The Thousand-Mile Doorstep

There is much one could say about this claim by L.A. Times columnist Rosa Brooks:

Th[e] U.S. also insisted this summer on the deployment of an almost certainly useless missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, virtually on Moscow's doorstep.

I'll just focus on this: How virtual is that doorstep? Here's how far the eastern-most big city of the Czech Republic is from the Russian capital:

That's 1,000 miles. The Czechs aren't even neighbors of any of mainland Russia's neighbors. If 1,000 miles is the new "doorstep," then Russia's on the doorstep of the United States, more than half of Europe, much of Asia, and almost all of the Middle East. Run for your lives!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Elemenope||

    It's very virtual.

    Like, whoa.

  • TallDave||

    Heh, remember our useless missile defense system that scared the Soviet Union to death?

  • Elemenope||

    The real question is whether they are close enough to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

  • ||

    Doorstep not withstanding, missile defense is completely useless.

  • Sandy||

    Woohoo! We can still deploy to Africa and South America to protect our...our...

    Huh.

  • Derek Ashworth||

    Silly Warren, the Aegis missile defense system has proved perfectly capable of shooting down all sorts of Slim Pickens-navigated munitions!

  • Kolohe||

    Russia's on the doorstep of the United States,

    This may be part of the joke, but the Bering Strait is about 50 miles wide. And there's some islands in the middle that make the closest distance between US and Russian territory about 25 miles.

  • ||

    How far is Cuba from DC?

  • Dello||

    "If 1,000 miles is the new "doorstep," then Russia's on the doorstep of the United States, more than half of Europe, much of Asia, and almost all of the Middle East. Run for your lives!"

    Not to take the edge off the joke, but Russia was literally on the doorstep of Georgia a week ago and...Run for your lives!

  • ||

    "If 1,000 miles is the new "doorstep," then Russia's on the doorstep of the United States, more than half of Europe, much of Asia, and almost all of the Middle East. Run for your lives!"

    You are coming to understand. But remember Russia doesn't consider Belarus or Ukraine to be "real" countries. When the Russians/Soviets pulled the armies out of Eastern Europe it was with the understanding that NATO armies would not take their places. The oil money is letting them rebuild the army and they are ready to revenge any liberties real or imagined that were taken when they were weak.

  • ||

    This is why anti-war types drive me nuts. I am against the Iraq war, and all prior wars and military engagements of the last sixty years. I think Bush is a dolt. But I refuse to put myself into the anti-war camp because they are filled with dolts like Ms. Brooks. And she's one of the sane ones!

  • ||

    "If 1,000 miles is the new "doorstep," then Russia's on the doorstep of the United States, more than half of Europe, much of Asia, and almost all of the Middle East. Run for your lives!"

    I'm just waiting for the Alaskans to come in here and ream Welch a new one. I guess we need some more wars, because, as John Stewart repeated recently, "war is just God's way of teaching Americans geography."

  • ||

    In all fairness:

    A) When the author says "Moscow" he probably means Russia in general; that is, a lot of people say "Washington" to represent the whole of the United States. It's a colorful way of speaking.

    and

    B) It's not really all that egregious to say that a missile defense system is at "one's [metaphorical] doorstep" when the range of the missiles likely exceeds the 1,000 mile radius by a significant number.

  • ||

    B) It's not really all that egregious to say that a missile defense system is at "one's [metaphorical] doorstep" when the range of the missiles likely exceeds the 1,000 mile radius by a significant number.

    Yeah, if you're trying to launch a nuke with a range of 6 or 7k miles, 1k miles is pretty close.

    Aside from that, why quibble over what a 'doorstep' is when this whole system is stupid. The issue isn't where it should be, but why we should have it at all.

  • Kolohe||

    A) When the author says "Moscow" he probably means Russia in general; that is, a lot of people say "Washington" to represent the whole of the United States. It's a colorful way of speaking.

    But to be a little contrarian, Moscow is, unlike DC, also the economic and cultural capital of Russia, and plays the part of the 'heartland'. It's their NYC, Washington, LA, plus a little bit of Iowa, all rolled into one. So, in more ways than just the seat of govt, Moscow can be interchangable for 'Russia.'

  • Matt Welch||

    It's not really all that egregious to say that a missile defense system is at "one's [metaphorical] doorstep" when the range of the missiles likely exceeds the 1,000 mile radius by a significant number.

    If that's the case, then Russia's interceptor missiles at Skhodnya are on the doorstep of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, and Hungary, for starters.

  • cbmclean||

    A) When the author says "Moscow" he probably means Russia in general; that is, a lot of people say "Washington" to represent the whole of the United States. It's a colorful way of speaking.

