Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Move over Civil War, the Cold War is now our never-ending war

Posted By on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Tell me, why wouldn't we want a nuclear arms treaty? Why wouldn't we want peace in our world? Reminder: The GOP's last presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, sang "bomb, bomb, bomb ... bomb, bomb bomb Iran" thinking he was funny. What is wrong with these people? Endless war isn't good for anyone. And, allowing one senator to jack up the treaty process — or any other legislative issue — definitely isn't good for our Democracy.

More on Republicans grandstanding with global peace from The New York Times:

President Obama’s hopes of ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia by the end of the year appeared to come undone on Tuesday as the chief Senate Republican negotiator moved to block a vote on the pact, one of the White House’s top foreign policy goals, in the lame-duck session of Congress.

The announcement by the senator, Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican point man on the issue, blindsided and angered the White House, which vowed to keep pressing for approval of the so-called New Start treaty. But the White House strategy had hinged entirely on winning over Mr. Kyl, and Democrats, who began scrambling for a backup plan, said they considered the chances of success slim.

Winning approval of the treaty will only become harder for the White House next year, when Democrats will have six fewer seats in the Senate, forcing the administration to rely on additional Republican votes to reach the 67 needed for ratification.

The treaty, which would force both countries to pare back nuclear arsenals and resume mutual inspections that lapsed last year for the first time since the cold war, is the centerpiece of two of Mr. Obama’s signature goals: restoring friendly relations with Russia and putting the world on a path toward eventually eliminating nuclear arms. A failure to ratify the treaty could freeze both efforts and, some analysts said, undermine Mr. Obama’s credibility on the world stage.

“Failure to pass the New Start treaty this year would endanger our national security,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has led negotiations with Mr. Kyl, said in a statement. It would mean “no verification regime to track Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal,” Mr. Biden said, and would sour a relationship that has helped open a new supply route to troops in Afghanistan and increase pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program.

“Given New Start’s bipartisan support and enormous importance to our national security, the time to act is now, and we will continue to seek its approval by the Senate before the end of the year,” Mr. Biden said.

Read the rest of this article, by Peter Baker, here.

Further reading: Kazakhstan Completes Move, Storage Of Nuclear Stash — NPR

Should we start practicing hiding under our desks and running to our bunkers again? Can we go back to teaching our children how to prepare for the nuclear holocaust with cartoons now?

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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