Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Obama Limits Nuclear Weapons: That's Nice

From today's news:
"Obama limits U.S. use of nuclear arms"
Reuters (April 6, 2010)
"The Obama administration unveiled a new policy Tuesday restricting U.S. use of nuclear weapons but sent a stern message to nuclear-defiant Iran and North Korea that they remain potential targets."
"Kicking off a hectic week for President Barack Obama's nuclear agenda, his aides rolled out a strategy review that renounced U.S. development of new atomic weapons and could herald further cuts in America's stockpile.

"The announcement, calling for reduced U.S. reliance on its nuclear deterrent, could build momentum before Obama signs a landmark arms control treaty with Russia in Prague Thursday and hosts a nuclear security summit in Washington next week.

"But Obama's revamped strategy is likely to draw criticism from conservatives who say his approach could compromise U.S. national security and disappoint liberals who wanted the president to go further on arms control.

"Under the revamped policy, the United States for the first time is forswearing use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear countries, a break with a Bush-era threat of nuclear retaliation in the event of a biological or chemical attack.

"But the new strategy comes with a major condition that the countries will be spared a U.S. nuclear response only if they are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That loophole means Iran and North Korea would not be protected...."
That's very nice and civilized of President Obama.

I'm not surprised to hear Reuters opine that liberals - the contemporary American political variety, at any rate - are disappointed. Nuclear weapons are not nice. It would be nice if they didn't exist. From some points of view, anyway.

Does This Sort of - Thinking? - Sound Familiar?

For that matter, it would be nice if gunpowder didn't exist. Then those awful nasty guns wouldn't work and people wouldn't hurt each other.

Wait a minute.

Okay: we can keep assuming that technology makes people do things. Quite a lot of people were killed with steel weapons: like swords. If only there were no steel weapons, people would live in peace and harmony.

Something doesn't seem quite right here.

Maybe it isn't any particular sort of metal: it's metal itself.

That's it! Ban all metal weapons, and then we'll all be nice.

Meanwhile, in the World I'm Stuck With

I like to think that I'm a nice guy. I think it would be nice if everybody was nice.

That would be nice.

War isn't nice. Things get broken and people get killed. That isn't nice.

Quite a few things got broken, and quite a few people got killed when New York City's World Trade Center was destroyed. That wasn't nice, either.

I suppose the CIA could 'really' be the ones who blew up the WTC. They could have used radio waves from their invisible helicopters and forced those hijackers to do naughty things. Or maybe made all the people in southern Manhattan think they saw those airliners hit.

You can do quite a lot with radio waves from invisible helicopters.

Particularly if you're the shape-shifting space-alien lizard people who really run the world. (I'm not making that up.)

Terrorists Aren't Always Nice

I suppose it may be impossible for a nation to have complete control over all of its residents, and know exactly what's going on in every part of its territory.

That would explain why the (allegedly) oppressive United States government has trouble with alternatively-sensible militia groups now and again.

Let's some outfit with a name like "the Nation of United, Triumphant States" smuggled a suitcase nuke into Paris and imposed instant urban renewal on the Champs-Élysées. And that the NUTS operated mostly out of a compound in Minnesota's lake country.

That's a hypothetical situation, by the way.

I wouldn't like it at all, if the American government claimed that they couldn't do anything about the NUTS: and didn't think they were really there, anyway. I'd like it still less, if France lobbed a nuke back, and solved Washington's problem for them.

But I think I might understand France's position. Particularly if, a little later, a second nuke took out the Eiffel Tower and that warmonger Parc du Champs de Mars. (What can I say? It's named after an old god of war.)

That Would Never Happen

I like to think that the federal government I pay taxes to wouldn't be quite that suicidally inept. But you never know.

Situations like that can happen though. It looks like Pakistan's central government isn't exactly omnipotent, when it comes to places like the Swat Valley. Then there's the LeT.

Which "obviously" means that warmonger America is using wicked Pakistan to attack nice India. Or maybe it's one of the other ways around.

You want "obvious?" Read a spy novel.

Obama, Nukes, and Being Nice

As I said, I think it's nice that President Obama has changed American policy. Now, until things change again, we won't use nuclear weapons against nations that don't have them.

Or against non-governmental organizations operating within those nations.

I hope that the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and like-minded organizations are impressed, and decide to be nice, too.

Like I said: I hope so. Somehow, I don't think that's a likely outcome.

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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.