A thought occurred to me today as I was listening to a Newshour podcast. They were discussing the fact that President Obama is killing GW Bush’s plans for the Missile Shield in Poland and Czech Republic and replacing it with a new program that he feels more effectively addresses the immediate threat posed by the Iran missile program.They had two guests on the program, as they often do. One of them agrees with the new plan and the other thinks the change is a mistake. This post isn’t really about the defensive system itself, so I’ll only recap briefly. Essentially, the President’s position is that the old system was being designed to defend against ICBM threats posed by Iran. The assertion is that this Iranian ICBM program is moving more slowly than estimates indicated, but that short and medium range missile tests are progressing more quickly. Furthermore, the missile shield dreamt up by the former President has never been developed and has never been demonstrated to be feasible. So, President Obama is proposing a program that will more effectively defend against these short and medium range missile attacks which are considered far more imminent. The proponent suggested that the old system was a system that didn’t work going up against a threat that didn’t exist. The opponents of the plan think the President is giving in to Russian pressure and, in the process, leaving US interests and allies in eastern Europe vulnerable to attack. I tend to think that re-aligning our strategic assets to meet the needs as they exist today instead of trying to anticipate a need 15 years out with technology that has never been shown to work with any reliability is a far more pragmatic approach. And this doesn’t even begin to account for the goodwill gained from major players in the region by stopping a program that, since its inception, has been very unpopular to all involved. Here’s what I thought was interesting. One camp is sitting here telling us the recent changes are a big mistake for the reasons outlined above. The other camp is trying to convince us that this new plan is the only sensible option. We, the viewers and listeners, the voting public, are left in the middle trying to figure out who to believe. All the while, we have the President and his staff sitting in their offices laughing at how utterly naive we all are. They clearly have a plan, but no one outside his circle knows what it is. We’re all left to grope in the dark while he looks on from on high. I’m generally a left leaning person and have supported our President in most regards. I’m not suggesting that this situation is unique to Barack Obama, our current President. This little dance would be occurring no matter who was President and it happens for all issues, not just this missile shield. I don’t see a solution to this. Despite all the noble claims of transparency, there are just some things that the government will not allow to be public, and I’m sure the real reasons for this change are among them. Furthermore, unless we make ourselves experts on the dynamics of eastern European affairs and United States Foreign Policy, we can’t hope to figure this out for ourselves. So who do we trust, mainstream media? They presumably have the experts who can help sort out some of these details, but they’re so biased toward their political alignments that we’re still left trying to interpret the findings of our ‘independent’ sources. I don’t think there’s an easy answer.