Obama Correct About Taking Nukes Off the Table



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Saturday, August 4, 2007 - 6:00pm

Obama Correct About Taking Nukes Off the Table

Presidential candidate Barack Obama declared earlier this week that he would never use nuclear weapons in Afghanistan or Pakistan to take out terrorists.  That sounds like a fairly responsible statement, don't you think?  Unfortunately, many Democratic presidential candidates criticized Senator Obama, calling him anything from confused to naive.


 In the history of mankind, nuclear weapons have been used only twice, both times by the United States.  In 1941, then President Truman ordered the strikes against civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan.  Over 150,000 people died as a result, including thousands of American citizens and hundreds of allied POW's.  It was the single biggest mistake in the history of America.  Regrettably, few people recognize it as a mistake.  The pilots of the bombers were thrown parades and celebrated.  People still defend the bombings today, all while stating on the other side of their mouth that purposely killing civilians is wrong.


More than sixty years later, you would think the United States had learned their lesson, but it appears they may be headed down the same path.  See, in the 1990's President Bill Clinton violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by developing more nuclear weapons.  He created what are now called 'tactical' nuclear weapons.  These smaller nukes have blurred the lines (for some) about whether their use is acceptable.  Even the current White House has considered using these tactical nuclear weapons against a facility in Iran called Natanz.


In the past, government officials have been intentionally unclear about the use or non-use of nuclear weapons.  Their rationale was one of deterrence.  They figure that by being vague, they could somehow scare other nations into thinking they'll break'em out one day.  However, that stance has long outlived its usefulness.  Everyone knows that the United States has enough conventional weaponry to do as much damage as they want anywhere in the world.  They don't need the threat of nukes to further illustrate their power.


If anything, the U.S. ambiguity of using nuclear weapons against other countries only infuriates them and drives their motivation to develop nukes of their own.


This bring us back to Senator Obama.  Taking the nuclear weapon option off the table was the right thing to do.  It is a pity that no other candidate has shown any courage and done the same.  Obama should be applauded, not criticized.


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