Last month’s failed missile defense test was categorized as a “No Test” by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The target missile didn’t fly into range of the interceptor so it was never launched.
Even though it was deemed a “No Test” by the MDA, an agency spokesman nevertheless claimed that the results of “the failed test underscored the need of the US to install 10 interceptors in Poland and a tracking radar station in the Czech Republic as a defense against potential missile attack from Iran…. It showed that any missiles that Iran launched could similarly go astray and land in Europe even if Europe was not Iran’s target.”
Welcome to what Joseph Cirincione – senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of the new book, Bomb Scare – calls, “This week’s episode of President Bush in Fantasyland.”
“President Bush is rushing to deploy a technology that does not work against a threat that does not exist,” Cirincione says. “Iran is at least 5 to 10 years away from the capability to build a nuclear weapon and at least that far from having a missile that could hit Europe let alone the US. And anti-missile systems are still nowhere near working despite $150 billion spent since the 1983 Star Wars program started and years of phony tests staged to demonstrate ‘progress’ and ‘success.'”
None of this has stopped Bush from continuing to tout his Czech Republic and Poland-based “proposed missile defense system designed to thwart a possible nuclear attack from Iran.” Adding to the irony (and the outrage) is the fact that while Bush continues to frame the weapons system as indispensable to democracy – “This is aimed at a country like Iran… so they couldn’t blackmail the free world” – the people of the Czech Republic and Poland continue to oppose the plans (as I initially reported here). Recent polls show that over 60 percent of Czechs are opposed and only 25 percent of Poles support the missile defense plan.
The mayor of the Czech village of Trokavec where the radar site would be located recently held a referendum and 71 of 72 votes were cast against the plan. The mayor of Stitov, Vaclav Hudec, and “most of” his village’s 58 residents “are bitterly opposed” to the radar site. Hudec wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd outlining the opposition of “nearly two dozen” Czech mayors to the missile defense plan.