were no snipers shooting people from both sides. That was a conclusion that the Estonian minister drew from his converstation with the doctor that was based on nothing. The doctor only said that the people killed by snipers were killed the same way. By that she meant that they were all killed by head shots, heart shots, or throat shots. She never said that both police and protesters were killed by the same snipers. The point that she wanted to make was that the snipers were all shooting to kill. That they all had that in common. If you want to see without question who the snipers were in Kiev then look at the YouTube video called:

"Riot Police Berkut and snipers fire at the protesters in Kyiv Ukraine"
A group of about 12 snipers show up at about 9 minutes into the video and join with the riot police. A friend has told me that the riot police are speaking Russian without accent in that film.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I haven't claimed that this is the wording of a statement she said. What I *am* saying is that the statement is true.

reader Manfred said...

One thing not to forget is that such creation of such individual wealth and political influence was only possible by the near zero interest rate policy starting with Clinton/Greenspan.

This was the mother of the hedge funds, the mother of a new class of billionaires and the big transformation that changed the world, ruining savers and ordinary people at the expense of speculators and creditors. Becoming a m/billionaire was mainly a question of having access to this free money.

reader RM said...

I didn't say "proofs", I said programs. In fact I never even used the word, so I'm not sure where that non-sequitur came from. Your observations about RH are saying that because we've searched trillions of roots and found none off the critical line, we have good reason to believe RH is true. Because we've written many programs and none of them have solved the travelling salesman problem in polynomial time, we have good reason to believe it cannot be done.

My point it that I don't see where you actually draw the distinction as to why the first statement is valid but the second is not. Apparently every root counts as a validated test case, but every program does not, and I don't see anywhere that you do anything other than assert this difference from (what appears to me) out of nowhere. My basic question is this: Why do N roots count for something in a way that N computer programs do not?

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