So, Russia is threatening Poland? Why does this all so sound familiar?
Remember this - http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/12/13/rec.bush.abm/ - back when Bush was still young (but apparently post his days of 'youthful indiscretion') and even more arrogant (did I just use the wrong adjective?) than he is these days (I know - sounds crazy, right?), he unceremoniously told the Russians that he was pulling the US out of the ABM Treaty. He derided the 30-year old treaty as little more than an historical document on several occasions.
Brings his treatment of the US Constitution into bas-relief, no?
Any-hoo, were we to journey past 2002, even back unto those long-ago, halcyon days of yore - 1972 - we could witness some wild-eyed liberal by the name of RIchard Nixon, as he signed an agreement with another group of commie, pinko leftists; said agreement having as its underlying intent to weaken the US defense and . . .
Wait - that doesn't sound right.
What is right is that this ABM Treaty was brought to us by Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev and its actual intent was to free each nation - the US and the USSR - from the enormous expense of attempting to bring into life the missile defense systems that each nation had been pursuing for decades - unsuccessfully, as it turned out. It was the advent of Multiple, Independent, Re-entry Vehicles - MIRV - that made previous attempts to create missile defense systems obsolete and so our defensive posture and the Soviets turned toward MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD worked for decades as no matter how insane each nations leaders appeared to be in order to gain power, no one was crazy enough to think they could get away with destroying an enemy with nuclear weapons and still escape retribution.
Until - a man, a plan, a canal - SDI: Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative - or 'Star Wars' to its detractors; Reagan promised to end MAD and provide the US with the ability to nuke half the world, while remaining securely ensconced within the warm, safe arms of space-based lasers.
Believe me: it is a much crazier plan than that last sentence made it appear.
I will not go into all of the reasons why that is to; some nice folks over at Wikipedia have given some interesting background information here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Ballistic_Missile_Treaty - as what I really want to talk about today is Poland (aka, "New Europe").
Russia's invasion of Georgia was their way of announcing to the world that they are sick and tired of US poaching on states to close to the Russian border. Call it a sphere of influence, call it a zone of security, call it what you will: Russia does not appreciate how the US and Europe extended the North Atlantic Treaty Organization right up to the Ural Mountains. Note that Georgia was on the list of nations who have sought entrance into NATO. Note also that Poland has been proceeding ahead with plans to allow the US to install interceptors for a missile shield on their territory. And note, finally, that it was this week that Poland and the US moved to sign the paperwork on that missile shield. At the same time as those discussions were taking place, not only was Russia letting the world see what it thought of Georgia's plans, they also had one of their generals announce - to the world - that the presence of these interceptors made Poland a target for nuclear attack.
Bush began his administration pulling out of the ABMT; he is ending his administration by placing missile interceptors in Poland; and in between, he has launched to wars: one in the former Soviet client state of Afghanistan and the other in the once and future (?) client state of Iraq. Contemporaneously with these two wars, the US has gone from a massive budget surplus to an equally massive budget deficit; the price of oil - for our oil-based economy has risen more than ten-fold from $10 a barrel to $115 a barrel; and Russia has gone from an indebted nation unable to feed its own people into the worlds largest purveyor of oil and natural gas. For God's sake - they have brought the word 'oligarch' back into existence!
And these are the policies that John McCain wants to expand upon?