Wes Vernon
Trust the Russians, ignore their hostile actions: haven't we seen this movie before?
By Wes Vernon
November 29, 2010

There is a reason we call the current dead men and women walking on Capitol Hill "lame ducks." They have been rejected, discredited, disavowed, and repudiated by their betters — the voters.

Of course, their very lack of voter approval is the prime reason President Obama wants them to hurry, hurry and ratify a nuclear treaty which would leave America at a disadvantage: i.e., the lame ducks have nothing to lose other than what little honor they have left. The pressure is on to hurry this up before anti-treaty rallies materialize and ask rude questions (such as why are we being sold down the proverbial river — again?)

START? Don't get me STARTed

We speak here of the U.S.-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that must gain a two-thirds margin of approval by the Senate in order to take effect. Not surprisingly, President Obama wants to cram this document — lopsided in Russia's favor at the expense of the United States — down our throats by the outgoing Senate before a U.S. Senate "ratified" by those rubes in "flyover country" is sworn in early next year.

They're desperate

Herewith a cartoonlike snapshot of the pressure being brought to bear on Americans to look the other way and trust the "experts" who loathe having to take the time to educate us dolts who remain unconvinced of their empirical wisdom.

How desperate? Exhibit A

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill on FoxNews Sunday employed the liberal "motormouth strategy" to cite North Korea's bold move on nuclear weaponry as an argument for ratifying START. The senator's comments are italicized. Mine are in parenthesis.

"There is some game-playing going on with the START treaty and it's all about politics...."

(Well, first and foremost, we don't want to be killed. So what process are we to employ to avoid being wiped off the face of the earth? How do we deal with a well-armed Russia that could submit us to nuclear blackmail after we have drawn down our nukes? Cash in the brownie points we earned by not "playing politics" or asking logical questions?)

"...and it's all about trying to damage the president of the United States...."

(Unlike your fellow partisans, whose statesmanship was best exemplified by comparing George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler.)

"And this is a moment when we need to set that aside...."

(So when are you going to start, Senator?)

"This is a treaty that's supported by our military...."

(Top military officials know that it is not career-wise to sass back the Commander in Chief.)

"This is a treaty that's supported by our allies...."

(Oh, well, then that settles it. Obviously once again, America is assigned its sucker role of worrying about "showing the world" that our own security and best interests are to be sacrificed on the sacred altar of being universally "loved.")

"This is a treaty that's supported by both President Bushes...."

(Oh, really? So suddenly "Read my lips" and the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler gain your respect! Have you no shame?)

...[as well as] Henry Kissinger, Jim Baker, Colin Powell...."

(Let's look into allegations that have surfaced over the years that Kissinger's business affiliations in private life may have shaped his foreign policy outlook in more recent times. Jim Baker spent his entire time in the Reagan administration stabbing his president in the back. Colin Powell, who claims with a straight face that he's a Republican, demonstrated his GOP credentials by supporting — Barack Obama in '08. Sure. We really should listen to these guys and get with the program.)

And this one is really rich...

"Look at Dick Lugar, who I think instead of playing politics and hiding behind the skirts of Jon Kyl, I hope that the Republicans look at Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, who has said unequivocally, we need to look at this START Treaty and look at what's going on in the world right now — with North Korea, with Iran...."

(It's hard to know where to start with that jumble of irrelevancies unless you think that North Korea and Iran will say, "Oh, look! America and Russia have signed the START Treaty, guess we'll just have to dump our nukes in the sea," or — more to the point — unless you think Russia, which has been playing footsie with terrorist states, will mount an honorable challenge to rogue regimes that threaten us. Vladimir Putin has made it clear he wants to avenge the Soviet Union's downfall at the hands of America. But in a way, Senator McCaskill's serious trust in the Russian record for honoring treaty obligations is — well, sweet.

(Oh, and about hiding behind the "skirts" of Senator Kyle, the Arizonan needs no defense from us. He is a Senate GOP leader recognized as a thoughtful lawmaker — unlike certain colleagues we could name, including Ms. McCaskill, who got into the U.S. Senate by hiding behind the "skirts" of a disabled man.

(As for Dick Lugar, the Republicans, when they controlled the Senate, ran a Foreign Relations Committee that put America's interests first while Jesse Helms was chairman. As soon as he was gone, Senator Helms was replaced by Richard Lugar — he of a more "America must 'show the world'" outlook.)

Why START should be stopped

Anyone wishing to determine the basis for this column's opposition to START is cordially invited to visit "Unilateral disarmament — telegraphing our punches to America's enemies?," April 12, 2010, and "Unilateral Disarmament — Part 2," April 19, 2010).

Arguments that persuaded Senator Kyl

One of — no doubt — many factors in leading Senator Kyl to question the wisdom of START was a letter he received from Ambassador Henry Cooper of the Marshall Institute.

Ambassador Cooper has had a distinguished career in government matters related to the security of this nation. That would include a stint as President Reagan's Chief U.S. Negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union (1985-1989).

In a September letter to Senator Kyl, the ambassador made the following points:

1 — START would "require reductions in the numbers of our strategic nuclear weapons while legitimizing a growth in the number of Russia's nuclear weapons possibly beyond U.S. levels." Also, the treaty ignores so-called tactical nuclear weapons, where Russians enjoy a 10-to-1 numerical advantage.

2 — The agreement would not meet the verification standards "demanded during my 1980s watch at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency."

3 — A Noncompliance Report (1984-2005) showed the Soviets/Russians "have consistently violated their arms control agreements."

4 — The treaty leaves plenty of room for "ambiguities" whose consequences "should not be underestimated." Such missteps in the past are exemplified by a situation where "Russia is now modernizing its survivable mobile ICBM systems while we retain atrophying ICBMs now quite vulnerable to attack."

5 — "[T]he ground has been laid in the new START for psychological, bureaucratic and budgetary restrictions on U.S. missile defense."

History repeats

Surrounded by such certified traitors as Alger Hiss and Harry Hopkins, a sick, dying Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta in the closing days of World War II saw what he wanted to see in the assurances of "Uncle Joe" Stalin.

Fast forward from 1945 to 2010: President Obama, whose White House is populated by America-haters of varying stripes, is trying to sell Americans on the notion that nirvana will be ours if a lame-duck Senate ratifies START. Back to FoxNews Sunday:

Senator Lindsey Graham: Does the preamble to the START treaty allow the Russians to opt out of the treaty if we develop [the next stage] of missile defense as our Pentagon has said they want to do?

Senator Claire McCaskill: Absolutely not. The preamble is not binding. Everyone knows it's not binding.

Senator Graham: [Well, not exactly everyone.] The Russians say that it is.

Like FDR 65 years ago, President Obama and his obedient lapdogs such as Senator McCaskill see what they want to see. As for the rest of us, we've seen this movie before.

© Wes Vernon


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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