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This editorial appears in the August 22, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Childish Bluff Can Lead to War

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Lyndon LaRouche responded forcefully last week to Western government and media outbursts at recent statements by Russian officials, warning that the deployment of American missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic could force Russia to retarget its nuclear weapons against those sites. "What do they expect?" LaRouche demanded. "This is nothing new. Top Russian officials, including Prime Minister and former President Putin have been saying precisely this for more than a year now. Don't they listen? Don't they realize that bluffing of this type gets you in serious trouble?"

Today's British media, led by the Fabian Society-linked Guardian, all reacted with shock to statements made by Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Air Force, who responded to the announcement that the United States and Poland had signed an agreement to station American anti-missile batteries on Polish soil, by declaring, "By deploying, Poland is exposing itself to a strike, 100 percent."

LaRouche expressed shock at the stupidity of some leading NATO and U.S. officials, who fail to realize the consequences of such provocative actions. "Now, if the ABM systems are actually deployed to Poland," LaRouche explained, "the country becomes a legitimate target, and under some circumstances, they will be hit." LaRouche demanded that the authors of this deployment scheme "stop bluffing like children. This can get people killed. War is not a game. Didn't the past week's events in South Ossetia teach them anything? Don't they see that bluffing is dangerous?"

LaRouche noted that the British have issued apologies for their miscalculation and provocations against the Russians, through their puppet Georgian regime of Mikhael Saakashvili. "The British misjudged the Russians, and they said, 'Oops,' and backed off. You saw it in the Daily Telegraph commentaries by their top diplomatic correspondent, David Blair. But so far," LaRouche noted, "nobody in the U.S. government has had the sense to acknowledge the mistake."

Indeed, the threats to retarget Russian nuclear weapons at Poland and the Czech Republic is nothing new. On June 4, 2007, then-Russian President Putin told the Canadian daily, the Globe and Mail, the same thing. As reported by Doug Sanders, "Asked what he might do to retaliate [for the ABM deployment in Central Europe], he said he would return to the Cold War practice of having Russian ballistic missiles programmed to strike targets in Europe, in this case, he said, the Czech and Polish anti-missile sites as well as new U.S. bases in Bulgaria and Romania." Putin was directly quoted: "It is obvious that if part of the strategic nuclear potential of the United States is located in Europe, and according to our military experts will be threatening us, we will have to respond. What kind of steps are we going to take in response? Of course, we are going to get new targets in Europe."

Less than a month after that interview, the Putin met with U.S. President George W. Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, and offered Russian-American collaboration on missile defense, and proposed that existing Russian radar installations in Azerbaijan could be used, as an alternative to the unilateral American missile defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic. The Bush Administration refused to abandon the planned Eastern European deployments, despite the Russian proposal.

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