Reflections from the Grounded Center

1.31.2006

"Who Cares What They Think?!"


Putin Touts Russia's Missile Capabilities

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin boasted Tuesday that Russia has missiles capable of penetrating any missile defense system, Russian news reports said.

"Russia ... has tested missile systems that no one in the world has," the ITAR-Tass, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies quoted him as saying at a news conference. "These missile systems don't represent a response to a missile defense system, but they are immune to that. They are hypersonic and capable of changing their flight path."

Putin said the new missiles were capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He wouldn't say whether the Russian military already had commissioned any such missiles.

He said he had shown the working principles of the missile systems to French
President Jacques Chirac during a visit to a Russian military facility.

"He knows what I'm talking about," news agencies quoted Putin as telling reporters after state-run news channels had cut their live broadcast of the news conference.

In April 2004, Chirac became the first Western leader to visit Russia's top-secret Titov space control center, which is also involved in launches of its intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Putin said that the new missiles were capable of changing both the altitude and the direction of their flight, making it impossible for an enemy to intercept them.

"A missile defense system is designed to counter missiles moving along a ballistic trajectory," Putin was quoted as saying.

Putin and other Russian officials have boasted of the new missiles in similar comments in recent years, but they haven't identified them or given any further details other than about their ability to change their flight path on approach to a target.

Most analysts viewed the earlier announcements about "hypersonic" missile systems as Moscow's response to U.S. missile defense plans.

Military analysts have said that the military had experimented with a maneuvering warhead during a missile launch several years ago, but voiced doubt about Russia's ability to deploy such weapons anytime soon.

Analysts said the new warheads, designed to zigzag on their approach to targets, could be fitted to new land-based Topol-M missiles and the prospective Bulava missiles, now under development.

COMMENTARY

OK, so maybe this is not exactly true. I am sure, considering their propensity to exaggerate and embellish, that they have not developed a super-duper weapon. But the fact that it is a priority to evade our defenses, and something about which they are holding press conferences should not only be mildly frightening to Americans, but a reassertion of the fact that we are not an island.

You can feel however you want about France - God knows I am not the biggest fan - but the fact that they are touring Russia's nuclear facilities is not only significant, but given the way the French and the rest of Europe feel about our nation it may an indicator of the future of our "alliances." I only hope that Poland, Italy and Bulgaria, our new European allies, can hook us up....oh wait, it soon to be only Bulgaria.

You can only bully for so long before the schoolyard geeks gang up and beat the crap out of you.

10 Comments:

Anonymous gerd said...

I thought the cold war was over.

What happened?

Yeah well the United States is behaving like a terrorist bully. I don't blame Europe for finally standing up to us, and in fact I'm glad.

Maybe when the world finally tells the United States that enough is enough, we'll listen.

14:50

 
Anonymous MLH said...

This story actually worries me far less than rumors of Russia selling nuclear technology to the highest Islamofascist bidder. To me this is no more than Putin using fancy schmancy technology to distract the average Russian from the increasing centralization of power under his sketchy hand and his government's piss-poor foreign policy. Guess he and Bush have more than one thing in common.

None of this is really all that worrisome considering our nuclear engagement with Russia for almost fifty years never resulted in catastrophe. My real worry, again, would be the nearly bankrupt state's selling this technology to the highest bidder.

Russia may be standing up to us militarily, but that's what Russia has always done. Europe, conversely, I wouldn't worry about. Europe would be crazy to think that they'll ever get a deal as sweet as NATO. The US rebuilt Europe after WWII and has subsequently been protecting them under a nuclear umbrella for over fifty years. Despite whatever disagreements we may have with them over what constitutes Champagne or how much welfare to doll out, you can be damn sure they'll be back sucking Uncle Sam's dick the next time they need serious help. Excuse the profanity, it just felt appropriate.

15:55

 
Blogger KOB said...

When's the last time super-secret weapons that actually existed were topics for press conferences? Nice try Vlad.

I don't know what's more disturbing, the Russian claims about these missles, the sale of weapons that mlh talks about, or the existence of Americans with Gerd's opinions. When did Uncle Sam piss in your Corn Flakes?

17:03

 
Blogger A. K. Brown said...

Definitely the sale of weapons is most disturbuing.

Yes, I think that the Russians are embellishing, and by that I mean 'wishing' they had these weapons then holding a press conference to say they actually do.

The point is, I have heard plenty of people, my mother included, say, "Who cares what the rest of the world thinks?!" It is clear that we do have to care, and not just in our State of the Union address, but in action...I think that was the sentiment Gerd was going for.

As for wishing that other countries had weapons that could blow us up, and thinkingit is positive that they stand up to us with these weapons, I think that is preposterous. I know that is not what you meant, but it is what you wrote. If they do launch the nuke, they wont spare Gerd from the holocaust.