    And for those of us who had AP Lit it's called
    Synecdoche

  • ||

    Well, I just hope all the countries within this first-strike "doorstep" are picking up the majority of the bill to install this thing. I'm sure they are, right?

  • ||

    If that's the case, then Russia's interceptor missiles at Skhodnya are on the doorstep of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, and Hungary, for starters.

    Which demonstrates nothing except that Russia is within 1,000 miles of those countries. US missiles in south Texas would be within 1,000 miles of several countries, but that wouldn't be particularly noteworthy, would it? US missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic are another story, doncha think?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Isn't the question "How far is the Polish border from the Russian one?" Looks like about 500 miles, and a lot closer to Russia than Iran, which is supposedly the nation we're worried about. If Russia was setting up an anti-missile system in Venezuela, I think the U.S. might be perturbed. And since this missile system doesn't work, why are we deploying it in the first place?

  • ||

    Doorstep not withstanding, missile defense is completely useless.



    No it isn't.

    Strap a nuke on a rocket to intercept, and it was very viable back in the 1960s, let alone with todays technology.

    Moscow to this day has a missile defense system that uses tactical warheads to intercept incoming missiles.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-135_anti-ballistic_missile_system
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Missile_Defense#Sentinel_Program
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIM-49A_Spartan

    The trouble with missile defense during the Cold War was:

    1. Deploying such a system might provoke the Soviets to preemptively attack before the whole system was operational.

    2. It would create an arms race where the Soviets would simply build even more missiles to counteract whatever defense capability we had.

    3. It could eliminate the concept of mutually assured destruction, thus encouraging a nuclear war.

    However, if you are talking about defending against a handful of missiles from a less developed country, it is completely viable. The factors that made it inviable during the Cold War don't apply.

    If missile defense was a joke, the enemies of the U.S. wouldn't be so dead set against the U.S. building a missile defense system. They would be happy to see the U.S. piss away billions on a non-functional system.

    Now, if you want to debate that it is cheaper to be neutral and not piss off other countries so bad that they would want to nuke us, than it would be to build a missile shield I might agree with you. But the people who say "the missile shield won't work" are dead wrong - Even in the 1960s there wasn't much question of getting a reasonable system working.

    And since this missile system doesn't work, why are we deploying it in the first place?



    If the system doesn't work, why is Russia so dead set against it?

  • ||

    People are just worrying over nothing.

    I say we make a Grand Pact with Putin : He helps us destroy radical Islam (his methods would be mroe effective than ours), and we let him bully Europe. Let Europe beg us to protect them, so we can turn them down.

    I think that is a good strategy for America.

  • Matt Welch||

    Which demonstrates nothing except that Russia is within 1,000 miles of those countries.

    No, it demonstrates that by The Angry Optimist's non-egregious definition of "doorstep," Russia has installed their interceptor missiles on the doorstep of well over a dozen countries.

    US missiles in south Texas would be within 1,000 miles of several countries, but that wouldn't be particularly noteworthy, would it?

    Quite right.

    US missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic are another story, doncha think?

    Poland the Czech Republic are part of the NATO military alliance. One of the things that military alliances are prone to do is share weaponry. Russia might not like the fact that the sovereign countries no longer under its thumb have elected to join a consensus-based military alliance whose largest member is the United States, but those aren't any kind of grounds to block a country from choosing to install defensive, non-nuclear missiles on its soil, I reckon.

  • Steve||

    A limited missile defense has the added feature that it should strengthen nonproliferation efforts by reducing the value of small missile programs like those most likely to be created by countries like North Korea or Iran. Why endure the expense of development and the hassle of counter proliferation measures, perhaps including sanctions, if the end result is a system with little and probably no credibility.

  • Matt Welch||

    If Russia was setting up an anti-missile system in Venezuela, I think the U.S. might be perturbed.

    I, for one, would be ecstatic. If crappy autocrats want to waste their petro-dollars on defending against a non-existent threat, godspeed.

  • ||

    Th[e] U.S. also insisted this summer on the deployment of an almost certainly useless missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic,

    Would that more useless than the missle defense system Russia sold Syria and Iran?

  • Sam||

    At least the media is consistent in their excuse making for America's enemies. It doesn't matter who the enemy is, just as long as they are anti-American.

  • ||

    Did Professor Brooks ever take European history, did she not realize what happened in Czechoslovakia about 60 years ago, and what happened 20 years later. Why the Cold War began effectively with that event, not the Berlin stranglehold some monthes later.

  • Syd||

    Alan Vanneman | August 14, 2008, 11:06pm | #
    Isn't the question "How far is the Polish border from the Russian one?" Looks like about 500 miles, and a lot closer to Russia than Iran, which is supposedly the nation we're worried about. If Russia was setting up an anti-missile system in Venezuela, I think the U.S. might be perturbed. And since this missile system doesn't work, why are we deploying it in the first place?


