Okay, your average American granny here, trying to make sense of the brouhaha over a nuclear arms reduction deal with Russia. I’ve read articles about New START. But they raise more questions for me than they answer. I feel like that granny in those old commercials about a burger restaurant’s claims; I keep thinking: “Where’s the beef?” Really! If this treaty is supposed to make us safer, how does it do that?
Mr. President, you keep saying Russia is our partner and not a threat. So, why are you pressing so hard for an arms treaty with it instead of, say, North Korea? Why now try to scare us into being treaty-huggers—in effect telling us we can’t trust Russia after all and the sky will fall if we don’t ratify it in Congress’s lame duck session?
Which is it?
And why say the treaty will not prevent us from deploying missile defenses to protect us from nuke crazy Ahmadinejad in Iran or Kim Jong-il in North Korea or super-silent Chinese nuclear subs? But your great new buddy Russia is saying, oh yes it does! Well, which is it?
You only send a “special envoy” to North Korea to nudge it back to the bargaining table, but your Administration arm-twists NATO allies to support the treaty. You get people in and out of government to pressure the Republicans who merely are asking for time to review the negotiating record and get answers to unresolved questions. This sure makes it look like Russia is a greater nuclear problem than North Korea or Iran. If so, where’s the beef?
Why do you say the treaty will reduce the arsenals in both countries faster than otherwise, and Russia says that’s not true. While America will be reducing its nukes, Russia won’t have to do anything different.
And why change the counting rules for warheads so Russia can supersize its warheads on each missile and still say it’s within treaty limits? Where’s our prime beef in that?
Come on, Mr. President! You want truth in advertising on Big Macs and school cafeteria burgers; why not on a nuclear treaty with Russia?