“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Poland knows it is time to choose a side. Russia notices.

Poland is moving forward to support the US shield against Russia. Politics does not work in a vacuum. Russia has seen how ex-client states have been permanently turned against them. If Russia looks at the rest of her borders, she notices a great piece of real estate at her belly, Iran. You have to ask yourself, "why would Russia ever want Iran and the US to settle their differences?"

Poland needs U.S. base to cede from Russian influence - PM
16:03 | 20/ 02/ 2007

WARSAW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) -
The deployment of a U.S. anti-missile base in Poland will guarantee that Warsaw will no longer be under Russia's sphere of influence, the Polish prime minister said Tuesday.

The governments of Poland and the Czech Republic reaffirmed Monday their readiness to allow the United States to base elements of its missile shield on their territories.

"We are talking about the status of Poland and about Russia's hopes that Poland will once again come under its [Moscow's] sphere of influence," Jaroslaw Kaczynski said.

The premier said such a situation could involve exercising influence on Poland, exerting direct pressure on it, or creating a situation in which dealing with Moscow becomes Poland's only recourse.

"But following the deployment of a missile defense base here, the chances of such undue influence arising will be greatly reduced for at least several decades," Kaczynsky said.

Washington plans to install a radar system in the Czech Republic and to deploy anti-ballistic missiles in Poland to counter an alleged threat from Iran and North Korea.
entire article here


  1. Some of you may have noticed me editing as I was posting...oops!

  2. Interesting...

    Could this turn into a "Polish Missle Crisis"? - from Russia's point of view?

    It's about time we pushed our presence there.

  3. Funny thing, it is the Russians, not the Iranians, that promise to add the the facilities in Poland to their targeting list.

    But then who thinks that the Russians will be launching missiles, soon.

    The Iranians, though, cannot even impact Poland, let alone shoot over it, Serbia either for that matter, with their missiles.

    If the true reason for these facilities was the Iranian threat, we'd place 'em in Bosnia, with the existing NATO & US contingents there. Missiles from Iran, if capable, would overfly the Balkans, not Poland.

    As rufus said, the antimissile intercept capacity works best nearest the lift phase.

    Where in Russia are their ICBMs based? Are they clustered, geographicly, regionalized or spread evenly across the country?

  4. Their tests facilities are at Plesetsk, Tyuratam ( Baikonur) and Kapustin yar, but they rely on mobile units on truck and rail and of course submarine. I have no idea what they have siloed, but with the range and guidance system, they have a lot of territory. They would not use ICBM's against Europe, that would be IRBM and I would assume most of them are mobile.

  5. Strike with missiles first and roll to the French coast - just like years ago.

    With all the reporting you've done on Putin, Deuce, he could be the guy to actually do it.

    Especially if he sees U.S. as weak.

  6. Polands location in central Europe puts it in the line of flight between France, Germany, Spain direct to Russia.

    Iran, on southern flank, is not even close to a Polish flight path.

    Given Russian mobility and the situation with regards Belarus, the Russian lift stage could be deployed on the Polish border.

    The Polish would not tweak the Bear's nose, not because they were afraid of Abracadbra and missiles and warheads he may have someday.

    The threats to Poland, that the Polish see, are much closer to home.

  7. This becomes a view in a new light, especially when you hear pundits talk about removing all of our Troops from Europe.

    Can anybody say, triple the size of our military?

  8. Desert Rat said, Funny thing, it is the Russians, not the Iranians, that promise to add the the facilities in Poland to their targeting list.

    It's international verbal judo. Sweet innocent Uncle Sam just wants to protect Poland from meanies with a shield, and what does Russia do? They promise to target that shield.

    As rufus said, the antimissile intercept capacity works best nearest the lift phase.

    Like...uh...Iraq? Betcha we have a few batteries there, but it's not for public consumption. You don't give your disposition to the enemy.

  9. The Patriots are deployeed to Iraq, that's public knowledge.

    That's the best deployable system we have and it's in Theater.

    The Navy could have the System being tested in the Pacific, in the Med, if the Iranians are a real threat, it'd be there. If it's not in the Med, the Iranians are not considered a real threat.

    If the Russians were to roll West, at the same tiime the Iranians attacked Camps Anaconda, Fallujah & Baghdad with their offensive missile capacity and the Chinese squeezed Formosa and the energy infrastructure in Mexico, Panama & the US was targeted by guerillas. ...

    It'd really be a Long War, then.
    It's not gonna happen, but....

