They called former President Ronald Reagan an idiot for even suggesting the famed Space (CORRECTION: Strategic) Defense Initiative back during his term in office. And his critics in the media and the Democratic party (which amounts to roughly the same thing) were legion. However, as a recent article by James Thayer for the Weekly Standard online magazine points out, despite the naysayers, Reagan had the right idea. And as a result, missile defense is almost a reality at last. Well, it wouldn't be the first time that Reagn was proven right and his critics wrong. Does anyone remember his "Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev!" speech? How many Democrats would have dared to say that? Maybe Joseph Lieberman, but no one else I can think of. And how many in the media give him credit for his steadfast vision and courage?
Although the system is not complete, and it is not 100 percent perfect, tests are encouraging and most of our true allies (Australia, Britain, Poland, Japan) are jumping on board. As Donald Rumsfeld said regarding the system, "Did we have perfection with our first airplane, our first rifle, our first ship? I mean, they'd still be testing at Kitty Hawk, for God's sake, if you wanted perfection." I find this an entirely appropriate comment. Of course, the critics don't want perfection- they want surrender.
If we can get a reliable missile defense system deployed, then Iran and North Korea can threaten all they want, and we can simply tell them to do what they wish, sionce they are completely unable to harm us. I am certain that we would be happy to provide our closest allies (Israel comes to mind) with this technology as well. And that would be a blow to the mullahs, as their little nukes would no longer be of any use to them As Michael Ledeen of the National Review likes to say, "Faster please".
05/26/2006 CORRECTION UPDATE: I mistakenly typed "Space Defense Initiative" in my original post. I am not sure what I was thinking, but the correct name of Reagan's proposed program was the Strategic Defense Initiative.