Fantasyland

Those who value symbols above reality and process over results are watching, nervously, as Obama meets with Putin’s Puppet and, perhaps, even Vladimir his very self. The arms control crowd is atwitter, since the START I treaty of 1991 is about to expire at the end of this year.

And, whatever shall we do, without a major arms-control treaty? START I was concluded by Poppy Bush, just after the collapse of any credible threat to us from the now-defunct Soviet empire. Fast forward to 2009, and we have a revanchist Russia, attempting to reclaim some of the aura of its power under the czars. Heck, we’ve got more czars under The Great One than they’ll ever have or need.

As for the mission, the WaPo is all breathless anticipation, writing in a timewarp, as though it were the dark days of the Cold War. And, once again, the left-leaning media simply believe in arms control. In the way that little children believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Because it’s just mean to inject reality into the arms-control fantasy.

You want fantasy? Consider this from the front page of today’s WaPo:

A new treaty is seen as the first, and easiest, step toward Obama’s goal of sharply reducing the world’s nuclear stockpiles. The Obama administration sees cuts by Russia and United States, which together control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal, as crucial to marshalling stronger international opposition to nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.

There’s more, much more. These folks are convinced that if we could somehow strike a new arms control deal with the Russians that all would be right. Rogue states will beat their nuclear swords into plowshares, the lion will lay down with the lamb, and not after a hearty meal of lambchops.

As for the efficacy of START I in convincing other nations not to develop nuclear weapons, well, pretty much an abject failure: Pakistan, North Korea, and, very soon, Iran. It is quite simple: nations will do what they, and they alone, believe is in their national interest. They will not forgo a nuclear option because we reduce our arsenals. Or because we moralize and lecture. They will only forgo a nuclear option if it is too costly to them.

In the case of rogue states such as Iran and North Korea, we don’t yet know what would be too costly. Mostly because we not yet brought sufficient force to bear. In economic sanctions and military actions. We have, rather, under Bush and Obama, used the carrot- and more carrots approach.

The Iranians and the Norks won’t do anything because we are nice and because we disarm unilaterally, or, even, with the Russians, bilaterally. If anything, disarmament by us and Russia may well encourage the rogue states. Common sense dictates we stop with the arms control charade.

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