    O miles. The Kaliningrad Oblast, the area north of Poland and southwest of Lithuania, is part of Russia.

  • Steve||

    For those who are interested. The distance from Tabriz to Krakow is about 1500 miles (2,400 km). The Shahab 4 has a reported range of 2000 km. However, Krakow is within the reported range of Iranian knockoffs of NoKo designs with reported performance characteristics of the Russian SS5. The point being that the Iranians are getting there. And rather obviously, the missile defense dome extends outward from its placement toward Iran. Though it should be obvious, it should also be said that a limited defense can be effective again accidental launches.

  • ||

    Why is it that we're supposed to worry about what Russia or Iran or Venezuela will think if we do this, but they don't have to worry about what our response will be to Russia's invasion of Georgia, which hasn't in my memory started any wars in the region, used chemical weapons against its neighbors or its own citizens or broken any cease-fire agreements with the U.N.?

  • Alfons O\'Finnegan||

    The moronic "anti-war" cabal is not really against war. They're just ON THE OTHER SIDE! Watch them jump all over each other trying to defend Russia's invasion of a sovereign country--a true democracy no less. Gosh, it's almost like they prefer dictatorships to democracies?

  • ||

    Poland the Czech Republic are part of the NATO military alliance. One of the things that military alliances are prone to do is share weaponry. Russia might not like the fact that the sovereign countries no longer under its thumb have elected to join a consensus-based military alliance whose largest member is the United States, but those aren't any kind of grounds to block a country from choosing to install defensive, non-nuclear missiles on its soil, I reckon.

    You don't get it, Matt. NATO expansion makes Russia feel bad. When Russia feels bad, they lash out. So whatever happens is our fault.

  • ||

    Gee, if the missile defense system is worthless, what's the problem?

  • Warty||

    virtual joe | August 15, 2008, 12:01am | #
    Poland the Czech Republic are part of the NATO military alliance. One of the things that military alliances are prone to do is share weaponry. Russia might not like the fact that the sovereign countries no longer under its thumb have elected to join a consensus-based military alliance whose largest member is the United States, but those aren't any kind of grounds to block a country from choosing to install defensive, non-nuclear missiles on its soil, I reckon.

    You don't get it, Matt. NATO expansion makes Russia feel bad. When Russia feels bad, they lash out. So whatever happens is our fault.


    2/10

  • ||


    cbmclean | August 14, 2008, 10:56pm | #

    A) When the author says "Moscow" ...

    And for those of us who had AP Lit it's called
    Synecdoche



    First they came for our synecdoches...

  • Elemenope||

    First they came for our synecdoches...

    ...and I didn't speak up because I was merely an undifferentiated metonym.

  • Warmongering Lunatic||

    Well, I just hope all the countries within this first-strike "doorstep" are picking up the majority of the bill to install this thing. I'm sure they are, right?

    The system, as originally designed, was entirely incapable of defending any site in Europe; it was entirely, 100%, developed to defend the U.S., and the U.S. alone. Modifications to make it secondarily capable of defending targets in Europe were a condition on which Poland and the Czech Republic allowed us to site the system in their countries.

    If the Poles or the Czechs want to set up a system to defend their countries on U.S. soil, I'd expect them to bear the cost and also take steps to make it worth our while to host the system. Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you be rather upset if we were expected to host a system designed solely to protect Poland and pay for it, too?

  • virtual joe||

    That's fair, Warty. I haven't got the smugness and condescension down yet. I'll do better next time.

  • Baxter Greene||

    U.S. to Russia: How does a missile defense system in Poland sound?
    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/14/us-to-russia-how-does-a-missile-defense-system-in-poland-sound/


    A modest system - just 10 missiles in all - and the Poles appear to get more from it than we do, but the message is clear. Flag this story, because the left will surely be pointing back to it as a provocation that simply impelled Russia to act when Putin finally gets around to making his move on Ukraine or Latvia or whoever's next on the list.


    I THINK THIS PART HAS MORE TO DO WITH THE IMPORTANCE
    OF THE POLISH MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM THAN WHETHER IT WILL ACTUALLY DETER RUSSIA.


    He said the deal also includes a "mutual commitment" between the two nations to come to each other's assistance "in case of trouble."

