Russia interprets the construction of missile defense facilities on Polish soil as a hostile act. And rightly so — clearly the only possible adversary such a system could be aimed against is Russia. The Bush administration, however, not only believes in the missile shield but believes in pretending it’s not an anti-Russian gesture. Thus we get stuff like this:
“This is an agreement that, of course, will establish a missile defense site here in Poland, a missile defense site that will help us to deal with the new threat to the 21st century of long-range missile threats from countries like Iran or from North Korea,” Rice said yesterday at the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw.
As Spencer Ackerman wisely points out the idea of a North Korean missile attacking Poland is laughable and of an Iranian missile doing so only very slightly less so. The countries that Poland worries about are Russia and Germany; the countries with substantial missile arsenals are the United States and Russia; the country that this would defend Poland against if it worked (which it doesn’t) is Russia.