Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why the START treaty is irrelevant

Jonah Goldberg makes a good point about the newly executed START treaty (which is still subject to Senate approval) that is also relevant to the likelihood that President Obama will do anything to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Ultimately, when and how a country uses its nuclear weapons does not depend on treaties. It depends on the Commander-in-Chief. Sure, worries about violating a treaty might — probably would — make using nukes more "costly" in a president's cost-benefit analysis. But at the end of the day, using nukes is such a huge deal that I think most presidents, most human beings, would make the decision based on their core values and instincts. And, suffice it to say, I don't think Barack Obama would ever use nuclear weapons under almost any remotely plausible circumstances. He's even less likely to use nukes than the president in Independence Day, and that Bill Pullman character first needed to mind-meld with one of the aliens to be extra-super-sure that they were evil conquerors. The fact that most of America's — and the world's leading cities — had been obliterated wasn't enough. After all, it could have been a misunderstanding.

Anyway, Obama has long had hang-ups with nuclear weapons. If memory serves, he was in effect a SANE Freeze guy at Columbia (or he wrote an article placing himself in that camp). The fact that he has now committed us to a treaty arrangement that reflects his views — or reflects movement in that direction — is not shocking. But even if we had no missile treaties of any kind, the likelihood that he would ever use nukes remains close to zero. I think pretty much everyone around the world knows that about him. And whether this treaty is ratified or not, that will remain the case until he leaves office.
I don't believe it's an aversion to using nukes. I believe it's an aversion to using force generally. Obama is a pacifist. And unfortunately, pacifists are not very realistic about the likely effects of their pacifism on others.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Then Carl - if he is a pacifist then you have to explain his aggressiveness on Israel. Since pacifists are reluctant to make waves or a pick a fight with any one. But Israel appears to be for Obama, the exception to that rule.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl -

I would hazard a guess we won't see him order any military action against Iran as long as he's President. If I'm wrong about that, I'll buy you a beer the next time I'm in Jerusalem.


Post a Comment

<< Home