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Threats to nuke Poland… and crap journalism in action

Yesterday in the British Press, much was made of the Soviet, sorry, Russian threat to nuke Poland if it hosted American, sorry, NATO defensive missile systems.

THREAT TO NUKE POLAND… well, really? What the Ruskies are saying is not “if you allow these systems on your soil, we will nuke you”, but rather “in the event of a war between NATO and Russia, we will attack military targets in Poland, which is a NATO member”.

Well no shit? This is hardly a revelation. Yet to read many of the article headlines you would think it was a clear and present danger, which it clearly ain’t. Move along, not much to see here.

That said, clearly what the Russian general said is a crude attempt to intimidate Poland, albeit politically and not actually by making a threat of imminent action. Also predictably it has stiffened already deep hostility to Russia across Central Europe. Good, it is probably exactly what Europe needed.

16 comments to Threats to nuke Poland… and crap journalism in action

  • Adam

    Mr. Gates said that Russia wants to return to great power status. Beside nuclear war, does Russia have a chance in hell to successfully win and contain a limited war with Ukraine or Poland? Everybody assumes if Russia for whatever reason attacks these countries, the Russian will unable to contain the escalation from involving Western forces.

    If will be interesting to see what Ukraine does with respect to the Russian Black Fleet.

  • nick g.

    Regretably, this seems like a return to Big-Power politics. Not least of the regrets is that this will mean that state-supporting patriotism will become fashionable again. Libertarians will have a harder time pushing the message that globalisation and trade are good things. I suspect that it will take ages to fully implement GATT and other needed measures, now, and they were already at snail’s pace!

  • Russia is a country living on borrowed time, and Putin knows it. The former Soviet states that have broken away from Russia are doing well both economically and politically because they have embraced western ideals and open markets, and therefore have a chance to stabilize their shrinking population. The only reason Putin can afford to invade Georgia is because of the recent surges in the price of oil. Eventually, that bubble will pop completely, and he won’t be able to pay thugs to “pacify” breakaway provinces.

    His threats of nuclear retaliation to Poland or anyone are hollow and meaningless in the context of a zero sum game. It isn’t a game he would win, and he knows it.

  • BOGDAN OF ENUCHALIA

    There is however a funny side of it. Poles who are by natue a quarrelsome folks (I know that, because I’m one of them) managed to find a common language in a matter of virtually SECONDS. Without the tragedy of Georgia they would be spewing bile at each other for years. This is the sadder as both sides: one represented by Lech Kaczynski – the President and the other by Donald Tusk – the Premier have been, in the past, comrades in arms i fight against Communofascism and leading activists of Solidarity movement. As the old proverb says: “Better late than never…” Here, in EUNUCHALIA, where I live now, since that mediocrity of the Australian Labour Party’s leader -Kevin Rudd has been elected, things aren’t that much better, and maybe even worse, though

  • Is it just me, or is the current crop of journalists just as good at their job as the current crop of politicians? I seem to be seeing more and more of this blatantly hyperbolic, misleading shit every time I read the papers.

  • Ditto most of the above, but does anybody get the sense that Putin’s moves have FINALLY stiffened EU spines a bit, and that therefore he has made a colossal blunder? I fully expected Germany to hem and haw and delay, and never mention Georgia and NATO in the same breath. I was wrong! I’ve also seen several mentions in fairly respectable newspapers of the EU and US as “allies”, something I thought might eventually be forced on Europe, but I never expected it so soon.

  • Trofim

    Here is the man himself:

    http://news.ntv.ru/138227/

    Nogovitsyn said this off the cuff, and could have chosen his words more carefully, but he is, as you say, simply reiterating that anyone who places military hardware on Russia’s border, becomes a potential target. The USA wasn’t too keen on Russian rockets in their backyard 46 years ago, and I don’t think they would be now. (I am a Russian speaker).

    I am struck by the different approaches to Russia and Islam as potential threats to free society. All things considered, we have a million times more in common with Russia than that which separates us, and I have a million times more in common with Russians than I have with many of our western-hating minorities who are already here, and already controlling some of our behaviour, and as time goes by, inexorably, Russia feels more like us. It is already far more like the west than it was even in the 1990’s, let alone Soviet times. On the other hand, I only have to travel 6 miles across from where I live in Birmingham, and I am already in an Islamic enclave, where I am obviously regarded with indifference, contempt or hatred. The possibility that Russia may revert to a closed Soviet-style society is ludicrous, it is too far gone, it is too deeply entwined with us and the rest of the world, access to the outside world cannot be controlled efficiently. Those Russian soldiers watch western videos on Youtube, listen to rap music. A very substantial number of Russian can understand some English, and read the western press online, which is more than can be said for the reverse. I am now reading Russian online forums which are highly critical of Putin et al. Russia has never known democracy and its citizens lived under a totalitarian regime until less than 20 years ago. Does anyone really expect it to turn into a perfect democracy, like ours, (strong irony) in such a short time? Russians are incomparably more free than they have ever been and want to stay that way. If it were a choice between rule by Russians and rule by Muslims, give me the former, any day.

