Sunday, April 5, 2009

Obama Dismisses My Realism

Just a few hours after North Korea illegally launched a ballistic missile, President Barack Obama spoke to a large crowd in a public square in Prague about the need for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Those of you who are dedicated raindancers and esteemed Enosinians will remember that the Enosinian Society hosted a debate back in February over nuclear weapons (See "A Timeless Classic" and "DRUGS"). In this debate, I made the argument in favor of the elimination of nuclear weapons. It was a position I took reluctantly, as I had been fairly convinced of the necessity for such weapons for purposes of deterrence. However, over the course of developing, honing, and delivering my argument against my own belief, I daresay I convinced my inner realist to flip-flop on this issue.

Obama, returning to an issue that became one of this signature accomplishments in the U.S. Senate along with Dick Lugar (R-IN), has pushed me even closer to joining the disarmament camp. His remarks in Prague demonstrated his committment to non-proliferation, but also proved he's no nuke dove. He laid out his plans to address the issue with presently-armed countries, significantly strengthen the ability for international regimes like the IAEA to conduct thorough inspections, and punish countries for breaking the rules. The President suffers from no illusions about disarmament; he understands the challenges confronting these efforts as well as the reasons for not doing it. But he also understands that it is the right thing to do for humanity's sake. And since we're on the topic of humanity, the President knows and said as such in his speech that the single greatest nuclear threat to humanity comes from the hands of terrorists who acquire loose fissile material. And that's what keeps him up at night.

Watch the President's remarks here.

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