The Return of The Cold War

This post, written by Melissa McEwan, originally appeared on Shakesville

No, seriously.
President Bush and the Czech Republic's leaders on Tuesday defended plans to base part of a U.S. missile shield here despite fierce opposition from Russia.
...Bush, in the Czech Republic as part of an eight-day trip to Europe, spoke as Russia's opposition to the proposed defense system mounts. Russia believes the shield in Eastern Europe is meant for it, and says it has no choice to boost its own military potential in response.
Bush dismissed those concerns. He said he will make his case directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit.
And to reassure us all what a fine statesman he is, Bush then went on to say:
"My message will be Vladimir -- I call him Vladimir -- that you shouldn't fear a missile defense system," Bush said. "As a matter of fact, why don't you cooperate with us on a missile defense system. Why don't you participate with the United States."
He calls him Vladimir. Just another pal o' Dubya's, like German Chancellor Angela "Who I call Angela, by the way" Merkel, (now-former) Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang "I call him, Wolfgang" Schüssel, and President of the European Commission José Manuel "José" Durão Barroso.

Anyway, back to taking us to the brink of Mutually Assured Destruction...
China joined Russia on Tuesday in criticizing the U.S. plan, saying the anti-missile system could set off an arms race. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the proposal "is not conducive to mutual trust of major nations and regional security."
Gee, ya think? What in fucking hell is Bush thinking?! I actually can't believe I'm saying this now, but this could be the stupidest thing that cowboy motherfucker has done yet. Which, ya know, is really saying something.

Let's make it worse, shall we?
Over the weekend, Putin stepped up already incendiary remarks about the U.S. and its intentions with the shield, warning that Moscow could take "retaliatory steps" including aiming nuclear weapons at U.S. military bases in Europe.
Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, called this sort of talk "not helpful."
Still, he, the president and other U.S. officials have sought to cool down the situation -- to no avail. They insist the network is meant to protect NATO allies against a missile launch from Iran, not Russia.
The president's speech in Prague could stoke the fires further.
As part of taking stock of "the freedom agenda," Bush plans to mention Russia as a difficult area, Hadley told reporters traveling Monday with Bush to Europe on Air Force One.
"He'll talk a little bit about the challenge of promoting democracy in countries, big countries in particular, where we have a complex relationship and a number of interests, places like China and Russia," Hadley said.
He said the speech was not aimed at Russia, and that Bush would handle that bit of it "in a very responsible way."
Still, the remarks were not likely to be well-received by Putin.

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