Obama to GOP: Blocking Nuke Treaty ‘Dangerous Gamble’
November 20, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—Who gave Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) veto power over our national security? Good Question. Republicans in the senate led by Kyl have chosen partisan hatred over patriotism, by attempting to obstruct and delay ratification of the START treaty with Russia, placing our nation’s safety at risk. Why? They want to deny President Obama a foreign policy victory. It’s shameful and a new low, even for the politically craven Republicans determined to destroy President Obama’s presidency at any cost, even risking the lives of American citizens. Obama directly confronts Kyl and his crew of partisan obstructionists in his weekly address, backed by Republican leaders, such as Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). Obama urges our Republican senators to act like patriots and statesmen, instead of partisan hacks: “The choice is clear: a failure to ratify New START would be a dangerous gamble with America’s national security, setting back our understanding of Russia’s nuclear weapons, as well as our leadership in the world. That is not what the American people sent us to Washington to do.”
Will Republican Sens. led by Kyl, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Lindsey Graham (SC) realize their folly and do the right thing by approving the treaty this year? Not bloody likely. Their decisions are governed by Obama Derangement Syndrome and not the national interest. President Obama now must scramble for votes from Republicans willing to go against their senate leaders. Sen. Lugar has publicly stepped up; the only Republican to do so. If the START treaty is not passed in the current lame-duck session, it’s all but dead. Next year, the senate will convene with a smaller Democratic majority, making passage nearly impossible.
Obama begins his address by invoking President Reagan’s support of the START treaty and his catch phrase, “Trust but verify.”
“This Treaty is rooted in a practice that dates back to Ronald Reagan. The idea is simple – as the two nations with over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, the United States and Russia have a responsibility to work together to reduce our arsenals. And to ensure that our national security is protected, the United States has an interest in tracking Russia’s nuclear arsenal through a verification effort that puts U.S. inspectors on the ground. As President Reagan said when he signed a nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union in 1987, “Trust, but verify.”
Obama also points out that renewed relations with Russia have helped with battling Iran’s nuclear aspirations, as well as aiding our efforts in Afghanistan.
“The Treaty also helped us reset our relations with Russia, which led to concrete benefits. For instance, Russia has been indispensable to our efforts to enforce strong sanctions on Iran, to secure loose nuclear material from terrorists, and to equip our troops in Afghanistan.”
But a few obstructionist Republican senators would throw this all away, for political gamesmanship.
“Without ratification this year, the United States will have no inspectors on the ground, and no ability to verify Russian nuclear activities. So those who would block this treaty are breaking President Reagan’s rule – they want to trust, but not verify.”
“Without ratification, we put at risk the coalition that we have built to put pressure on Iran, and the transit route through Russia that we use to equip our troops in Afghanistan. And without ratification, we risk undoing decades of American leadership on nuclear security, and decades of bipartisanship on this issue. Our security and our position in the world are at stake.”
Obama calls out Kyl by name, noting that his concerns for the modernization of our nuclear arsenal were immediately acted upon and he still refuses to support passage, of the treaty, citing imaginary concerns and the desire for more time to debate the treaty.
“Over the last several months, several questions have been asked about New START, and we have answered every single one. Some have asked whether it will limit our missile defense – it will not. Some, including Senator Jon Kyl, have asked that we modernize our nuclear infrastructure for the 21st century – we are doing so, and plan to invest at least $85 billion in that effort over the next ten years – a significant increase from the Bush Administration.”
“Finally, some make no argument against the Treaty – they just ask for more time. But remember this: it has already been 11 months since we’ve had inspectors in Russia, and every day that goes by without ratification is a day that we lose confidence in our understanding of Russia’s nuclear weapons. If the Senate doesn’t act this year – after six months, 18 hearings, and nearly a thousand questions answered – it would have to start over from scratch in January.”
Obama presents Sens. Kyl, McConnell and others with a clear choice, either work for their country and constituents or behave as saboteurs to American interests.
“The choice is clear: a failure to ratify New START would be a dangerous gamble with America’s national security, setting back our understanding of Russia’s nuclear weapons, as well as our leadership in the world. That is not what the American people sent us to Washington to do.”
“There is enough gridlock, enough bickering. If there is one issue that should unite us – as Republicans and Democrats – it should be our national security.”
Obama ends his appeal to the shameless by quoting Sen. Lugar, who is outraged at the behavior of his Republican colleagues.
“Some things are bigger than politics. As Republican Dick Lugar said the other day, “Every Senator has an obligation in the national security interest to take a stand, to do his or her duty.”’
“Senator Lugar is right. And if the Senate passes this treaty, it will not be an achievement for Democrats or Republicans – it will be a win for America.”
The is a new low for Obama-hating Republicans.