Democrat Party Leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have a op-ed that their staff wrote for them in USA Today, not a newspaper that I pay much attention to.
The column is supposed to demonstrate their far-reaching vision while lambasting President Bush. But all it really does is show them to be clueless blowhards.
The title of the column is “How to effectively confront nuclear threat from terrorists”. But any reading brings the conclusions that they bring nothing to the discussion but pointless blather. Their three step method for keeping nukes out of the hands of terrorists shows a serious misunderstanding of the world outside the beltway.
First, track down and secure loose nuclear weapons and material. Russia alone has enough usable material for 80,000 nuclear weapons, and less than half of its nuclear weapons and materials have been protected from theft. We need to move from a policy of assistance to a partnership so that Americans and Russians work together on a plan against this common threat.
Well. This is a great idea. In fact it is so good that it has been going on for years. In fact it started waay back before President Clinton took office and has been continuing. Pelosi and Reid seem to think that all we need to do is show up with a bunch of trucks at the Kremlin and tell Putin that we’re there to pick up his nukes. I think that the Russian government, such as it is, would think that they might have a say in that. That is an on-going process that is being pursued by the State Department. At least it is when they’re not calling the Washington Post to complain about Secretary Rice and the Bush administration. This isn’t a serious proposal, it’s a whine.
Second, stop nations such as North Korea and Iran, which on President Bush’s watch have greatly expanded nuclear programs, from joining up with the evil ideology of al-Qaeda.
In the past three years, North Korea has withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, kicked out the international inspectors monitoring its nuclear activities, and claimed to have reprocessed fuel rods yielding enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons. Iran is working on processes that can produce fuel for nuclear weapons. And neither regime has shown much hesitation in working with terrorists.
Yet, with both Iran and North Korea, the Bush administration has sat by for years and let others deal with the threat. We can no longer outsource national security to the European Union or nations such as China.
We propose a program of “carrots” combined with an old-fashioned, American “big stick.” That means pursuing diplomacy and trying to convince these nations to act in their own best interests. But it also means backing that up with a real commitment to use whatever form of pressure is most likely to produce results.
North Korea is under the control of a megalomaniac that does not bargain in good faith. You would think that after the embarrassing failure of Jimmy Carter’s 1994 agreement they would know better. But still they insist that they have a plan.
Judging from their column what they propose is to acquiesce to every demand of the North Korean poofty haired pygmy.
The Norks want direct one-on-one talks with the United States. Bush wants to pursue the six-party talks involving South Korea and other neighbors. The Democrat proposal? Give in. More food? Sure, no problem. More direct aid to the North? Sure, no problem. The United States is facing a problem with imported oil. The Democrats want to send oil the North Korea. The Democrats plan for negotiation with North Korea seems to be to give in to their every demand and trust them to keep their word.
On Iran they are doing a pirouette. They blasted Bush for being trigger happy, ready to take military action at the slightest provocation. “Diplomacy,” they said “That’s the ticket. We should be talking and not rattling sabers.” So we let Europe try to deal with the Iranian diplomatically while we stayed in the background as a threat. No dice. The Iranians didn’t go for it. Now the Democrats are upset that diplomacy was used. They think Bush should be more forceful. Exactly how is a mystery.
Do you thing Reid and Pelosi want us to invade Iran? Is that what they’re proposing? I thought they were upset about invading Iraq and Afghanistan, now they want to add Iran to the list? May be they think we can “stop” Iran and North Korea from obtaining nukes by sending them a note signed by Reid and Pelosi saying “Stop.”
Like I said, not a serious proposal.
Third, if Iran and North Korea continue on their course, their actions could set off a nuclear arms race in the world’s two most dangerous regions — the Middle East and Asia. This highlights the need to revitalize the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for a new century to account for new technology and new terrorist networks that operate without direct ties to any nation. The threat of terrorists unleashing a nuclear strike on an American city is here, and it is all too real.
Ooh, a treaty. What makes them think that the Norks and the Iranians would be amenable to a non-proliferation treaty. Didn’t they just say that the Norks withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and kicked out the UN inspectors. Why would they change their minds? And why do they think that a new Non-Proliferation treaty would be any more effective than this biological warfare treaty?
If this is supposed to be considered a serious proposal rather than a Bush-bashing screed they’re going to have to do better than that.
For a “How To” proposal it seems to be bereft of any actual proposals. They can identify the problems but their proposal to deal with them, if that’s what they are supposed to be, show one of two things. Either they have no idea how to proceed or they do have proposals but are going to withhold them in order to score political points. So which is it. Are they clueless or are they willing to compromise the safety of the country for political gain?