America Has a Naive President

Dennis Prager

4/7/2009 12:00:00 AM - Dennis Prager

“The basic bargain is sound: countries with nuclear weapons will move toward disarmament, countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them.” -- President Barack Obama, Prague, April 6, 2009

As far as nuclear weapons are concerned, the President of the United States wants America to disarm: “Countries with nuclear weapons will move toward disarmament.”

It is hard to imagine a more destructive goal. A nuclear disarmed America would lead to massive and widespread killing, more genocide, and very possibly the nuclear holocaust worldwide nuclear disarmament is meant to prevent.

There is nothing moral, let alone realistic, about this goal.

Here is an analogy. Imagine that the mayor of a large American city announced that it was his goal to have all the citizens of his city disarm -- what could be more beautiful than a city with no weapons? This would, of course, ultimately include the police, but with properly signed agreements, vigorously enforced, and violators of the agreement punished, it would remain an ideal to pursue.

One has to assume that most people would regard this idea as, at the very least, useless. There would be no way to ensure that bad people would disarm; and if the police disarmed, only bad people would have weapons.

The analogy is virtually precise -- but only if you acknowledge that America is the world’s policeman. To idealists of the left, however, the notion of America as the world’s policeman is both arrogant and misguided. A strengthened “world community” -- as embodied by the United Nations – should be the world’s policeman.

To the rest of us, however, the idea of the United Nations as the world’s policeman is absurd and frightening. The United Nations has proven itself a moral wasteland that gives genocidal tyrannies honored positions on human rights commissions. The weaker the U.N. and the stronger America, the greater the chances of preventing or stopping mass atrocities.

On the assumption that the left and the right both seek a world without genocide and tyranny, it is, then, the answer to this question that divides them: Are genocide and tyranny more or less likely if America is the strongest country on earth, i.e., the country with the greatest and most weapons, nuclear and otherwise?

Moreover even if you answer in the negative and think that the world would experience less evil with a nuclear disarmed America, the goal of worldwide nuclear disarmament is foolish because it is unattainable. And unattainable goals are a waste of precious time and resources.

For one thing, it is inconceivable that every nation would agree to it. Why would India give up its nuclear weapons? There aren’t a dozen Hindus who believe that Pakistan would give up every one of its nuclear weapons. And the same presumably holds true for Muslims in Pakistan with regard to India disarming.

And what about Israel? Would that country destroy all its nuclear weapons? Of course not. And it would be foolish to do so. Israel is surrounded by countries that wish not merely to vanquish it, but to destroy it. It regards nuclear weapons as life assurance. And it regards the United Nations (with good reason) as its enemy, not its protector.

As for states like Iran and North Korea, they have already violated agreements regarding nuclear weapons. What would prompt them to do otherwise in a world where America got weaker? United Nations sanctions? And why would Russia and China even agree to them?

Finally, there would be no way to prevent rogue scientists from selling materials and know-how to terrorists.

The result of this left-wing fantasy of worldwide nuclear disarmament would simply be that those who illegally acquired or made but one nuclear weapon would be able to blackmail any nation.

What any president of the United States should aspire to is: 1). to keep America the strongest country in the world militarily (as well as economically, but that is not the question on the table); 2) to destroy those individuals and organizations that seek nuclear weapons so as to kill as many innocent people as possible; and 3) remain the world’s policeman. These aims cannot be achieved if America aims to disarm.

President Obama said “I am not naïve” in his talk. That, unfortunately, is as accurate as his statement before the joint session of Congress that “I do not believe in bigger government.”