It has been years since the Czar underwent NBC counseling for some outrageous parties in the past, but he still feels reasonably okay with nuclear weapon strategy. Perhaps not as much as yon Volgi—who invented fission to appease the Duke of Chu—or the Mandarin—who invented the quantum mechanics for which he gracefully let Heisenberg take credit—but yeah, he knows a thing or two about dropping a really big bomb on people.
Anyway, there seems to be something fishy in this New York Times story, that describes President Obama’s clarified strategy for nuclear weapons deployment.
In short, the President has announced his Nuclear Posture Review, wherein the United States will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries even if they deploy chemical or biological agents against us. For example, if say Rwanda attacked us with sarin nerve gas, we would not nuke the crap out of them, but would simply use conventional weapons to reduce them to dust. No worries, Rwanda—the Czar simply picked you guys as an example because he rarely gets to type Rwanda out.
And conversely, the Posture Review makes it pretty clear that the United States would glaze Iran or North Korea over if they even burped at the wrong moment. In other words, if you gots bombs, or wants bombs, you gets bombed by us. Fair is fair. Indeed, when a reporter quibbled whether Iran technically constituted a nuclear threat, the President sagely refused to answer. Why? Because the greatest deterrent to war is not the certainty of retaliation, but the whole uncertainty of it. Let ‘em freaking wonder.
Okay, so here is where the Times steps in it and slides a few feet: “Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those adopted by his predecessors.”
Err…well, no. The Czar understands that life began with the 2000 election for most of the folks at the Times, but anyone with a few seconds of life prior to that knows that has never quite been the case. In fact, since (and technically including) Truman, that has basically been the unwritten rule.
Truman may have dropped two atomic bombs on a non-nuclear country (and in fact did), but the same basic posture existed almost immediately after Japan’s surrender. Take, for example, that war that occurred after World War II but before Vietnam. Any Boomers out there remember it? Any college libs? Don’t hurt yourself: the answer is Korea.
And in 1950 when MacArthur (and a large percentage of American brass) began to give serious consideration to the use of nuclear weapons against China and Korea, Truman publicly stated he would not rule out their use in the war…but privately reassured British PM Atlee that the US would not use them unless Moscow used them first (Moscow was incorrectly seen as the instigator of the Korean War and was the only other nuclear power). Because, you see, the uncertainty is what helps.
And that has been the game plan ever since, as evidenced by the lack of use against a variety of hot spots. Even Ronald Reagan, who was painted by contemporary liberals as crazy for his love of nuclear weapons, was in reality an ardent opponent of their use.
Mentioned is a 2002 memo, when President Bush announced he would not rule out their use against biochem attacks…because you see, the uncertainty is what helps. Bush never remotely considered actually using them against Pakistan, Iraq, or Afghanistan…no matter what the North Koreans told their people.
So here we have it. The Times, perhaps wishing to paint their iconic president as once again a hoper and changer, fails to realize that the President is openly announcing his intention to do what every president has done: refuse to use them on a non-target.
Another slight error: “Mr. Obama’s new strategy is bound to be controversial, both among conservatives who have warned against diluting the United States’ most potent deterrent and among liberals who were hoping for a blanket statement that the United States would never be the first to use nuclear weapons. ”
Mmm. Not so much the first half: conservatives should applaud his decision to keep nuclear weapons as a very real deterrent to those nations even marginally likely to use them, and eliminate their use against nations not likely to warrant their usage in the first place. Seriously: does the United States need a nuclear deterrent against Chile? Eritrea? Latvia? No, but on the other hand, if the Venezuela whackjob buys a bomb from North Korea, guess who’s instantly in the crosshairs? This is a sensible plan, with plenty of latitude and loopholes. What it is not is a propaganda win for the liberals, who are probably once again quite furious with the President for not living up to their fantasy standards of buying each of us a unicorn.
Sure, no doubt the mainstream media will find some fanged foamspitter on his front lawn, proudly waving his Confederate flag, who will condemn this; and naturally, they will label him a typical representative of the Tea Party—but the facts are clear. This is a sensible plan, embraced by every President (yes, even including Truman as it turned out), and in no way hampers the projected power of the United States of America.