    SINCE THE UN IS ABSOLUTELY USELESS AND THE SAME PEOPLE THAT ARE CONSTANTLY CALLING AMERICA THE "WARMONGERING IMPERIALISTIC BULLIES" OF THE WORLD ARE THE SAME PEOPLE SITTING ON THEIR BUTTS WAITING FOR AMERICA TO TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM,...YOU KNOW...THE ANTI-WAR MORALIST THAT ARE CONSTANTLY SENDING MEN AND WOMEN OFF TO WAR WHEN IT SUITS THEIR AGENDA,COUNTRIES LIKE POLAND ARE GOING TO MAKE THEIR OWN AGREEMENTS LIKE THIS ONE.
    THE MISSILE DEFENSE IS AN AGREEMENT FOR UNITY AGAINST SOME OF THE WORLD'S REAL ENEMIES OF FREEDOM,LIKE RUSSIA AND IRAN.

  • ||

    The physical distance isn't what she's talking about, and it isn't what's troubling. Poland and the Czech Republic are on Russia's doorstop if you refuse to accept the idea that Lithuania, Belarus, the and Ukraine are legitimate, independent countries, and you consider Czechoslovakia one country. It sounds like somebody misses the old Soviet Union. I think some of the hippie crowd would like to pretend that communism didn't lose the cold war.

  • ||

    I think some of the hippie crowd would like to pretend that communism didn't lose the cold war.

    ...those were the days...

  • ||

    Russia borders Poland, you know. Kaliningrad is still Russia.

  • Mike||

    To those clowns claiming the missile system won't work...

    1. You can watch a video of it working here:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/21/video-navy-gives-rogue-satellite-the-full-death-star-treatment/

    2. If it doesn't work, why are the Russians so upset about it? I'm guessing they know a little more about the system's capabilities than a bunch of KosKids.

  • Untermensch||

    This may be part of the joke, but the Bering Strait is about 50 miles wide. And there's some islands in the middle that make the closest distance between US and Russian territory about 25 miles.



    Actually there is well less than a mile between Big Diomede Island (Russia) and Little Diomede Island (Alaska).

  • QSL||

    I don't agree with the idea of building missile defense systems.

    However, I've often wondered why defense systems such as these are often considered "provocative" and "threatening". If my next-door neighbor buys the most advanced security system for their house, why should I care if I supposedly have no plans to burglarize their home?

  • ||

    I'm more incensed by the 'useless missile system" comment. Funny, the Georgians managed to knock half a dozen Russian planes out of the sky with decades old systems that the Russian's themselves designed. One could only imagine what some technology designed recently would be capable of.

    Then again, actual understanding of weapon technology has never been an MSM strongpoint. Neither has geography is appears as well.

  • Antiglobalist||

    Missile system is Reagan II: make Russian nukes useless, force another arms race, thus bankrupt the clueless Russians yet again.

  • Elemenope||

    why should I care if I supposedly have no plans to burglarize their home?

    Because nations are not people, and not to put too fine a point on it, but under certain circumstances the US and Russia both have plans to "burglarize" each other.

  • ||

    "However, I've often wondered why defense systems such as these are often considered "provocative" and "threatening"."

    What Elemenope said, plus the fact that such a system provides great cover for an aggressor (you can't hit back at us). I'm not saying that's the "real purpose" of the missile shield, I'm just saying I can understand the logic that sees it as a threat.

  • Elemenope||

    Not to mention the fact that the illegality of their development and deployment was explicated in TREATIES!!!

    I'd be shitting myself if my tetchy and mercurial neighbor with the big nuclear arsenal thought it was appropriate to abrogate a duly negotiated treaty just for kicks.

    Wouldn't you?

  • Tym||

    Strap a nuke on a rocket to intercept, and it was very viable back in the 1960s, let alone with todays technology.

    That was done in the 50's with the genie missle:

    http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/r-2.html

  • Cliff||

    I would just like to point out that Russia could easily just send a greater number of missiles than we have counter missiles as 10 counter missiles is a very small number and the idea that we could use this system against a Russian first strike is ridiculous. It's obviously to shoot down Iranian missiles, missiles shot by rogue commanders, or accidental shots.

  • ed||

    Doorstep not withstanding, missile defense is completely useless

    Ah, so that's why Putin is pissed off. We're installing a useless missile system!
    That would certainly piss me off.

  • Nick_M||

    I'm amazing that a bunch of libertarians don't know this, but whenever the government says "defense", it means "aggression". Missile "defense" is the official government euphemism for the militarization of space.

    "It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen. Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but - absolutely - we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space. That's why the US has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday - ships, airplanes, land targets - from space."

    - Commander-in-Chief of US Strategic Command (1994-1996), Joseph W. Ashy

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    WE CANNOT HAVE A USELESS MISSILE SYSTEM GAP!!!

    GENTLEMAN. GIVE THE GOVERNOR A HRUMPH!!!

  • ||

    "Because nations are not people, and not to put too fine a point on it, but under certain circumstances the US and Russia both have plans to "burglarize" each other."

