Tag Archives: nuclear weapons

Ronald Obama

8 Apr

Yesterday, President Obama signed an historic nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russian President Medvedev.

President Obama is quick to caution: ridding the world of nuclear weapons entirely is a long-range ambition that might not happen in his lifetime. But a new START treaty with Russia was one of the benchmarks he set for himself a year ago. He said today’s signing represents one brick on a road to a brighter future.

The agreement requires both the U.S. and Russia to eliminate about a third of their strategic nuclear weapons over the next seven years, and cuts the number of launchers for those weapons in half. It also puts in place a new verification system. Without that, the U.S. would have been unable to monitor Russia’s nuclear arsenal since the old START treaty expired in December.

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The next step is ratification of the treaty in the Russian Duma and the U.S. Senate.  The former is likely a formality while the latter will be a lot tougher.  Obama needs a two thirds majority in the Senate (aka 8 Republicans) to ratify the treaty and Republican leaders have already stated their objections to the treaty.

This follows the release by the Obama Administration of their Nuclear Posture Review document, which lays out the circumstances under which the U.S. might use nuclear weapons.  The document declares that the U.S. will not use or threaten to use nukes against any country that conforms with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The NPR makes a pointed exclusion that Iran and North Korea will still be subjected to use of our offensive nuclear weapons in the event of an NBC attack from either country.

Of course, Fox News and the tea party fringe are treating this all as an affront to Democracy and yet another step on the way towards socialmaocommunistislamofascism.

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Yes, that really ran on Fox yesterday

I guess Reagan was a peacenik as well

We live in a troubled world, and the United States and China, as two great nations, share a special responsibility to help reduce the risks of war. We both agree that there can be only one sane policy to preserve our precious civilization in this modern age: A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. And no matter how great the obstacles may seem, we must never stop our efforts to reduce the weapons of war. We must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of this Earth.

Today, President Obama took a step toward realizing Reagan’s dream of a nuclear free world, earning the derision of Reagan loving tea party Republicans.

Irony is dead.

Flip Flops

27 Jun

George W. Bush in May:

As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

(Note that the senator in question was a Republican Senator from Idaho

George W. Bush in June:

In more than two years of negotiations, the man who once declared North Korea part of an “axis of evil” with Iran and Iraq, angrily vowing to confront, not negotiate with, its despotic leader, in fact demonstrated a flexibility that his critics at home and abroad once considered impossible.

That is why Mr. Bush is likely to receive only grudging credit, if any, for the accomplishment, which could turn out to be the last significant diplomatic breakthrough of his presidency.

North Korea’s declaration — and the administration’s quid pro quo lifting of some sanctions — faced criticism from conservatives who attacked it as too little and from liberals who said it came too late.

“The regime’s nuclear declaration is the latest reminder that, despite Mr. Bush’s once bellicose rhetoric, engaging our enemies can pay dividends,” Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, whom Mr. Bush defeated in the 2004 presidential election, said in a statement after the declaration on Thursday.

“Historians will long wonder,” he continued, “why this administration did not directly engage North Korea before Pyongyang gathered enough material for several nuclear weapons, tested a nuclear device and the missiles to deliver them.”

For the record, I fully support the Bush administration’s efforts diplomatically to engage North Korea and Iran. It’s important to talk to our enemies in an effort to make the world a safer place. We cannot refuse to speak to certain countries out of some respect for morality or human rights – American history is replete with evidence that we are quite happy to speak with despotic regimes of all shapes and sizes, if not engage in full diplomatic relations with them.

I only wish that Bush wouldn’t trot out “appeasement” and Chamberlain and Munich and 1938 and Hitler as an adjective for talks with other enemies that aren’t North Korea. It is counterproductive, ignorant, and stupid. Also, KCNA doesn’t have anything up about it yet.

Oftentimes, diplomacy and moderation can trump aggression and extremism.