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February 25, 2008
So, Missile Defenses
Work; Will Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Support It?
we can shoot down a bullet with a bullet. Even better, we can do
it in space. More than 20 years after Ronald Reagan used the Strategic
Defense Initiative to bankrupt the Soviet Union, Star Wars lives.
This past week, when the Navy successfully shot down an intelligence
satellite to prevent its crash to Earth along with a 1,000-ton toxic
fuel tank, the U.S. did much more than prevent a combustible thump on
the ground. We provided the most convincing evidence yet – though far
from the first – that missile defense technology can indeed work.
But if that’s not enough to convince you – blowing up an object the size
of a school bus, traveling around the earth at 17,000 miles per hour
within a window of 30 seconds – here’s even more convincing proof: The
Chinese and the Russians are beside themselves.
The Russians have been upset for years about the prospect that we would
install missile defenses in Eastern Europe – their old KGB playground –
and how can you blame them? The original Reagan-era missile defense
concept goaded their communist predecessor to defense-spend itself out
we can actually stop their missiles from hitting us, it would put them
at a strategic disadvantage. And this is supposed to trouble us because
. . . ? I suppose it’s because we could really use their help pressuring
Iran to back off its nuclear ambitions, and they’ve been oh so helpful
to date, but let’s consider the logic here:
don’t want Iran to have nukes because we don’t want to deal with the
nuclear threat, so let’s allow the Russians to pose a nuclear threat to
us. Yep, sign me up for that logic.
for the Chinese, they’re already miffed because we have missile defenses
in Japan, which are designed to stop an attack not only from them, but
from their buddy Kim Jong Il in North Korea – just in case that goodwill
performance of the New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang doesn’t convince
the sadistic thug to embrace America the Beautiful.
But if the Chinese and the Russians are upset, just imagine the
heartbreak of the American left. They’ve been insisting since the 1980s
that missile defense would be prohibitively expensive and couldn’t
possibly work. Back in those days, Michael Dukakis and Al Gore called it
a fantasy. They cited large numbers of scientists who said it couldn’t
possibly work. (And we all know that when Al Gore cites scientists’
predictions about the future, he’s never wrong.)
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted to transfer funding away
from missile defense programs as recently as 2005. Hillary criticized
President Bush’s decision in 2001 to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic
Missile treaty, which helped make America’s subsequent progress on
missile defenses possible.
test after test has demonstrated that the technology can indeed work,
it’s getting as hard for Democrats to insist otherwise as it is for them
to pretend the surge in Iraq isn’t working. (They do try, though. Senate
Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin recently declared the
recent successful tests unimpressive.)
And now they complain that U.S. missile defense capabilities will upset
our relations with the Chinese and the Russians.
wonder. Do you suppose that somewhere in China and Russia, there are
Carl Levin equivalents protesting that their governments’ desire to be
able to hit us with a missile might upset their relations with us, and
that maybe they shouldn’t do it for that reason?
Didn’t think so.
How about this, then? You don’t suppose, do you, the left’s real problem
with missile defense is a belief that the United States has no moral
right to attain a strategic military advantage over the rest of the
That would explain a lot about why they are so critical of our military
actions around the world, especially those that actually serve our
Just think how the U.S. could advance its own interests – economic,
political and strategic – if no one could reasonably hope to shoot a
missile at us. Just think how we could mitigate the threat posed by
rogue nuclear nations like North Korea and maybe soon Iran.
could put us in the most advantageous strategic position we have ever
enjoyed. Maybe that’s what bothers the left. Of course, if Barack Obama
and Hillary Clinton want to convince the electorate that they care about
America’s security and strategic positioning, they could hail this most
recent success and pledge their support to continue funding the program.
Don’t hold your breath.
© 2008 North Star
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