  10. Poland is on no flight path from either Iran or Pakistan to the US.

    No where close, rufus.
    Get out a globe, check an atlas, google maps ...

    On FOX, right now, they talking protecting the US eastern seaboard.
    From Russia. It's part of the Missile Shield you tout.

    It's about capacity, rufus, the Iranians have none, that can reach US.
    The Pakistani have an 800km range with their "State of the Art" NorK missile capacity. Same as Iran.

  11. There is no evidence that any Islamic leader is prepared to martyr himself. There is no evidence that Iran is prepared to take on any national state beyond a defensive role. Iran was viciously provoked by Iraq. When attacked Iran fights back with a war of attrition. That must be fought on the ground. In 1986-1987, Iran went on the offensive against Iraq at Basra. That cost the Iraqis 20,000 casualties. Iran lost more, and never was able to dominate Iraq.

    And it was all about dominance in the area. Iran is more dominant today because of the Iraq war than it was back in 1988.

    How many Iranian casualties were used to achieve the current goal of dominating the gulf?

    Who helped Iran do it? The question should be, who handed it to them? Not anyone screaming "Allah Akbar".

  12. I wonder how much Prince Bandar had to do with getting Pakistan & Turkey to committ troops to the Sunni Bloc of Nations.

    (AKI) - (Syed Saleem Shahzad) - Pakistan will play a pivotal role in a Saudi-devised strategy to build a strong Sunni block to counter the perceived growing influence in the Middle East of Shiites led by Iran, diplomatic sources in Islamabad have told Adnkronos International (AKI) . The strategy includes the creation of a multinational Muslim peacekeeping force comprising troops from core Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) member states, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonimity. Also central to the initiative is a policy of rapprochement with Israel aiming to resolve the Palestinian issue, through United States mediation. Foreign ministers from the core OIC nations - Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Malaysia - will meet in Islamabad next month to agree on a plan aimed at the peaceful and speedy resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the sources told AKI. Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who has made overtures to Israel would lead efforts to devise a strategy bringing Arab nations and the Jewish state to the negotiating table, the sources said. That meeting will be followed by a summit hosted by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Saudi Arabia focusing on the broader issues involve in the creation of the "Sunni Block", ..."

    Go Bandar Go!!!

  13. "... have alarmed Saudi Arabia, the dominant Sunni power in the region, prompting it to seek the support of other mostly Sunni states to rally against the emergence of Iran. Key to the Saudi strategy has been the co-option of Pakistan, the Muslim world's only nuclear power and with the largest professional army. Observers believe that Musharraf's recent tour of five Arab capitals and 4 other Muslim nations, indicated Islamabad's willlingness to contribute to Riyadh's plan. Currently only three of 21 Arab nations recognise Israel -Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania. In 2002 Saudi Arabia unveiled a plan offering Israel diplomatic relations with the other 18 Arab nations if the Jewish state accepts the borders it had in 1967 - a move which would require withdrawing from the West Bank and the Golan Heights - and cede this land to a new Palestinian state.

    Just as was proposed in the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group's reccomendations, which I heard Mr Bush say, to paraphrase, just the other day, had a "lot to offer".

  14. You got to love these Eastern Europeans:

    WARSAW (Reuters) - The Czech Republic said on Tuesday it would not be intimidated by Russia over plans to site parts of a U.S. missile defense system on its territory and said attempts at "blackmail" by Moscow would backfire.

    Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said threats by Russian officials over the plans, which would involve placing a radar system on Czech land and a missile battery in Poland, would only make Czechs more determined to defend themselves.

    Russia's strategic forces commander, General Nikolai Solovtsov, said on Monday that Russia would be capable of firing missiles at the Czech Republic and Poland if the ex-communist states agreed to host the U.S. defense system.

    He said any decision to fire would have to be made by the Kremlin, but that militarily it was possible to hit targets in both countries.

    "The Czechs will now think the shield is even more necessary," Schwarzenberg told Reuters on the sidelines of a business conference in Warsaw.

    "We have quite an experience with Russians. You have to make clear to them you won't succumb to blackmail. Once you give in to blackmail, there's no going back. We have to be strong."

  15. Now that would be a real change of course.
    As promised.

    Mr Bush has always been a man of his word. One reason why he does not "communicate" well.
    If he cannot tell the truth, he does not lie, he stands silent.
    He does not "spin" well.

    But when he does say something, I still think he means it.
    Put the "Sunni Block" forces in the Gaza and Golan as "Peacekeepers".
    Mr Olmert would agree to Turks, maybe Pakis.

