‘An awful responsibility’ abandoned 20

From Investor’s Business Daily:

In the torrent of analysis of the president’s Muslim speech, a major policy shift went largely unnoticed. We now endorse equal opportunity regarding what countries can have atomic weapons.

President Obama’s Cairo University address to the world’s Muslims on Thursday squandered a historic opportunity that perhaps only a president with a Muslim father and a Muslim name could have utilized: effectively rallying the Islamic world against Iran as it pursues nuclear weapons.

Instead, he did pretty much the opposite, declaring that “no single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.”

This is multilateralism taken to its reductio ad absurdum. Since the dawn of atomic weapons, it has been mostly the United States’ job — what Harry Truman called “an awful responsibility which has come to us” — to act as a kind of global nuclear custodian.

Truman made no bones about defending our building of the bomb, noting that the Nazis “were on the search for it” and that “we know now how close they were to finding it. And we knew the disaster which would come to this nation, and to all peace-loving nations, to all civilization, if they had found it first.”

That Democratic president made it clear to the world that “Great Britain, Canada and the United States, who have the secret of its production, do not intend to reveal that secret until means have been found to control the bomb so as to protect ourselves and the rest of the world from the danger of total destruction.”

If we are honest with ourselves today, we must admit that even now, nearly six-and-a-half decades into the nuclear age, there remains no foolproof means of controlling the bomb. It continues to be, in Give ’em Hell Harry’s words, “too dangerous to be loose in a lawless world.”

So it is chilling to hear a U.S. president go to Egypt and, after issuing an unprecedented apology for the 1953 CIA coup that kept Iran and its oil from the clutches of Iran’s direct neighbor to the north, the Soviet Union, declare that Iran has “the right” to nuclear power — which it can easily use to build bombs.

There is nothing new in a president calling for “a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons,” as Obama did in Cairo. Ronald Reagan expressed such hopes. But isn’t contending that “no single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons” the opposite of zero nuclear tolerance?

How is it a step toward a nuclear-free world when we announce that the West should stop practicing what might be called “nuclear discrimination?” Tehran will interpret Obama’s words as carte blanche to pursue its goal of building a nuclear weapons arsenal.

According to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has now amassed 1,359 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride. It has nearly 5,000 centrifuges up and running — and is making it more difficult for international inspectors to scrutinize its nuclear program.

Yet at the G-8 foreign ministers conference at the end of this month in Italy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will rub shoulders with Tehran’s diplomatic mission, invited to attend by the Italians, just as if Iran were Finland or New Zealand or any other civilized nation, not the Islamofascist threat to the world that it is.

Neither Europe nor the U.N. has the willingness or the fortitude to “pick and choose” multilaterally which nations can be accepted into the nuclear club. Only the U.S. can lead in such an “awful responsibility.”

But last week in Cairo we apparently relinquished that grave duty.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Iran, Islam, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 6, 2009

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