    Bullshit. We have no plan to take anything Russia has. We do however have plans to vaporize the whole country if they decide to "burglarize" Europe. Not to put too fine a point on it, there is a difference.

    Read a little history. Eastern Europe is everybody's favorite toy to steal. If I were Polish, I'd be trying to acquire nukes. Not to launch, but to commit suicide with. Invade again and nobody will live here for a 1000 years. BTW the winds blow towards Moscow, so we'll see you in hell.

    The security system example is dead on.

  • Elemenope||

    That's very dramatic, Jethro, but it's also ridiculous. The sheer scope of the arsenals pointed both directions makes the "we're just defending them from unchecked aggression" argument sound even sillier than it usually does.

    And on the point of "burglarize", methinks you choked on the metaphor about halfway through the chewing process.

  • ||

    If the missile defense system is so useless why are the Russians so angry about it? Either the Russians are completely insane and threatening war over the US and eastern Europe wasting billions on a useless system, in which case we are all screwed, or maybe the Russians understand the usefulness of a missile defense system a little better than the leftist ideologues in the US.

  • ||

    "Missile "defense" is the official government euphemism for the militarization of space."

    That is true and the Chinese are already far down this road. It would be great for everyone to hold hands and agree not to militarize space. But that is not going to happen. The US military is totally dependent on sattilite communications and GPS. Take that away and things get ugly. The Chinese and the Russians know that if they take out our satillites their cold war militaries have a fighting chance against the US again.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Kaliningrad isn't really an important part of Russia.

  • Episiarch||

    There is no way the people running the government of the most powerful country on the planet will be able to resist fucking around with other countries. I wish they could resist, but they can't.

    Kaliningrad isn't really an important part of Russia.

    Guam isn't an important part of the U.S. But if somebody invaded it, we would go apeshit.

  • Elemenope||

    John --

    It's a game theory problem. You have to (if you're Russia) counterbalance the vanishingly unlikely possibility that such a system would work against the *disastrous* political and strategic consequences that would proceed from it working.

    It's like playing the lottery in reverse, like in that fucked-up Shirley Jackson piece.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    I don't think the Russians would ever shoot their entire arsenal anyway. It would totally screw up the planet and he Russians with it. But, they might shoot one or two missiles at say Poland or the Ukraine. If they did that, what would the US do? Would we really nuke a Russian city in response and risk having one of our own be destroyed? I doubt it. Chances are we would throw a fit but not do anything.

    Missile defense can stop one or two missiles. It takes the option of launching anything short of a suicidal nuclear strike off of the table. That is why the Russians hate it so much.

  • Elemenope||

    I don't think the Russians would ever shoot their entire arsenal anyway. It would totally screw up the planet and he Russians with it. But, they might shoot one or two missiles at say Poland or the Ukraine. If they did that, what would the US do? Would we really nuke a Russian city in response and risk having one of our own be destroyed? I doubt it. Chances are we would throw a fit but not do anything.

    The much easier solution is universal proliferation. If Poland has nukes, that scenario is vanishingly less likely.

  • Dr. Strangeglove||

    Mein Führer! I, mean, Mr. President. Now would be a good time to launch a first strike. They don't expect anything that crazy and evil from us.

  • ||

    I suspect that a "missile defense system" is actually multi-capable. It needs a wicked radar system, for example, and seriously upgraded C3 compared to an ordinary air defense system.

    I would bet that a working missile defense system is essentially impermeable to any aircraft the Russians have or are likely to have for a generation.

    We should be installing them in any NATO member that wants one. That's what mutual defense treaties are for, no? And we should be getting the Ukraine into NATO and fully stocked with NATO-standard armament, stat. The Russians took a minor beating from last-generation Warsaw Pact technology; they are unlikely to want a demonstration of what current NATO technology would do to their armor and warplanes.

    I still think the Russians are highly, highly unlikely to provoke a confrontation with NATO as a whole, especially since NATO now includes a tier of new members who, unlike some of the old-line members, do feel imminently threatened by Putin, and would be very likely to demand a real response.

  • Elemenope||

    The obvious solution is to call the system an "anti-aircraft battery" which *just so happens* to be able to grease a ballistic missile.

  • Zeb||

    Nuclear arsenals are completely useless because, as John points out, it is totally insane to use them. At most one or two could be used against a much weaker country and that would still be an incredibly stupid thing to do under any circumstances.
    If Russia is insane enough to nuke the US or an ally, there is no appropriate response. If we respond in kind, then we are both totally fucked. The only sane response would be to do nothing. So the best idea would be for the US to unilaterally get rid of all nuclear weapons.

  • ||

    I am much too lazy to run for my life. I choose, in it's stead, to occupy my big comfy couch and pray about it.

