NEOCONS AND NUCLEAR POLICY…. Frida Berrigan recently had a great piece on the neocons drumming up opposition to the Obama administration’s policies on nuclear weapons. Regrettably, it’s getting worse.
Yesterday, Doug Feith and Abram Shulsky, Bush administration veterans, wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal, arguing that U.S. efforts on nuclear arsenals are misguided. William Hartung, Berrigan’s colleague at the New America Foundation, highlighted the folly of the Feith/Shulsky approach.
[Feith takes] umbrage at the Obama administration’s efforts to reach a new nuclear arms accord with Russia, despite the fact that it is the best way to get other countries to join the anti-nuclear bandwagon. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 (signed by that well-known radical, Richard Nixon), the United States and the other major nuclear weapons states pledged to take urgent steps to eliminate their nuclear arsenals in exchange for a promise by non-nuclear states not to acquire them. Nearly 40 years later, with 27,000 deployed nuclear weapons (over 95% possessed by the U.S. and Russia), the big players have certainly stretched the meaning of the word “urgent” beyond any reasonable bounds. President Obama is seeking to change that, both by pledging to seek a world free of nuclear weapons and by taking concrete steps towards eliminating them, from concluding a new arms reduction treaty with Russia, to promoting a ban on all nuclear testing, to pushing for a global agreement to ban the production of bomb making materials.
It is Obama’s determination to back up his rhetoric with concrete steps towards disarmament that is driving Feith and his not-so-merry band of colleagues crazy. Whatever rhetoric they may use to disguise it, the “neo-cons for the bomb” are addicted to these weapons of mass terror and can’t imagine a world without them.
That’s all very compelling, but I have a related question: why is Doug Feith still writing about foreign policy for major media outlets? Does anyone still find him credible on any subject? The answer, at least with regards to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, is a disappointing “yes.”