Monday, April 24, 2006

Reason to be Retro

A refreshing proposal from today's New York Times:

Bombs Away



IN my lifetime, I have witnessed two successful titanic struggles by civilized society against totalitarian movements, those against Nazi fascism and Soviet communism. As an arms control negotiator for Ronald Reagan, I had the privilege of playing a role — a small role — in the second of these triumphs.

Yet, at the age of 85, I have never been more worried about the future for my children and grandchildren than I am today. The number of countries possessing nuclear arms is increasing, and terrorists are poised to master nuclear technology with the objective of using those deadly arms against us.

The United States must face this reality head on and undertake decisive steps to prevent catastrophe. Only we can exercise the constructive leadership necessary to address the nuclear threat.

Unfortunately, the goal of globally eliminating all weapons of mass destruction — nuclear, chemical and biological arms — is today not an integral part of American foreign policy; it needs to be put back at the top of our agenda . . .

read the rest.


Blogger Karen said...

That's all reasonable and lovely. Unfortunately, the world is neither. I'd love nothing better than to be proven wrong, but it seems to me that there is a qualitative difference now, in that the Nazis and the Russians were interested in self-preservation, and today we are fighting an enemy who has no such interest. So while the rest of us are busy getting rid of our WMD's... what do we do? Apologize to our children and wait to be blown up by the people with whom we have no leverage? I'm really not trying to be snippy. I really wonder what people think.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

A few comments:

Gaudium et Spes, I think, is still Church teaching, so we should pay attention to it (and not just the parts we happen to agree with).

The National Security Strategy (I've read it, believe it or not), does have to take weapons limitations more seriously rather than open the door for using nuclear weapons if we feel like it.

There was a time when we were actually scared to use nuclear weapons, and that was a good thing.

We have lots more WMDs than everybody else, we could still do well with fewer.

If we took the high moral ground, people might actually take notice and follow suit (I know that's terribly naive, but it's also pretty Christian).

I'm for less leverage, more credibility. If we're going to say it's bad for others to have them, then we have to acknowledge the same for ourselves. As much as we want to think ourselves "the good guys," Abu Ghiraib and Guantanamo are making that a hard stance to maintain.

I'm not saying we dump them all tomorrow, but I am saying that we need a change in priorities and attitude.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

We will have to have a very long talk about this someday. If the wackos with nukes let us live long enough.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Mike L said...


Sometimes I do wonder about our priorities. We feel that 9/11 was such a great disaster, yet the death toll was less than that caused by drinking and driving during a single month. Yet as a nation we consistantly ignore the drinking and play up 9/11.

While we worry about nuclear weapons, we drop megatons of bombs that spread the mamage and carnage over a broad field, and don't seem to worry too much about it as long as it is someone elses field and not our own.

We complain about the hostage taking in Iraq, but no one cares to do anything about the Iraqis that have vanished into Gitmo, but that is them, not us isn't it.

When we try to set the standard for the world by means of force, how do you expect those that disagree with us to react? Are they not imitating us? It seems to me that perhaps the main difference is that they carry suicide bombs while we send remotly controlled bombs at them. And do you think we are above dropping a nuke on Iran "to save the world from nuclear weapons?"

I don't like terrorism, I think it is not only anti-Christian, I think it is anti-God in almost all religions. But maybe we need to take a hard look at our selves and make sure that we are not part of the problem.

And I agree with Mark, we are certainly not setting an example to the world.

Mike L

3:34 PM  

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