Besides the current administration, I think you can consider yourself pretty lucky to be a U.S. citizen regardless of this temporary administration's policies on science...or gay rights for that matter. It has done pretty well by you.

Finally, new rule. Comments that attack people personally will now be removed from the list of comments. The time has come for some decorum.

17:31

 
Anonymous gerd said...

"When did Uncle Sam piss in your Corn Flakes?"

When he made me a second class citizen for being gay, cutting the NIH budget, ignoring all scientific studies that don't fit the government's agenda, threatening scientists into silence if they try to spread "dissent" with their data, supporting intelligent design, using the supreme court to "appoint" G. W. Bush as president, taking our huge surplus and making it a deficit, lying to the country about WMDs in Iraq, lying to the country when the war would end, trying to undo all civil liberties with a patriot act, abusing power by illegal wire tapping, ignoring the United Nations and calling it "irrelevant," ignoring the rules of the Geneva Convention, refusing comply with proposed emmision standards to save the environment, setting up secret prisions to allow torture, violating the rights of innocent muslim americans and other residents, lying to the country about the number of stem cell lines available, disallowing protestors from demonstrating, having open "town meetings" which are really just propaganda tools...and the list goes on

so basically when this adminstration took power.

19:21

 
Blogger KOB said...

I hear ya. On top of all that, Uncle Sam takes 50% of my salary and gives it to “artists” who deliver dog shit on a plate and call it culture, homeless people who spit in the face of people who bring them water instead of beer, and educators who refuse to be measured for fear that someone find out that the only reason they teach is to get summers off. Then they effectively block the production of gasoline, tax the snot out of the gallons they do manage to sell, halt the exploration for oil, and then bitch when a hurricane raises pump prices. Further, they sentence admitted child rapists to a few months of prison, treat the Ten Commandments as if they are the sequel to Mein Kampf, demonize God, and expect that our fatherless children will somehow figure out how to play nice.

What on earth are we still doing here!

16:00

 
Anonymous gerd said...

The Ten Commandments and the demonization of God are all things that government SHOULD stay out of.

The Ten commandments have no place in schools or government programs. Displaying such things in these areas clearly promotes one religion or philosophy over another, something the government should NOT do. The push of the Republican party by their "fundys" to display them in government institutions is a problem. The Christian right seeks to convert everyone to their dogman, and are willing to use the government to do so. Why can't you see how wrong that is? Separation of Church and state exists for a reason. The Christians fundamentalists can have their religion, the Jewish population theirs, etc. Follow what the Republican party believes in, LESS government regulation. That means over personal ethics aswell, to provide a neutral environment for all cultures to have discourse.

In terms of looking for more oil. Sigh, didn't you even pay attention to your "President's" speech?

Resources should be spent in alternative energy sources. We need to put funding in to FUSION and other potential huge pay off research.

The current administration is a pool of corruption and lies. The evidence is all infront of us.

No one can deny it now.

00:35

 
Anonymous mlh said...

Actually, I believe that the government takes 50% of your salary to pay for unnecessary wars.

13:12

 
Blogger A. K. Brown said...

None of this matters anymore, if hisbudget passes the gov't will be taking the same amount, and giving pretty much nothing back in return...except the wars previously mentioned.

"“artists” who deliver dog shit on a plate and call it culture" :

Examples? Do you have any? Did you major or get your masters in art?

"homeless people who spit in the face of people who bring them water instead of beer":

How many homeless people do you pass on a regular basis? I see a lot and the ones I help seem pretty happy with whatever I give them.

"educators who refuse to be measured for fear that someone find out that the only reason they teach is to get summers off" : Measured by what? By whom? Will you give them the resources they need, or rather, the pay that teachers deserve to attract talent? Or, will you try to put through some atrocious budget like the one GW just submitted that cuts most programs like the testing ones you spoke of, and still refuses to fund "No Child Left Behind," while touting its success?

"they sentence admitted child rapists to a few months of prison": This sounds far too general and heresay-ish for me to respond...you're gonna need some evidence to convince me of this...and more than one or two cases...that is not systematic as you imply.

As for fuel and the Ten Commandments, I will defer to Gerd...though I am sorry to say, with the Bush clans holdings of exxon stock, and Cheney's profiteering off of Haliburton, i don't think fusion is going to get much play anytime soon. Besides...we have no more money for any of this.

YAY TO RACKING UP FOREIGN DEBT AND BANKRUPTING FUTURE GENERATIONS!!!!!

13:57

 
Anonymous EAM said...

i know i'm kind of late, but all i have to say is. . .Since when did France ever pose a serious Military threat? Russia can have them. HA! When France backs out at the first sign of danger Russia's lying ass will be flapping in the breeze all on its own.

16:43

 

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