Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Russia threatens little Poland with nukes -- really?

So, do you believe that the Cold War is coming back, on top of all the other problems?

A Russian general warns Poland that it risks an attack, even one with a tactical nuclear weapon, by agreeing to a deal with the US to host ten interceptor missiles, along with another future battery.

Poland says that the intention is to protect the new Eastern Europe from Al Qaeda and Iran, not just Russia.

But Russia has so many of the loose nukes that Sam Nunn and Joe Lieberman want to collect and secure.

One of the most disturbing accounts (“Poland advances defense deal; Russia puts heat on Ukraine”) was in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Aug. 19, link here.

I visited Poland for two days in May 1999, taking the night train to Krakow from Berlin, having to “bribe” the conductor to get a bunk. I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, then took the train the next day to Warsaw, which still looked rather plain. From the train I could see farmers thrashing hay by hand. Poland is still one of the most socially conservative countries in Europe. Yet, even before the fall of Communism, Krzysztof Kieslowski made his famous “Decalogue” of films about the moral issues that arise in a Warsaw apartment house.

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