Tuesday, April 06, 2010

And Into Plowshares...

President Obama says the Nuclear Posture Review his administration releases today is part of his long-term goal -- very long-term -- of a world without nuclear weapons.

That dream is "unlikely to be achieved even during my lifetime," Obama told The New York Times. But in the meantime there are "a series of specific steps that we could start taking to move in a direction that lessens the threat of nuclear weapons."


As part of the review, the U.S. pledges not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations that are abiding by the global non-proliferation treaty.

That pledge should bind most countries more tightly to the goals of the non-proliferation treaty, Obama said, while sending a message to "outliers" like Iran and North Korea.

It's a START, as they say. Certainly, if he's willing to pursue this diligently, he will have earned his Nobel in arrears.

To use a weapon against a nation that does not have it and has shown no propensity or capability for causing extensive damage to the United States is the height of bullying...which is precisely why you will see Republicans bleat about "not even in self-defense????" Bullies, the lot of them. It doesn't matter that we have a military twice as large as the next eight nations combined. It doesn't matter that we are currently the only nation who could commit significant numbers of troops and amounts of materiel to two conflict theaters and still have enough left in reserve for a couple of other sorties.
No, these jackasses want to bomb the planet into oblivion, if need be.
Why? Because America is better than everybody else, and damned if we aren't going to set out to prove it by wasting the rest to smithereens!
Isn’t it sad that a nation founded on the precept that “All men are created equal” would develop a national sense of pride that is grounded largely in its superiority? That we can't extend the hand of egalitarianism writ large into both our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and play fair with not only the people in our own country, but people around the world?
That "all men are created equal" to these numbnuts nimrods means that they all turn to the same white ash when incinerated by a weapon no one has any business having?
Yes, I'm aware that American exceptionalism is posited to mean that our values, of equality, of democracy, of opportunity for all, are superior to the constructs, concepts, and conceits that had ever been put forth before.
That was 235 years ago. What have we done for us lately?
I submit that we, in our hubris, have caused the world not only to envy us, but to despise us just as the little rich girl in your neighborhood is despised every time she trots out a new bicycle or a fur coat, for her conspicuous consumption.
I submit that we, in our humility, should dial it down a notch and start repudiating some of these masterful marvels we've unleashed on an unready planet. In our egalitarian spirit, we owe it to the world to try to coax the genie back into the bottle. It can't happen, I know that, but we can try, and the closer we get to shoving him back in the bottle and putting a cork in it, the safer the world will be.
Let's turn that exceptionalism into a show of grace.