After the poetic rhetoric in Prague, it was tempting to think that Obama might be headed in the right direction on at least one issue. I’d be willing to forgive just about all of his sins were he to get significant movement in reducing America’s nuclear arsenal. START has been technically defunct since December and negotiations between the US and Russia are ongoing. But the same stupidity that derailed the last great attempt at nuclear disarmament has returned. Gibbs says that Medvedev didn’t mention a problem last time he and Obama talked. An anonymous source involved in the process adds that, “Gibbs also had a friend of Obama’s who’s in the same gym class as Medvedev’s best friend ask about it, and apparently the note that Obama’s friend got later in math class didn’t say anything about it either.” So maybe it’s, like, ok.
Once upon a time, Gorbachev met Reagan and suggested that both the US and the USSR pretty much give up nuclear weapons. Reagan being the doddering old fool that he was thought Gorbachev was joking until a couple of his advisers made it clear that Gorbachev meant every word. In fact, Gorbachev was willing to go first. Reagan actually liked the idea – he fell out with the neocons who invoke his name incessantly over it – but he also really liked movies. There was one movie in particular where the US was saved by a system similar to the SDI that was being sold as the greatest thing ever…just as soon as it could be made to work. That really appealed to Reagan and he wouldn’t let it go. It was the only sticking point, the thing that Gorbachev couldn’t give on.
Obama played up canceling the Bush plan of radar and missile bases in the Czech Republic and Poland, but he didn’t cancel the idea. He merely shifted it to a sea-based system that doesn’t need foreign hosting and actually covers more ground than system he canceled. Now he’s going to implement the new system and go ahead with Bush’s plans as well, with Romania replacing the Czech Republic.
If the START negotiations falter, they will do so because of this issue. The Russians will be painted as recalcitrant and obstinate, unable to see the pure intentions of the United States. Never mind that the United States cannot point out a valid threat worthy of such a system outside of the Russian arsenal. The US has always reserved the right to make a nuclear first strike…as always, displaying the class that makes us leaders of the free world. What missile defense does is give the US the ability to launch a first strike and defend against a return volley. Russia’s only real defense then is to have enough missiles to overwhelm the American system.
And it’s in negotiations to reduce its missile arsenal while the Obama administration is publicly announcing ever more missile defense plans within modern, military spitting distance of the Russian border.
Without the missile defense system, i’d be willing to wager that Putin/Medvedev would agree to rather steep cuts. They can’t be worried about a conventional invasion of Russia. That’s a tough trick to turn in the best of cases, and the Pentagon has proven over the last decade that it can barely walk and chew gum at the same time. The Wehrmacht it ain’t. America’s state proxies in the region are not very threatening nor will the US actually step up behind them when the bullets start flying, as the shit-stomping of Georgia proved. So reducing the risk of nuclear war probably strengthens Russia’s hand in the region.
Maybe the Obama team knows this, and maybe they’re not really interested in making cuts anyhow. Lord knows he’s already proven that he’s not a man of his beautiful words. This could well be just smoke and mirrors to keep the Left quiet while he continues the incompetent quest to conquer the world he inherited from his predecessors. After all, Mr. “I’d really like a world without nuclear weapons” is also upping the budget for America’s nuclear arsenal while talking about how we need to freeze spending.
We didn’t get the American Gorbachev, we got the half-black Reagan.
hat tip to Kev Hall