In the first few days within being elected President of the United States, Barack Obama has taken bold stances toward the foreign policy discussion. During a weekend when most Americans are attempting to take a break from the confrontational political jabber which has been blasted through the FOXs and CNNs of the world since September 11th, Obama took steps to greater hostility toward not only Iran, but also Russia and most of the populace in Central Europe.
According to the AP, President-Elect Obama spoke with Polish President Lech Kaczyinski this past Friday, and promised Kaczyinski his continued support for the Missile Defense Shield, which will include a radar in Brdy, Czech Republic, and ten anti-ballistic missiles in Poland, only 100 miles from the Russian border. Seeking to establish close ties with the Polish government, in both economic and military matters, Polish newsite Dziennik.pl reported that Obama hinted at making a visit to Warsaw as a top point on his agenda for 2009. However, Obama's willfull concessions to increased militarization in Central Europe and increased hostility with Russia strikes alarm to many of the citizens of these freedom-loving nations.
At a President-Elect news briefing the next day, Obama representative Dennis McDonough backpedalled on questions about Obama's telephone conference with Kaczyinski. When asked about Obama's support for stationing missiles in Poland, he claimed that Obama has continued supporting the greater Missile Defense Shield project only if the science proves that it actually works. However, the many scientific tests done over the past year for the radar in the Czech Republic have questioned the integrity of the system and pointed out the many health risks for citizens living in the 50km area.
Despite all the jabber and positioning from the new mixed-signal Obama team, Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski noted that the entire system depends on the ability of the Czech Parliament to ratify the two treaties for the radar signed in Prauge earlier this summer. Unlike in 1938, this year, the Czechs (or at least their notoriously corrupt representatives), will have a chance to decide the fate of their national sovereignty.
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