The issue at hand is the Bush administration's plan to install parts of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, which the Times predictably castigates. But a few sentences from the editorial jump out at me:
"It is unlikely, however, that more military posturing against Iran is going to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions."
"Ms. Rice, who’s been counting on Russia to help keep up the pressure against Iran’s nuclear efforts, should have known that provoking Moscow this way could be especially counterproductive."
"Add to that the fact that the move has annoyed “old European” allies, like Germany, which are central to efforts to contain Iran, and it seems like another example of diplomatic negligence."
The Times seems to assume that the Bush administration is seeking to install this system as part of its efforts to deter Iran from seeking nuclear weapons, which strikes me as more than a little odd. The point of a missile defense system isn't to deter another country from arming itself; it's to deter that country from attacking you with those weapons.
It's a move that only makes sense if you concede that Iran is going to get those weapons no matter what. And that says to me that the Bush administration, regardless of what it claims in public, has in fact resigned itself to that conclusion.
Rejoice, ye triumphant pacifist front! There will be no second invasion. When the UN's paper-thin resolve breaks and Iran refuses to back down, the United States will do...absolutely nothing. The mullahs will get the bomb; the most Bush can do is try to make sure that Iran doesn't use it against Europe.
Israel? They're on their own. Again.
I don't know who should be more scared by that.