First, by way of general observation we repeat our warnings against the terrifying arms race in which the nations of the earth are presently engaged. We deplore in particular the building of vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry. We are advised that there is already enough such weaponry to destroy in large measure our civilization, with consequent suffering and misery of incalculable extent.It is my feeling that nuclear weapons are evil, and that part of the responsibility of bearing the Gospel of Peace is speaking out against them. I would love for members of the church to take the lead in opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and encouraging the nations of the world to disarm. This goal can only be achieved through full international cooperation, and since the church is an international entity preaching peace we should have a strong and loud voice.
And there is a lot going on in the world of nuclear weapons these days. President Obama recently signed a new START Treaty and Protocol with the Russians which will significantly reduce the number of weaponized nuclear warheads in both countries and increase monitoring of the progress of that reduction.
This is important for two reasons. First, we want to live in a world with fewer nuclear weapons, not more. We want to live in a world that values and engenders peaceful conflict resolution, not saber-rattling and faux macho-ism. We want to live in a world where there is a lesser chance of nuclear weapons and materials falling into the hands of terrorists than a greater chance. Since the United States and Russia possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, this treaty and those that will follow are crucial.
Second, it is necessary in our efforts to restrain the spread of nuclear weapons in other parts of the world. The United States and other signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are in the business not only of not proliferating themselves but of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons to currently non-nuclear states. We can only ask for the latter of other countries with a straight face if we are doing the former. Non-nuclear states have no incentive not to pursue nuclear weapons if we are not offering to disarm ourselves.
On that note, the Obama Administration has called a nuclear security summit next week which will bring leaders from 46 nations to Washington to discuss how to protect and secure the world's nuclear material and punish those nations like Iran and North Korea that refuse to cooperate. But, as the invaluable Foreign Policy Magazine points out, all 46 visiting nations have their own agendas and the issues are varied. It is not as easy and just everyone agreeing to the reduction and securing of nuclear weapons, everyone wants something different in return for cooperation and it is almost unimaginable complex.
Which brings us to the appropriate foil in this whole nuclear story. As part of the administrations emphasis on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, it recently released a new Nuclear Posture Review. One of the very sensible things it does is, again in an effort to create a more peaceful world and gain the cooperation of non-nuclear nations, declare that the United States will not use nuclear weapons against conforming NPT nations. It says the fundamental use for nukes is deterrence.
Our foil -- you guessed it, Sarah Palin -- had this to say in response:
It's unbelievable. Unbelievable. No administration in America's history would, I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out President Obama is supporting today. It's kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, "Go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me."It goes without saying that she got the facts wrong. But more embarrassing, she has managed to reduce this entire complex and downright scary issue to a childishly simplistic playground fight analogy. I don't think we can overstate how dangerous she could be to America, and let me say here that I am becoming absolutely convinced that Palin is the 2012 Republican frontrunner. She gets the biggest crowds by far, she gets the most media attention by far, she is the preferred candidate among the vocal and energized TPN. And her response to Pres. Obama trying to get the world to reduce and retard the number of nuclear weapons to a comparison of a couple kids fighting during recess.
I don't know if I'm mortified at the prospect of her leading the nation, not to mention a major political party, or giddy at the thought of an Obama-Palin matchup in 2012 which would likely end in a Reagan-esque 1984. I guess both.