Mr O’s “anti-nuclear imperialism”

Let me tell you about a better way, a way that protects the purity of our precious bodily fluids.

The late September issue of Counterpunch (available to subscribers here; the newsletter’s website is here) includes a fine article by Darwin Bond-Graham titled “The Obama Administration’s Nuclear Weapons Surge.”  While Mr O has made many remarks declaring that nuclear weapons are bad and the world would be better off without them, he has in fact “worked vigorously to commit the nation to a multi-hundred-billion-dollar reinvestment in nuclear weapons, mapped out over the next three decades.”  Bond-Graham analyzes the New START agreement between the USA and Russia.  Though the publicity surrounding New START presented it as an arms-reduction treaty, Bond-Graham contends that it is nothing of the kind.  “On balance, the nominal reductions in nuclear weapons required by New START are insignificant when compared to the multibillion-dollar nuclear (and strategic non-nuclear) weapons programs committed to in the treaty’s text.”  Indeed, Bond-Graham classifies New START as an “arms-affirmation treaty.”  Mr O and his allies in the upper echelons of the congressional Democratic leadership were able to market New START as a disarmament agreement and to enlist the support of Americans who usually oppose nuclear weapons, even though “the treaty does not actually require the destruction of a single nuclear warhead.”  Bond-Graham also goes into depth on various other programs through which Mr O has managed to increase spending on nuclear weapons, to reorient the USA’s nuclear weapons programs towards potential use in conflict, and to strip away inhibitions against nuclear first strikes by the USA.

For Bond-Graham, Mr O’s anti-nuclear public statements not only represent a rhetorical device to “neutralize”  the “anti-nuclear and antiwar groups that so effectively exposed [George W.] Bush’s plans” to pursue policies similar to those of the current administration, but also constitute the foundation of a strategic orientation that Bond-Graham dubs “anti-nuclear imperialism.”  This orientation, ostensibly based on abhorrence of nuclear weapons, in fact promotes the development, maintenance, and deployment of such weapons.  Remember the claims that the Bush-Cheney administration made about Saddam Hussein’s alleged “Weapons of Mass Destruction” programs in 2002-2003, and the meaning of the phrase “anti-nuclear imperialism” becomes all too clear.

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