Russia Tosses Gauntlet 12 Hours Into Obama Presidency

By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ

November 5, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Following almost immediately on the heels of the election of Barack Obama as America's 44th president, and as predicted by vice president elect Joe Biden, Russia today dropped the gauntlet in a dangerous gambit to prevent U.S. missile defense systems from being installed in NATO's newest member states, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Speaking for the Russian government, president Dmitry Medvedev issued the challenge shortly into his first state of the union speech declaring that short-range nuclear capable Iskander missiles will be deployed because, "Mechanisms must be created to block mistaken, egoistical and sometimes simply dangerous decisions of certain members of the international community..."

U.S. Russian tensions have remained high since Russia's invasion of Georgia last August, a move which brought international condemnation, but a curiously muted response from then candidate Obama.

Though the American missile defense systems intended for deployment in Eastern Europe are designed to deal only with a possible Iranian missile launch, Medvedev is claiming that America plans to use them against Russia, "From what we have seen in recent years, the creation of a missile defense system, the encirclement of Russia with military bases, the relentless expansion of NATO, we have gotten the clear impression that they are testing our strength."

The United States is particularly apprehensive over the prospect of an Iranian based electromagnetic pulse [EMP] missile attack, which has the potential of knocking out domestic satellite communication systems, frying defense electronics components and bringing the already ailing economy to a halt.

The rogue Islamic government in Tehran has become a key trading partner with Russia and is seen as an important strategic ally.

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