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Thursday, Sep 17, 2009, 12:49 pm

Barack Goes Un-Ballistic

By Pete Karman
Zeus only knows how many zillions of our tax tributes have already been spent on the European Space Defense, whose abortion was announced today by the Obama Administration.

If you paid attention, you’ll know that the ESD was supposed to be an array of radars and missiles placed by the Pentagon in Poland and the Czech Republic to protect against Iranian rocket raids on northern Europe, particularly Scotland, Ireland and Iceland.

Why we should pay for such items was never noted? Likewise ignored was why Iran, which hasn’t attacked anyone in 250 years, would want to zap those countries. Of course, those things don't have to be explained or justified in our body politic. Our defense contractors have long since indoctrinated us into the illogic that our designated enemies are eager to commit evil everywhere and under every circumstance, thus necessitating our “full spectrum” response everywhere and anytime--regardless, of course, of the cost. It’s the same as the burglar alarm sales rep insisting that you buy one for every closet, cupboard and cranny to ensure “total security.”

To be sure, those in the know knew that the ESD was really aimed at bullying the Russkies, who saw those missiles as more of a threat to St. Petersburg than a deterrent to Persia, while at the same time greasing the Poles, cashing the Czechs, and engorging Lockheed and its like.

So, Obama has put the ESD out of its misery. Maybe he even got some concession from Moscow for his troubles. No doubt, the good folks of Donegal and Reykjavic will resume shivvering in their splendid sweaters from renewed Iran-o-phobia.

As I read the early indications, the right people are rollicking and the wrong ones are roiling at the decision. So I guess our smart president has done something smart for a change. He says he favors an alternate Euro defense against the peaceable Persians using smaller missiles. Let’s hope that's just balderdash to hush up the losers. I give him a thumbs up, finally.

Pete Karman began working in journalism in 1957 at the awful New York Daily Mirror, where he wrote the first review of Bob Dylan for a New York paper. He lost that job after illegally traveling to Cuba (the rag failed shortly after he got the boot). Karman has reported and edited for various trade and trade union blats and worked as a copywriter. He was happy being a flack for Air France, but not as happy as being an on-and-off In These Times editor and contributor since 1977.

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