Today’s Washington Post has an interesting article on the outcome of the month-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) that Peace Action and allies from around the world worked so hard on (see the Peace and Justice Now website for more on the fantastic conference, rally and march we organized).
This Post article is a good post mortem on the RevCon, and it does accurately reflect an attitude on the part of the Administration that has concerned me for awhile, namely they want uncritical, lavish praise and credit for everything Obama has said or done on nukes, even if most of it has been very modest. It’s a very partisan and frankly arrogant, “love us cuz we ain’t Bush and you couldn’t ever possibly have anybody better than us” attitude, which is frankly very dismissive or at least reveals a lack of understanding that lots of folks (certainly we activists but also other governments) are very serious about abolishing (not just incrementally reducing) nuclear weapons and are independent in our analysis and actions. (And their surprise that Arab and other non-nuclear states insisted on pressing the WMD-free Middle East issue shows this as well, though states were very clear they would push that, and it’s not at the behest of Iran, they are serious and the Administration shouldn’t have been surprised about that). I think Obama is in a way being held accountable to expectations he himself raised with the Prague speech, when in fact it appears all he ever had in mind was a return to modest, incremental arms reductions treaties a la the 80’s and 90’s, not a serious push toward eliminating nuclear weapons.
I do still have hope this Administration will move more aggressively on nuclear disarmament issues — they have some very smart, committed people in the Administration (along with some who are unfortunately very limited in their vision) — but we will have to push them and work with them to make that happen.