Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Max against missiles

They started in north Moravia this morning. A team of about 20 US military experts is looking for a place to put some missiles.

The project is part of a US anti-missile defence system, an umbrella, so to speak, that will protect all of Europe from North Korea, Iran and any other “rogue” countries that decide to attack us.

The US Department of Defence wants to build a base for missiles and they are considering three sites in the Czech Republic, as well as sites in Poland and Hungary. A team has already inspected the sites in Poland, and a team will go to Hungary later this summer. The Polish newspaper Przegląd has claimed that a deal has already been made between Washington and Warsaw for a base in northeastern Poland. I hope they’re right, but only because it would keep the missiles away from Czech.

The sites the US missile team is inspecting in the Czech Republic are all military training areas (vojenský výcvikový prostor) and they have all previously hosted Soviet troops. The locals have not missed the irony.

The missile experts are in Libavá today. Vojenský výcvikový prostor Libavá is about 25 km northeast of Olomouc. The majority of local residents are not very happy about the prospect of a missile base. They don’t believe that a US military presence will bolster the local economy or, in fact, provide any benefits at all.

The other scheduled stops on the inspection tour are Jince and Boletice. Vojenský výcvikový prostor Jince is near Příbram, about half-way between Prague and Plzeň. Boletice is in Šumava and only 5 km from Český Krumlov.

Many in the Czech government seem to think that a US missile base on Czech territory would be a positive thing. Particularly ODS, who apparently like the flavour of American butt. Only the Communists have come out unequivocally against the project.

And Max. I am with the Communists on this one.

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