The New York Times’ lead editorial today praises President Obama’ s new nuclear policy, entitled the “Nuclear Posture Review.” According to the perverse logic shared by Obama and the Times, we gain more “credibility” in trying to constrain the “nuclear ambitions of Iran, North Korea and others” if we tie our own hands first. The Times was especially pleased about Obama’s promise not to develop new nuclear weapons.
We are witnessing the latest example of the blame-America-first mentality, which Obama exemplified last year with this statement in Prague, the site he returns to this week to sign a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Putin’s Russia:
as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.
But the Times is not satisfied. It does not think Obama went far enough in his “Nuclear Position Review,” characterizing his new policy as merely
an important down payment on a saner nuclear policy
“Saner nuclear policy” – where have we heard cries for ”sane” nuclear policies before? Oh yes, from the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), which merged in the 1980s with Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign (FREEZE) to form the Peace Action Network (PAN). These are left wing “peace” groups that demand disarmament by the West. The United States in particular, the appeasement crowd argues, is the cause of other nations’ angst and hence the reason they seek their own WMD capabilities. If we disarm, they claim, other nations will follow suit.
Obama is no stranger to the nuclear freeze movement. In fact, he was imbued with its spirit during his formative years. During his student days at Columbia University, he wrote an article for a campus newspaper , entitled “Breaking The War Mentality,” in which he argued that the nuclear disarmament movement should be seen as part of a larger social justice agenda.
The New York Times still reveres the heroes of the nuclear disarmament movement. Last September the paper carried a gauzy tribute to a peace activist, Rev. Carl Kabat, who is still getting arrested for his anti-nuclear antics.
Nearly thirty years ago, Rev. Kabat and his fellow activists managed to batter missile nose cones with hammers and sprinkled blood on classified documents before they were arrested. Last September, he was arrested for trespass, after breaking through a fence and stepping atop the silo of a Minuteman III nuclear missile coming up from the ground.
The Times article last September quoted Kabat as if he were a martyr to a noble cause, who declared after his arrest:
I thought, ‘What a beautiful place this is except for this damnable thing in the ground that could kill two or three million people’
The online version of this article contains a link to the Times‘ ongoing coverage of nuclear issues, including today’s Times‘ lead editorial.
What does The New York Times want that President Obama is not already giving away? It objects that the ban on responding with nuclear weapons to a biological or chemical attack is limited only to foes who are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The Times wants a nuclear response to any biological or chemical arms attack against the United States or its allies by Iran or North Korea to be off the table as well.
The Times also complains that Obama’s promise not to develop new nuclear warheads has
some wiggle room, which we hope is not exercised. New nuclear warheads are not needed.
But The Times need not worry. Just like Obamacare is the first step toward Obama’s vision of a single-payer system, President Obama’s new nuclear arms strategy is but a first step toward his long-held vision of disarming America to serve as a moral example to the world.