Sunday, April 5, 2009

President Obama: Ban the Bomb

President wants to ban all nuclear weapons.

He also wants Turkey in the European Union.

President Obama may get his way with Turkey, but I'll be astonished if his 'ban the bomb' desire gets anywhere.

Ban Technology, Military or Otherwise? Been There, Tried That

About a thousand years ago, give or take a few centuries, the Church tried to ban cutting-edge military technology, like the crossbow.1 The Second Lateran Council wasn't particularly successful in 1139. My guess is that the Obama administration will be as effective at putting a technological genie back in the bottle, here at the dawn of the Information Age.

President Barack Obama means well, I think. And, he's a fine orator. Addressing Prague and the world, he said:

"...To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned...." (The Washington Post)

He may even succeed in creating a legal framework which will prevent America and a few other countries from producing and maintaining nuclear weapons. After five decades of talk about the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, that would be a memorable accomplishment.

However, I can't help but think that it's possible - no matter how unlikely - that the leadership of countries like North Korea, or even a comparative paragon of peace and goodwill like Pakistan, would follow suit.

Related posts: In the news:
1 No joke: the crossbow takes a while to reload, but the amount of energy in a crossbow bolt makes up for the slow rate of fire. The Church tried to ban the crossbow, as part of a program to dampen feudal Europe's "endemic warfare" ("The European Middle Ages, I: Fragmentation, Centralization, and the Church (Notes)," History 105, California State University, Fresno (Microsoft Word format)) ("INTERNATIONAL LAW STUDIES Volume 82 / The Law of War in the 21st Century: Weaponry and the Use of Force," Anthony M. Helm Editor, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island (pdf)).

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.