President Bush on missile defense, yesterday: “I think those who oppose this ballistic missile system really don’t understand the threats of the 21st century. They’re living in the past. We’re living in the future.” John Kerry on missile defense, May 1, 2001: “But let me underscore that missile defense will do nothing to address what the Pentagon itself considers a much more likely and immediate threat to the American homeland from terrorists and from nonstate actors, who can quietly slip explosives into a building, unleash chemical weapons into a crowded subway, or send a crude nuclear weapon into a busy harbor.”

I’d love it if someone could explain the Bush administration’s obsession with missile defense. Do they think pretending like they can protect us from incoming ICBMs will help them out politically? Is this just a sop to the defense industry? Do they actually think that the system will be effective and that there is a pressing need for it? I just don’t get it.

Update: DefenseTech calls it faith-based missile defense. Not original, but accurate.