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How dumb does Adam Nagorski think we are?

The following was sent to us by our occasional Samizdata correspondent and secret agent within the heart of the MSM, Taylor Dinerman.

Writing in the Washington Post Adam Nagorski the former Moscow corespondent (Reagan’s Missile Defense Triumph) wants us to believe that Obama’s September 17th decision to cancel the deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic of a missile defense system based on the one now deployed in Alaska and California, is somehow a triumph for Reagan’s SDI (Star Wars) concept.   Like they said to the tomcat when they brought out the snippers, “Its for your own good”.  

He writes, “The debate is no longer focused on whether to build such a system, but on what kind of system will do the job better against what sorts of threats. ” That debate was over long ago. The Democrats, in the 1990s under Clinton, came to the decision that publicly at least, they could no long promote the idea that the US population should   be totally defenseless against nuclear attack.  

Either Nagoski is ignorant or he is being disingenuous. In 1993 after canceling the first Bush administration’s space based Brilliant Pebbles with the words “I’m taking the stars out of Star Wars”., the Clinton administration could not simply abandon missile defense completely, instead, like the Obama administration they sought to proceed with the smallest and least offensive possible program.  They ordered the Defense Department to concentrate its efforts on defending against tactical and medium ranged missiles.   

After the GOP gained control of Congress in 1994 Clinton’s team faced unrelenting political pressure from Congress to build up America’s anti ballistic   missile defenses. They chose to support a few programs including the Navy one that Obama is now touting as if it were something new, and the Airborne Laser (ABL)   program that the administration has eviscerated.     

Most significantly Clinton and his team promoted something called National Missile Defense, a mid course interceptor system designed to handle ICBMs. It was this program that Bush, on taking office decided to proceed with especially after he withdrew from the much violated ABM treaty. This has long been the most controversial part of the US Missile Defense program since provides a direct, though weak protection to the US civilian population. For the Democrats and their allies who still believe in Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) this is intolerable.  

Bush and the GOP pushed ahead and now there are about 30 Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs) deployed in Alaska and California, along with a network of sensors. The Obama administration is choosing to cut the number of deployed GBIs to from the 44 ones planned by their predecessors to the ones now in the ground. The Bush plan was in itself inadequate, so this cut means that the US population is almost as completely vulnerable as it was under Clinton.  

Like Clinton, Obama knows little about missile defense or about nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. At least Bush had flown air defense missions in a nuclear capable aircraft, the F-102. To imagine the plan to deploy sea based SM-3 missiles as a substitute for the GBIs that were to be based in Poland is laughable, as is the idea that sometime around 2020 there will be a version of the SM-3 that can do the job the GBIs are now doing.  

The SM-3 is an excellent missile and Vice Admiral J.D.Williams (ret.), the father of sea based missile defense, is to be congratulated. It is however,   not a system that can defend the US population against an ICBM attack. That is the main question that Nagorski tries to avoid. The Democrats are still doing everything they can to prevent a real space based missile defense. The other question as to why Bush failed to revive his father’s Brilliant Pebbles program is a tough one for him and for the GOP. The little they did is now being cut to ribbons by President Pantywaist (as he was referred to in the London Telegraph.) Trying to put a Reaganesque happy face on this fact is typical of the way the MSM is willing to make a fool of itself for its man.

Taylor Dinerman

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7 comments to How dumb does Adam Nagorski think we are?

  • Agree absolutely.

    It will not even save many $$$ because most of them went already on R&D. It’ll piss off the Poles and Czechs because they want more than anything else to cock a snook at the Russkies. And all of this for a temporary political “commitment” from Putin who is a man I would trust about as much as black mamba in a petting zoo.

    Obama is deeply ignorant not just of defence matters but also of diplomacy. Utterly naive to believe getting the Russians on board with sanctions will do a goddamn thing against Iranian nuclear programme…

    The only thing which will stop those loons is military action or their populace overthrowing the beards.

  • Gabriel

    The only thing which will stop those loons is military action or their populace overthrowing the beards.

    In Tehran or the Whitehouse?

    I’ve always thought that Iran was a non-issue really. The second America stops being so retarded it can just launch massive air-strikes against nuclear facilities(from both sides) and, if it doesn’t work, do it again and again and again until it does. To ths day I haven’t heard a remotely cogent argument against doing so.

  • jdm

    How dumb does Adam Nagorski think we are?

    He’s not writing for you.

    He’s writing for all the people who still, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, think that reading the NY Times or the Washington Post is sufficient to be knowledgeable of current events. He’s writing for people who, for that same reason, consider themselves moderate, unaligned, open to new information and new perspectives, but still sensible. He is writing for people who will hold on to their ignorance like a security blanket.

    People who think the Republican party is conservative. That the Democrats are just left of center. That taxes are patriotic. That “there oughta be a law…”. That Social Security is a covenant between the People and the Government and cannot fail. That the war in Vietnam was lost militarily when the US left. That “sensible” gun control is good. That assault weapons, whatever it is they are, are always bad. That the “illegal” in illegal immigrant is merely pejorative. That all people are reasonable, rational, and willing to go along to get along – even those who aren’t. And that all other countries are too. That the statement “I’m from the government, I’m here to help” is not funny, why would you think that?

  • cjf

    We have nothing to fear; but, fear, itself.
    Pity the poor slob whose last name is “Fea” ; or, even
    sounds like it.

    “Working stiff” and “living dead”, are much alike. Social
    inertia has been a real tool. However, note that the far left and far right are now sounding and acting like the
    other. Disillusionment makes strange bedfellows.

    In downsizing, politically adept keep jobs. Technically-
    minded lose. Imagine large numbers of unhappy people
    who are technically gifted, rubbing elbows with the
    politically disenchanted.

  • Paul Marks

    It is worth noting that many in the Trotskyite tradition of Marxism are disgusted by Obama’s support of the Putin dictatorship in Russia (with its crushing of all dissent) and his craven acceptance of the Iranian regime’s nuclear plans (vague talk about “sanctions” is worthless).

    Nuclear plans based on the Iranian regime vision of its theological duty to “cover the world in fire” so that the 12th (or hidden) Iman can emerge on his white horse to rule the world – and they can sit at his right hand.

    Of course, like Max Eastman (who started off a follower of Trotsky), I would argue that having the Trotskyites in power would lead to the same tyranny has having other Marxist factions in power. But the fact remains that even all of Obama’s own kind (the Marxists) support him – as many Trotskyites despise Barack Obama.

  • vimothy

    At least you have a slightly more nuanced version of this story now. No mention of THAAD or Aegis BMD, though. Or the fact that this was announced half a year ago. Or the fact that the missile defence shield was originally proposed to cope with (imaginary) ICBM coming out of the ME and falling on Europe (the Shahab-3 — an MRBM — is not even out of the development stage yet)! Wasn’t it? Is this policy really so bad? Long range missiles being used against Europe are not plausible. Especially by Iran or North Korea. Even if their technology wasn’t laughable, do you think those guys want to get invaded or bombed into smoking holes in the ground?

    “To ths day I haven’t heard a remotely cogent argument against doing so.”

    I can think of at least one: Ras Tanura.

  • mlindroo

    > It’ll piss off the Poles and Czechs

    IT WON’T.

    Popular opinion in both countries (especially the Czech Republic) has been anti- BMD right from the start.

    The political elite accepted Bush’s invitation, for political reasons, but that is another story.