  • ||

    ...and I didn't speak up because I was merely an undifferentiated metonym.

    Nicely done.

    Actually there is well less than a mile between Big Diomede Island (Russia) and Little Diomede Island (Alaska).

    Good thing no one wants to cross the tundra.

  • Episiarch||

    The only sane response would be to do nothing. So the best idea would be for the US to unilaterally get rid of all nuclear weapons.

    We can't get rid of all the nukes. We need them for:

    1. In case Godzilla attacks
    2. To give to Bruce Willis to blow up a killer asteroid
    3. Alien invasion
    4. How else will Lex Luthor rid us of the idiots in California?
    5. Project Orion
    6. Destroying Caprica
    7. Jack Bauer has to have something to torture people about

  • ||

    You forgot Number 8: They just plain make you look cooler. They are the cigarettes of international diplomacy. If Ahmadinejad didn't have such a dorky-looking jacket, Iran wouldn't want nukes at all.

  • ||

    So, if Mexico launches raids into Arizona and New Mexico and kills thousands of civilians with the assistance of Russian and Iranian military advisors, that would be okay?

  • T||

    I still think the Russians are highly, highly unlikely to provoke a confrontation with NATO as a whole, especially since NATO now includes a tier of new members who, unlike some of the old-line members, do feel imminently threatened by Putin, and would be very likely to demand a real response.

    It's a shame GDW went bust. This is tailor made for a new generation Twilight 2000 ruleset.

  • Elemenope||

    9. Destroying the Nostromo
    10. Having a really neat dead man's switch
    11. Destroying a small town in Texas thereby ushering in a Christian police state
    12. Ineffectually firing at a Rama cylinder
    13. Destroying Zha'ha'dum in a suicide attack
    14. Facilitating Ferengi time travel
    15. Icing a Bug Spirit nest

  • ||

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Just wait. All the peaceniks are going to come out of the woodwork and whine. Like the fucking moon doesn't have it coming. Stupid moon.

  • Steve Nelson||

    The radar can still see all the way to the Urals. How about a Chinese radar in Mexico that can track every aircraft in the Midwest up to the Canadian border?

  • ||

    I am pleased to see that after 74 posts, those who say a "missile defense is completely useless" have not been able to counter the argument "Gee, if the missile defense system is worthless, what's the problem?"

  • Episiarch||

    When you nuke the moon, this is what you get.

  • ||

    "Ookla! Ariel! RIDE!"

    Of all the shitty cartoons being made into movies, why aren't they making this shitty cartoon into a movie? It's got black magic! and super science!

    And where's my anime Herculoids update?

  • ||

    Oh, and the moon was destroyed by the close passage of a rogue planet through our solar system, not nuclear weapons, Epi.

    Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?

  • Episiarch||

    I spent 20 minutes tracking down pictures of the opening sequence to show the moon cracked in half is this is what I get from you?

  • ||

    "The radar can still see all the way to the Urals. How about a Chinese radar in Mexico that can track every aircraft in the Midwest up to the Canadian border?"

    The Chinese are already doing that with sattilites and it is not like they don't hack into NORAD like about everyday and take a look at our radars.

  • andy||

    did nobody else laugh at the alt text on that image?

    "in soviet russia, doorstep missiles you!"

    HA! excellent.

  • ||

    I looked it up on the wikipedia page. I had totally forgotten.

    I didn't know Kirby did most of the character designs. And there was only 21 episodes. They compressed a lot of crazy into 8 hours of TV. I'm not sure why I never made the OMAC/Kamandi/Thundarr connection before. Stupid, probably.

    Sign the "Release Thundarr The Barbarian on DVD" petition

  • ||

    "So the best idea would be for the US to unilaterally get rid of all nuclear weapons."

    I agree, only Russia and China should have nukes. And we should also eliminate personal firearms for the same reason. After all, shooting someone if you're already dying is kinda pointless.

  • ||

    Thundarr seems to me to be a less gay He-Man. Am I wrong?

    The point of nuking to Moon is to scare other nations by making us look muy loco, mang. Don't fuck with America, they're crazy.

  • ||

    I think its funny how Dictator Bush is treating Russia like they are some schlep third world country during this Georgia Crisis. Seems WWIII might be closer than I firs thought!

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • ||

    Thundarr was a deft rip-off of Conan and Star Wars. He was concurrent to He-Man (Both started in 1981.). And definitely less gay. And there was no idiot wizard in a over-sized hat following him around. Thundarr also didn't start as a toy line.

  • ||

    I have always thought Superman was the most gay Super Hero in movies. The tights, the Rock Hudson like looks. The playing coy with Lois Lane. Being a sensitive outsider in school in Smallville. It all added up.

