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Obama Has Gotten It Wrong for Twenty-Five Years

Those who suspect the president is engaged in a bit of dangerous self-delusion and denial about certain unpleasant realities regarding the threats from rogue states won’t be heartened to read that his current non-proliferation fetish stems, at least according to the New York Times, from his college infatuation with the nuclear freeze movement. Apparently, youthful Obama did not focus on the results from Ronald Reagan’s refusal to buy into the fantasies of liberals –namely the fall of the Soviet Empire. That lesson has entirely eluded now-president Obama. Is it any wonder his critics find his posture fraught with peril and entirely out-of-touch with the threats we face?

As the Times reports:

“This is dangerous, wishful thinking,” Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, and Richard Perle, an architect of the Reagan-era nuclear buildup that appalled Mr. Obama as an undergraduate, wrote last week in The Wall Street Journal. They contend that Mr. Obama is, indeed, a naïf for assuming that “the nuclear ambitions of Kim Jong-il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be curtailed or abandoned in response to reductions in the American and Russian deterrent forces.”

In the interview, the president described his agenda as the best way to move forward in a turbulent world.
“It’s naïve for us to think,” he said, “that we can grow our nuclear stockpiles, the Russians continue to grow their nuclear stockpiles, and our allies grow their nuclear stockpiles, and that in that environment we’re going to be able to pressure countries like Iran and North Korea not to pursue nuclear weapons themselves.”

But what is naïve, of course, is to think that Iran and North Korea will be impressed by our disarmament efforts. No consideration is given, just as none was given by the nuclear freeze crowd a generation ago, to the possibility that disarmament will only embolden our adversaries and confuse our allies. But apparently Obama’s worldview has not matured much since his Columbia days:

Mr. Obama’s journalistic voice was edgy with disdain for what he called “the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country” amid “the growing threat of war.” The two groups, he wrote, “visualizing the possibilities of destruction and grasping the tendencies of distorted national priorities, are throwing their weight into shifting America off the dead-end track.”

So little has changed. President Obama, like college student Obama, still fails to grasp the moral and political dimensions of the struggle we are involved in, still lacks any appreciation for the nature of totalitarian despots and of the motives compelling them to seek nuclear weapons. He is still fixated on the notion that weakness can resolve international threats. Unfortunately, the consequences for student Obama were not potentially fatal to his country. The reality is different today. As the Times notes:

Critics argue that the North Koreas of the world will simply defy the ban — and that the international community will fail to punish offenders.

“If the implications were not so serious, the discrepancy between Mr. Obama’s plans and real-world conditions would be hilarious,” said Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a Reagan-era Pentagon official who directs the Center for Security Policy, a private group in Washington. “There is only one country on earth that Team Obama can absolutely, positively denuclearize: Ours.”

And really, what excuse is there for Obama’s ludicrous worldview? Unlike student Obama, President Obama knows how the Cold War ended. And it wasn’t by disarming America.


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