No Defense for This

Reagan Explaining His SDI Proposal

Before Ronald Reagan won the presidency, he discovered something that astonished him. While touring America’s missile silos, he asked a simple question: what can we do in case of a nuclear missile attack on us? The answer from the military officer? Nothing. We could rain missiles on the Soviet Union, but there was no way to stop missiles from hitting us.

Reagan wanted to rectify that situation. That’s why in March 1983 he told the nation that he was directing the military to research and develop, if possible, a space shield that could stop some of those missiles from destroying the United States. He called it the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). His detractors called it Star Wars, as if he were trying to extend war into space. In fact, it was exactly what he said it was—an attempt to stop missiles from landing here. The goal was defensive, not offensive. It was a threat to the USSR, though, as Gorbachev did everything he could to stop the research. Reagan refused to back down, and SDI was a cornerstone in the plan that led to the fall of the Soviet empire.

Research began, and we have gained some success in a limited way, enough to warrant helping our eastern European allies like Poland and the Czech Republic. Under President Bush, we pledged to set up a missile defensive shield in those countries to help counter any lingering threat from Russia, and from new threats such as Iran.

Last week, the Obama administration decided to scrap those plans.

Our allies were stunned. When Secretary of State Clinton tried to call the Czech president, he refused to answer. Once again, Obama is stiffing allies and reaching out to enemies instead. This move placated Russia; Putin praised it. If Putin thinks you have done something praiseworthy, chances are you have done just the opposite.

Also part of the reason for the decision was an analysis that said Iran was not really a nuclear threat. What kind of wishful thinking is that?

I think the Wall Street Journal said it best:

The European switcheroo continues Mr. Obama’s trend of courting adversaries while smacking allies. His Administration has sought warmer ties with Iran, Burma, North Korea, Russia and even Venezuela. But it has picked trade fights with Canada and Mexico, sat on trade treaties with Colombia and South Korea, battled Israel over West Bank settlements, ignored Japan in deciding to talk with North Korea, and sanctioned Honduras for its sin of resisting the encroachments of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

President Obama seems to be doing everything he can to revolutionize the United States, not only in domestic policy, but in international affairs as well. How much more of this are we going to see? Personally, I think it depends on the faithfulness of Christians to pray for the future of this country and to work for policies that are more consistent with Biblical principles. There is a congressional election in November 2010.

Dare I say it? We must have “hope and change.”