  • ||

    The new Superman movie was definitely gay.

    I don't want a Superman that looks like he's getting ready to cry. And looks ten years younger than when he left five years ago.

  • ||

    John,

    Superman's not gay. The problem is that he swore an oath not to kill people, and his orgasms are highly lethal. So he's condemned to lust for Lois but is constrained from blowing her into pieces during the sex act. What is a Kryptonian to do?

  • ||

    Pro,

    Isn't all of that just a metaphor for his senstivity and lack of attraction to women?

  • Episiarch||

    The new Superman movie was definitely gay.

    Well, it was directed by Bryan Singer.

    Being a sensitive outsider in school in Smallville.

    When he got red kryptonited by Alicia he sure wasn't gay.

  • ||

    Sarah Carter is hot. Did you see the Entourage she was on? Snow angel in a threesome.

  • Kolohe||

    I spent 20 minutes tracking down pictures of the opening sequence to show the moon cracked in half is this is what I get from you?

    As a kid, I was more worried that the world would end in 1994 because of a runaway comet hurtling between the earth and the moon, unleashing cosmic destruction, than any sort of day after post-frozen Buck Rogers nuclear apocalypse

  • ||

    Isn't all of that just a metaphor for his sensitivity and lack of attraction to women?

    John,

    No. It's not a metaphor for anything. It's plain, simple physics.

  • Kolohe||

    ah googling shows it was a runaway planet, not comet. (but back then Pluto was also a planet)

  • Episiarch||

    Did you see the Entourage she was on?

    I haven't started Entourage yet because I will watch it from the beginning on DVD and have to get through season 6 of The Shield, season 2 of Heroes, and Sarah Connor is starting as well as True Blood on HBO.

    But you have sorely tempted me to.

  • ||

    Reading the thread could have told you that too.

    SugarFree | August 15, 2008, 11:32am | #
    Oh, and the moon was destroyed by the close passage of a rogue planet through our solar system, not nuclear weapons, Epi.


    Sorry, had to. The Imp of the Perverse rides my shoulder.

  • Episiarch||

    than any sort of day after post-frozen Buck Rogers nuclear apocalypse

    Dude, Erin Gray. Buck Rogers future FTW.

  • ||

    If the missle defense system were all that useless, Russia and the anti-American American Left would be encouraging it because it would deplete the US' military budget and resources. Of course Russia would want to do that.

    However, that's not the case. The only people who actually believe it's useless are the anti-American American Left, who have bought the Russian's claim of how useless it is.

    (Actually, they by ALL the Russian's claims. I think it's residual loyalty from the good old Soviet days.)

  • ||

    Hmm... Erin Gray.

    "bidi-bidi-bidi" indeed.

  • ||

    But you have sorely tempted me to.

    You don't get to see her jubblies, but she's powerful cute through the whole thing.

    True Blood had better be good. Showtime's been kicking them in the taint over original programing since the Deadwood and Rome cancellations.

  • ||

    How about a Chinese radar in Mexico that can track every aircraft in the Midwest up to the Canadian border?

    What do we care? All our best stuff is stealthed anyway. Radar away, China dude!

    More importantly, what do the Chinese care about aircraft in American airspace? They literally could not be any further from China there, and less of a threat.

  • Episiarch||

    True Blood had better be good. Showtime's been kicking them in the taint over original programing since the Deadwood and Rome cancellations.

    HBO always comes back. Have no fear. If not this new show, the next one.

  • ||

    More Eirn

    I knew she was a model in the 60s, but never seen any pics.

    Mildly LSFW

  • Episiarch||

    I have to give South Park massive props for using a fantastic parody of the Buck Rogers opening sequence during the beginning of "Go God Go XII".

  • Nick_M||

    plutosdad | August 15, 2008, 11:45am | #

    "So the best idea would be for the US to unilaterally get rid of all nuclear weapons."

    I agree, only Russia and China should have nukes. And we should also eliminate personal firearms for the same reason. After all, shooting someone if you're already dying is kinda pointless.


    Well, if your only choices were shooting everybody in the neighborhood along with the killer before you die, or just dying, I'd say that you should just die.

  • ||

    Nary a word on this thread about american and israeli involvement in Georgia's unprovoked and brutal attack.

  • ||

    The planets have been renamed: .
    Mercury
    Venus
    RUSSIA
    Mars
    Jupiter
    Saturn
    Uranus
    Neptune

  • ||

    Farnsworth: I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all.

    Fry: Oh. What's it called now?

    Farnsworth: Urectum. Here, let me locate it for you.

  • QSL||

    libertymike,

    The main focus of this thread is on the topic at hand: Missle defense systems in Poland and Czech Republic.

