The American "missile defense shield" bases in Poland and The Czech Republic are being scrapped in favor of a kind of sea-based network. The bases were part of a proposed Bush administration plan to protect Europe from attack from "rogue states", specifically Iran. (Of course, anyone with access to a map can be forgiven for being skeptical of this claim!) Russia was not pleased about them and the Bush administration was repeatedly compelled to state that the bases posed no threat to Moscow. Despite this, tensions grew and in 2008 a Russian general even threatened Poland with a nuclear strike for agreeing to the plan. Understandably, in both Poland and the Czech Republic, popular enthusiasm for thus pleasing America was somewhat dampened by worry. And pleasing America is no trivial matter - there are real worries (in Poland at least) that relations with the US will suffer as a result of the scrapping of the plan.
One thing in all of this is clear to me; even IF there was some diabolical Iranian plan to launch a missile attack upon the West in the near future (a stretch in itself) it would not have been effected significantly by US bases in North-Eastern Europe anyway! Again - check out a map. The fact that not only was an Iranian threat to Europe used as an excuse to construct these bases, but that ridicule of this idea was so subdued in the mainstream media, is, I believe, important for two reasons: Firstly, it's a great example of an obviously flimsy excuse being largely unquestioned and regurgitated by the media and thus popularly accepted; and secondly, where are the conspiracy theorists??? Why do they constantly miss their easiest targets? Why accuse the government of UFO and 9/11 cover-ups, despite a complete lack of evidence, and then allow blatant lies ("we went to war for democracy") and misdeeds (torture) regarding more "mundane" (in other words, existent) issues to go unquestioned?
The question is NOT "does government lie?" Of course they do!! The question is "should we really continue to ignore the lies that are there for all to see, in favor of the ones that we might well be imagining?"
So what was the real point of this missile defense system? Personally, I think Russia had some legitimate concerns.