Moscow, Missiles and the Polish Perspective
French president Jaques Chirac warned the US on its plans to place missile interceptors within Poland and the Czech Republic to defend Europe against a limitted volley from Iran. He heeded Putins warning that the placement would spark an "inevitable arms race" and potentially a new Cold War.
The French president said Europe and the US needed to consider Russia’s concerns about the projected missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. “We should be very careful about encouraging the creation of a new dividing line in Europe or a return of the order of the past,” he said.
Actually, the "order of the past" had Poland and Czechoslovakia behind the iron curtain as Soviet satellite states, clients beholden to Moscow. Now, both states are working with the United States for European security, not planning a defense against the Yanks. And it is Putin who seeks to restore the "order of the past" with his apparent desires to reconstitute the Soviet Union.
Perhaps Mr. Chirac is simply upset that the Czech Republic's President Vaclav Klaus said Friday in a speech that "Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences," adding that "environmentalism is a religion" that seeks to reorganize the world order.
Regardless, if anyone understands the perils of the "order of the past," it would be the Czechs and the Poles. One would do well to listen more closely to them on such issues than an outgoing French president who never lived under the Stalinist boot.