Friday, March 26, 2010

Reducing Nukes

Amidst the drama and rancor of the healthcare struggles, President Obama and Soviet President Medvedyev put together a very important nuclear arms treaty, which will decrease strategic warheads on both sides by about 30% and missile systems by even more. These systems are fossils remaining from the cold war and the existence of the former USSR. They are costly and still dangerous. Even after reduction, the firepower will be enough to destroy the population of the world several times over in explosions and fallout; also, their existence is a magnet for terrorists.

It is likely that their reduction, should the Senate ratify the agreement by a necessary 2/3 vote, will still be costly, since it appears that the military industrial complex has bought into the agreement because it will entail spending millions/billions to "modernize" the remainer of our arsenal. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs was standing with Obama and Sec. of State Clinton, clearly beaming.

It will be interesting to see if the Republicans will support this agreement, or use it as yet another excuse for a partisan attack, this time claiming that the President is deliberately selling us out to the Russkies. John McCain, truly entering his second childhood if not senescence, has already proclaimed that his party will not cooperate with the Dems for the rest of the year. (Fiscal or academic or calendar?). That's patriotism for you. You remember John, who is an expert on things military by virtue of being shot down and held captive in North Vietnam. I guess that would make any paroled criminal an expert in penology, if not forensic medicine. Combining this "expertise" with hardening of the mental arteries makes McCain a truly formidable senator indeed.

In any case, you've got to give Obama credit, both for negotiating this pact and for the recent recovery of his political mojo.

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