    They'd work in Ramadi, also.

    The cavalry is forming up, finally?
    Relief in sight!
    Wahabbists to the rescue!?!?

  16. 2164th

    "There is no evidence that Iran is prepared to take on any national state beyond a defensive role?"

    Could you educate me on how Lebanon and Gaza fits within this 'defensive' paradigm?

  17. Elijah, they do it by proxy. I should have been more clear that I had in mind on a national basis. That is their M.O. That is a two way street. It can be repaid in kind. It is smarter and more effective than group punishment which never works unless you kill the entire group.

    Israel taught her neighbors that they cannot win a nation state war with Israel. Iran sponsors terrorism against Israel, because it is far less costly to Iran. The US claimed that Iraq was a state sponsor of terror and decided to fight a conventional war agaisnt Iraq.

    That war is not going so well. There are lessons to be learned, and doing more of the same is not what I had in mind.

  18. Don't forget the revolution...

    Iran currently utilizes a proxy methodology, mainly as a function of its non-nuclear (perhaps some) status.

    Someone explain the view that Iran is not an imperialist nation (Lebanon, Iraq?, influence in the territories). Declining energy reserves ensure that Iran be imperialist in order to support their fragile social structure.
    Why do you think the Sunni countries are so worried?

    With nuclear weapons, Iran is capable of a direct methodology for influence/control of not only Persian Gulf territory and energy supplies, but also Caspian Sea territories and energy supplies.

    ...The principal energy resources in the Caspian Region are to be found in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. All three states are essentially landlocked, the Caspian sea being an inland sea with no connection to the oceans. As a result, a major aspect of the international competition over the exploitation of these resources is the struggle over which route to take to the sea and the global market. There are a number of options, each with their own advocates and each reflecting rival agendas.

    ..."Iran's interests are acquiring the Caspian and Central Asian oil to the Gulf and establish close political and economic ties with the region.

    First, Iran has a desperate need for foreign exchange and would benefit from oil and gas transit fees.

    Second, with oil and gas transit, Iran would be in a better position to develop trade with the region. Central Asia could eventually become an important market for Iranian manufactured goods. In turn the combination of oil and gas transit and trade could establish Iran as regional power in Central Asia.

    Third, with oil transiting from Central Asia to Iranian Gulf ports, Iran would strengthen its position in the Gulf, essentially in relation to Saudi-Arabia, potentially also in relation to Iraq. Emerging as a Central Asian power would also reinforce Iran's position in relation to the Gulf neighbours."

    The war is not going so well.

    For Iran?

    They only have to contend with the Anglos, Hebrews, and Sunnis

    In addition to Eastern Europe, Putin's recent comments may partly result from his view that the U.S.
    is detaching Central Asia and the Caucasus from Russian domination.

  19. The view, such as it is, that Iran is not imperialist comes from the transNational basis of the Mohammedan faith.

    They are attempting to rebuild the transNational Caliphate, just a different one than Osama and his Wahabbist allies.

    No, it does not look like the Iranians are winning, but they are not losing. Much like US.

    The only ones to come out ahead, the Wahabbists of the new "Sunni Block". The Pakistani Army is an acknowledged Peacekeeper supplier, world wide. The Turks are NATO capable. All led by the King of Sauudi Arabia.
    Fronting for the King and the President of the US, Prince Bandar.

    Gotta love it.
    Played like fiddles.

    All around.

  20. We empower the Shia in Iraq.
    While backing the formation of a Sunni Block.

    Two Caliphates in competition.

    It was not the Public Plan, it's a plan Christopher Hitchens deplores, but it's a Plan none the less. A Change of Course, at least.

    Demilitarize the Golan, well remilitarize it, with a nuetral shade of Mohammedan Green.

    Insert Pakistanis into Anbar and Golan. Forget about Warizistan.

    The US gets Peace with Honor.
    The Wahabbists win.

  21. The future meltdown in Iraq, not the responsibility of the US, but Iran and the "SB".

    Wraps up sides in Lebanon, as well.

  22. The Sunni bloc is far from worriless.

    A defanged Iran (non-nuclear) would ensure that running proxy Sunni/Shia wars do not become nuclear wars.

    The Pakis...
    Well... > 1 billion Hindus as a rising power to the east

    ISI better get those train bombings under control or their gaze may be turning east

  23. ...the U.S. is detaching Central Asia and the Caucasus from Russian domination.

    That's exactly how the Russians see it. They are right.