Joe Biden warned us that the world would test the inexperienced rookie President if we elected Barack Obama to the White House. He expected one international crisis in the first six months, but North Korea had a different timetable. They launched a missile yesterday just as Obama demanded an end to nuclear weapons, highlighting the rather Utopian thinking of such a proposal, as The Hill’s Bridget Johnson reports:
President Obama’s Sunday speech against nuclear proliferation got a dramatic backdrop when North Korea fired a rocket through Japanese airspace just a few hours earlier.
North Korea’s official news agency had been warning about the launch from the moment that Obama had been wrapping up his business at the NATO meetings on Saturday. “Preparations for launching ‘Kwangmyongsong-2,’ an experimental communications satellite, by carrier rocket ‘Unha-2’ have been completed at the satellite launching ground in the east coastal area of the DPRK,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.
But few believed that North Korea’s long-range, multi-stage rocket test had anything to do with communications, other than sending a warning to its neighbors. While North Korea claimed Sunday that their satellite was successfully deployed to launch its space program, U.S. and South Korean watchers said no satellite or other object went into orbit as a result of the launch.
Meanwhile, Obama pretended that we can put the genie back in the bottle:
“I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama said to a crowd of about 20,000 packed into the historic square in the Czech Republic’s capital city. “This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change.”
People will react by saying, “Well, what’s wrong with wishing away nuclear weapons?” Nothing, up until we base American foreign policy on wishful thinking. We’ve been fully committed to non-proliferation for decades, and we can see how well that worked with the North Korea launch. We’re now almost two full decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the MAD standoff, and nuclear weapons haven’t disappeared — they’ve spread despite supposed commitments from Russia, China, and other nuclear nations to stop proliferation.
Unfortunately, the science won’t disappear. Nations that put enough effort into R&D will eventually figure out a design for nuclear weapons. Networks like the AQ Khan ring will sell the designs to dictators desperate enough to want them to cement their power. Lunatics, such at the Iranian mullahcracy, will pursue nuclear weapons to arrange their personal Armageddons. Quite literally, the only way to stamp out the danger of nuclear weapons is to depose every potential lunatic who might use them — which the nations of the West absolutely refuse to do, and which would actually underscore the security nukes bring to dictators. No one would depose an already-nuclear despot and risk all-out nuclear war, especially one with medium- and long-range missiles, like North Korea and Kim Jong-Il.
There has never been a weapon in human history that all people simply decided to stop using, unless a bigger weapon superceded it. Science does not go backward. Nuclear weapons will not simply disappear, and it’s childish to believe they will. What we need is better leadership on how to live in a nuclear world, better commitment to non-proliferation, including the will to force rogue nations into compliance. Sitting around wishing for the world to forget established science will only make those tasks harder.