Why America’s Survival As a Free Country Is At Risk

April 14, 2010 18:10

If our president prefers pleasant illusion over stark reality, we are all at risk, everywhere. And we all need to pay attention.

By James P. Pinkerton – FOXNews.com

Every so often, we get a reminder about what’s really important. We get nudged as to what we should be thinking about–and worried about. That is, not just what we find interesting, or what we’re getting paid to work on, but what’s vital, not only to ourselves and our family and friends–but to our whole country. Newt Gingrich delivered such a message Tuesday morning. The topic was America’s survival as a free country, and we all should pay attention.

Specifically, we should pay attention to what President Obama is doing on arms control and nuclear security, because issues of war and peace–and life and death–trump taxes, deficits, and debt.

But on Wednesday morning, the headlines in the MSM were almost giddy, in the wake of Obama’s “Nuclear Security Summit” in Washington, D.C: “46 nations join U.S. in nuclear pact,” blared The Washington Post. “Obama Vows Fresh Proliferation Push as Summit Ends,” bannered The New York Times. And The Post added a glowing sidebar story, headlined, “On world stage, Obama at ease as seminar leader.” Indeed, it all sounds great, that all those nations are committing to eliminate loose nuclear material–until one reads the fine print. Even The Post conceded, “The commitments are voluntary… reaching the goal will be difficult.”

Or maybe impossible. Speaking in Washington D.C., at a press breakfast co-hosted by The American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform, just a few blocks away from the “Nuclear Security Summit,” Gingrich said that the White House was conducting “a fantasy foreign policy,” in which Obama was signing disarmament deals and shaking hands with leaders we probably shouldn’t trust. And this is supposed to make us safer?

No, said Gingrich. It’s fine to seek to corral nuclear material wherever possible, to thwart proliferation and keep bombs out of the hands of terrorists, but it’s dangerous to extend treaty-making to unverifiable arms control, to say nothing of arms elimination. That would put America at grave risk. So when Obama and his aides talk about eliminating nuclear weapons altogether, they are practicing “self-delusion,” declared the former Speaker of the House. The Obamans are acting, Gingrich continued, as if they believe that treaties can take the place of strong defense, that words can replace reality. But in fact, the administration is engaged in an “absurd charade,” putting America at risk. As the Georgia Republican reminded us, nearly eight decades ago, in 1933, the world’s diplomats were meeting in Geneva, working on arms control, even as Adolf Hitler was taking power in Germany. It was a “fantasy,” Gingrich declared, that someone such as Hitler would abide by any sort of arms control treaty.

And yet as Gingrich, displaying a mastery of history rarely seen in practicing politicians, added, the futile negotiations in Geneva from 1932 to 1934 were part of an overall skein of arms-control treaties in the 20s and 30s. Nations, exhausted by World War I, were eager to lull themselves into the belief that diplomacy could replace military necessity. It was through such over-optimistic fecklessness that the world plunged into an even greater war, World War II.

As Gingrich reminded us, the most pie-in-the-sky of all the treaties of that era was signed in 1928, when the leading powers of the world came together to ink the Kellogg-Briand Pact treaty, which outlawed war. Yup, the world came together to sign a treaty declaring that war was a no-no. The US and 54 other countries were signatories; the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty 85:1. And yet, strangely enough, war was not ended. Indeed, the Kellogg-Briand treaty has never been repealed; Uncle Sam, along with just about every other country in the world, has simply ignored the treaty in innumerable conflicts since. The point here is not to mock good intentions, but rather to remind all of us that common sense matters more than lofty sentiments. If Hitler is on the loose, other countries need military defense, not scraps of paper.


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