    This echoes my sentiments:

    http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryID/414/Default.aspx

    I’m afraid I’ve got to go away, and cannot respond to any replies or comments to my post, if published, for a couple of days.

  • Obnoxio,
    I think the current crop of politicos are very good at their job. That it isn’t the job we pretend we elected them for is mere grit in the vaseline.

  • RAB

    Well the journalistic rot set in with the death of Richard Dimbleby, didn’t it.
    Now we have the hereditary Dimbleby’s,
    David and Johnathan.

    And they were a popular pop combo
    in the 60s.

    Not serious current affairs journalists. ;-)

  • Thank you Perry for stating the obvious which almost the entirety of the Dead Tree Press and the ever growing band of New Cold Warriors wish to cast to fit their script. I think the way to combat the rhetoric leading us to a New Cold War is teach people about the last one. Tell people about Able Archer. How close we came to not being here. Explain to people that the moral absolutism of the Cold War led us to backing tyrants such as Mobutu and supporting Apartheid.

  • I’m sorry, but this is just wishful thinking by the Russian leadership. They achieved their aims through the use of overwhelming force, but the individual performance of their high tech warriors was a joke. This invasion demonstrates that Russian forces are hopelessly outclassed by any western military.

    As stated, Russia has loadsa money to splash around as a result of the commodities boom, but manufactures? What do they produce which anyone wants? Apart from arms that is?

    Russia remains poor and weak; the only reason they matter is their possession of atomic weapons.

    Russia needs the west far more than the west needs Russia, and the idiots are purposely alienating the very people who would be their, in the future, much needed friends.

  • Michiganny

    [W]e have a million times more in common with Russia than that which separates us, and I have a million times more in common with Russians than I have with many of our western-hating minorities

    But this not about commonality, is it? If so, please explain why Russia has been so provocative with people who share a common history, religion, and neighborhood.

  • Jacob

    Perry,
    Your claim is wishful thinking.
    Russia is far more powerful and dangerous than you are willing to concede.
    Imagine, for example, that Russian tanks roll into Poland like they did into Georgia, and they take a province or two, besides the ones they took in 1939 and never returned.
    Who is to stop them ? NATO ? Like they did in Georgia ? Will they issue another strongly worded reprimand? NATO has no fighting capability, and no will.
    The paper tiger is NATO, not Russsia; the Georgia affair proves this, the Russian do there what they want.

    As to who depends more on whom – Russia on the West or vice versa, think about the oil and gas that the West depends on – where is most coming from ?

  • What bilge Jacob.

    If it wasn’t for the nukes then Russia would be in Michael Mouse territory.

    Their finest fighter jet the Su-37 Terminator was recently pwned by the RAF’s Typhoons and those are hardly Raptors.

    Oh and they didn’t even belong to Russia, they were Indian because India bank-rolled the whole project.

    Yes, the latest military tech out of Russky-land is paid for by the Indians.

    Oh, they have the capacity to wreck havoc. They certainly do but when it comes to real fisticuffs with the West they’re pwned to buggeration. Yup, even the French could whack the bastards.

  • well, where is the mighty West in Georgia ? or Iran nukes?

    The West is good at just talking… yada…. yada… yada…

    There is no West, just the US, and US’ prospects under Obama don’t seem too bright.

    (I hope, though, and predicted long ago, that Obama won’t get elected).

  • JP

    NICK M – In a dog-fight, a Typhoon would blow a Raptor out of the sky much in the same way it would a Russian Terminator, this has been proven in computer simulators every time. The only advantage of the Raptor over the Typhoon is its stealth ability, and that doesnt shoot down planes… And the French Military Forces are very much in the same state as Russia’s at present, i.e. falling to bits due to lack of maintenance and chronic underfunding, so I doubt either of them could ‘whack’ the other at the moment, though if I had to pick a potential victor in a conventional war between the two nations, I would go with the Russkies over the surrender monkeys everytime. The Russkies could win a conventional war using cutlery, simply because they are nasty bastards and enjoy fighting and killing and being generally belligerant. Never underestimate a Russkie I say. As for the French, well, they’re too busy wanking