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Once again, the AP shows blatant right-wing bias, now on the subject of Obama's changed plans for the missile defense. Their headline:

"Poles, Czechs: US missile defense shift a betrayal"

That's simply not the truth.

That's the Republican-Neocon version of the truth. It's their fictional world view (tragically shared by some equally delusional folks on the left, albeit in fewer numbers), where the USA is the great savior and protector of Europe - for which Europeans should be grateful.

Even if the very same Republicans will malign Europe every chance they get. Over universal health care, over their 'socialist' governments, their unions, their long vacations, their support of abortion rights and opposition to torture and the death penalty.. And to be added to the list: Yesterday's call from the EU for more salary caps on bank executive bonuses.

But the AP story is also evidence that you can really fool Americans into believing almost any lies about Europe (like that Stephen Hawking wouldn't survive there), because so many Americans know so little about it. Especially the rabid Republican base.

But let's see what evidence the AP presents for Poles and Czechs thinking this was a 'betrayal':

"Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back," the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page.

Oh-kay. A tabloid headline. Would you say the headline on the front page of the NY Post tends to represent US majority opinion? I wouldn't. The AP doesn't mention at all what the editorials were in more serious papers, like Gazeta Wyborcza.

Ah! But there's more:

Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he was concerned that Obama's new strategy leaves Poland in a dangerous "gray zone" between Western Europe and the old Soviet sphere.

Here's the thing, Lech Kaczyński is an idiot. This is the guy who said homosexuality was a threat to mankind:

If that kind of approach to sexual life were to be promoted on a grand scale, the human race would disappear.

Most of the Poles I know, including some who are quite conservative, think he's an embarrassment to their country.

As for the Czech republic, the AP story doesn't really supply anything that seems to support an outrage, unless you consider "Russia won" as an outrage. I don't, since yes, it was a victory for Russia. But also for common sense. Of course, in the black-and-white world view of the Neocon, a win for Russia must be a loss for the West.

The truth
Now, I'm not basing this all on my personal experiences. Maybe the people I know aren't representative. But it doesn't appear that way.

A poll in 2007 put Polish support of the USA's missile defense at 58% in Poland and 38% in Czech Republic. A more recent poll from 2008 put the support in Poland at only 36%, with 50% opposed.

That's the truth of the matter. There is no overwhelming public support for this missile defense in these countries. There never was. The most it ever was, was an alliance between Neocons and the right-wing hawks of these countries. Not an alliance between America and the people of central Europe.

The headline "Russia won" is perhaps most representative of the actual opinion of the right-wingers in Poland and the Czech Republic. For them, it was not about missile defense per se. They are not paranoid about missiles from Russia or Iran hitting them anytime soon the way Americans are. It was simply another opportunity to show off their west-friendliness and give their hated Russia another poke in the eye.

Note, by the way, that the West-European nations, our traditionally closest allies, are even more strongly against it all. Because they're neither as concerned about the missile threat nor interested in provoking Russia for its own sake.

Originally posted to BluePlatypus on Fri Sep 18, 2009 at 08:28 AM PDT.

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