    But still, there is question as to whether Georgia was completely "unprovoked" to begin with. But even so, its response to S. Ossetia was ill-advised. And as far as American involvement, the US had warned Georgia a while ago not to bite the Russian bait and go nuts (which it did anyway).

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/13/europe/diplo.php

  • B||

    "Th[e] U.S. also insisted this summer on the deployment of an almost certainly useless missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, virtually on Moscow's doorstep."

    Is this the same useless system that has scored repeated hits against missiles in various tests?

  • ||

    It needs a wicked radar system, for example, and seriously upgraded C3 compared to an ordinary air defense system.

    . . .

    We should be installing them in any NATO member that wants one


    Do you have any idea how large the carbon footprint of a "wicked" air defense system is? Wicked indeed! Why do you hate polar bears so much?

    17. Breaching the shield wall to let the sandworms in.

  • ||

    Th[e] U.S. also insisted this summer on the deployment of an almost certainly useless missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, virtually on Moscow's doorstep.

    Interesting choice here. Why chose the Czech republic (farther west) and not Poland? Poland is a lot closer to Russia.

  • Syd||

    Episiarch | August 15, 2008, 10:27am | #
    The only sane response would be to do nothing. So the best idea would be for the US to unilaterally get rid of all nuclear weapons.

    We can't get rid of all the nukes. We need them for:

    1. In case Godzilla attacks


    No, no, nuclear testing produced Godzilla in the first place. If you nuke him, you just get bigger and better Godzilla.

  • ||

    Why do the liberal apologists and the Russkies themselves continue to treat the Aegis missiles as some kind of threat? After all, as is noted throughout the post (and comments), the US system in question is a missile DEFENSE; ie, it is solely a defensive measure, meant to protect against an offensive missile attack. Of course, to the Russians, enabling small countries that may, or may not, have the right to exist in the first place (and they, the Russians, reserve the right to final say in that matter) to defend themselves from any potential attack (from, say, the east) is itself an act of aggression. What a looking glass world is inhabited by liberals and communists (but, I repeat myself).

  • ||

    How far is Cuba from DC?

    1132 miles from Havana to Washington. I guess the U.S. now would have no problem if the Russkies decided to put some "defensive" missiles in Cuba. They may even have some bases left over from 1962.

  • ||

    One problem for Russia if it wants to reopen the Cold War: Our nukes work, theirs probably mostly don't. Not that I want to see even one launched, ever, but it's something to think about when you get cocky.

  • ||

    The Russian leadership is not as stupid as some of their apologists. They know that these missiles are no threat. If they couldn´t use this issue to whip up their population, well, they would use some other issue. As they probably will three months from know. And why not? Even in the west, enough people will fall for it every time.

  • ||

    Why do you hate polar bears so much?

    Well, since I no longer have the opportunity to hunt them, I really don't see any reason to care if they live or die.

    I don't hate them so much as I have been made deeply, deeply apathetic. They're no use to me now, so why should I care?

  • M. Simon||

    Doorstep not withstanding, missile defense is completely useless.

    It scares the Russians. That is good enough for me.

  • M. Simon||

    Do you have any idea how large the carbon footprint of a "wicked" air defense system is? Wicked indeed! Why do you hate polar bears so much?

    It is not that I hate polar bears. It is that I love trees more.

  • ||

    Would the US be opposed to a Russian "missile shield" being put into place in Cuba?(if the russians could build such a thing?) The US had to swallow a bitter pill when Cuba became a communist state. There wasn't jack we could (or would) do about it. Russia is going to have to do the same thing. Poland is NOT part of the Soviet Union anymore, no matter how much they yearn for the "good old days" of the East European Communist block. If Poland allows a missile shield to be put in its' soil, then Putin is just going to have to suck it up and live with it. A missile shield is not an offensive weapon.

  • ||

    Would the US be opposed to a Russian "missile shield" being put into place in Cuba?(if the russians could build such a thing?)

    Yes. It would talk about 2 seconds for most people, or perhaps two days for wingnuts, to figure out that what goes up can go down, and that a missile shield is indistinguishable from, you know, offensive missiles.

    And then the screaming to bomb the construction sites, invade Cuba, go to war with Russia if it proceeds will be heard loud and clear - especially from places like this.

    But, of course, wingnuts can't see any reason why Russia might object to the US doing it...

  • ||

    So the best idea would be for the US to unilaterally get rid of all nuclear weapons.


    So that any nuclear country can threaten the US with anything at all backed with the threat of nukes? In conflicts between 2 nuclear armed states, how many people have ever been killed? In conflicts between countries in which one or both are not nuclear armed, how many are killed each year? Go study some game theory...

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement