Friday, April 9, 2010

UPDATED: Obama vs. Palin on nukes

During Sean Hannity’s interview with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann yesterday, Hannity asked Palin about Obama’s new nuclear weapon policy for the United States.  Here is her response.

Tonight during an interview with George Stephanopolous, Obama was asked about Sarah Palin’s comment. Here is his response [Note: pay attention to the change in Obama’s expression as throughout the Palin question. Clearly Palin gets under his skin]

"I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues," Obama said in an interview with ABC News.
Pressed further on Republican criticism that his strategy restricts the use of nuclear weapons too much, Obama added:
"What I would say to them is, is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin." 
What I find funny is that 14 months ago, Obama wasn’t an expert on nuclear issues either. I think it is safe to predict that Palin will have a return zinger when she speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Council today. While we wait, Allahpundit points out that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates may or may not be fully on board the new limits placed on our nuclear retaliation. 
Gates 10/30/2008: There is no way to ignore efforts by rogue states such as North Korea and Iran to develop and deploy nuclear weapons, or Russian or Chinese strategic modernization programs. As long as other states have or seek nuclear weapons – and potentially can threaten us, our allies, and friends – then we must have a deterrent capacity that makes it clear that challenging the United States in the nuclear arena – or with other weapons of mass destruction – could result in an overwhelming, catastrophic response…
Our nuclear arsenal also helps deter enemies from using chemical and biological weapons. In the first Gulf War, we made it very clear that if Saddam used chemical or biological weapons, then the United States would keep all options on the table. We later learned that this veiled threat had the intended deterrent effect as Iraq considered its options.
While some may not see a real nuclear threat to the United States today, we should be mindful that our friends and allies perceive different levels of risk within their respective regions. Here, our arsenal plays an irreplaceable role in reducing proliferation.
Quite frankly I fail to see the benefit in placing limits on our nuclear response. America has nukes as a deterrent. To maximize the potency of that deterrent, we keep nations in the dark about when and where we would use a nuke. As the only nation to ever use nukes in combat, our unknown criteria for use made the deterrent even more potent. So why deplete the potency of our threat by explicitly spelling out when we would respond with nukes?

If Obama’s belief is that other nations will follow our lead, then I think he is a dreamer. Nations acquire nuclear weapons for various reasons. Some nations have them for deterrents like us, others like North Korea use nuclear weapons for blackmail. For whatever reason they choose, they choose based on their own security or political needs and not on what the Big Guys are doing.  We may get other friendly nations like France or Germany to follow suit, but those nations are not a threat to us. Plus seeing how the Obama administration has not have much success with persuading other nations on a variety of fronts, I don’t see this policy yielding any fruit.

UPDATE: Palin strikes back

Via: Reuters


joegrind said...

Just wanted to point out that Obama had experience prior to the presidency. Remember the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction...which Obama and Lugar introduced back in 2005?

rosewood59 said...

Hah! That question was a plant and Barry O knew it was coming. The whole interview as a *ss *iss interview, and poorly done. Can you image a sitting President making such a mean-hateful and just plain ridiculous comment like this? It's just too much to believe!

LOL - does the media think we are that dumb??

Just a conservative girl said...

Well, let's point out a little something here. She knows a great deal about energy, so maybe he should listen to her about that.

joegrind said...

OK....I'll play your straw man game. She knows a lot about making babies and hunting so maybe he should listen to her about that. Go ahead and Google which president called for a nuclear weapon free world. (HINT: the initials are R.R.)

Clifton B said...


Obama worked on that with McCain and given the short time he spent actually working in the Senate, I could hardly call that expert material.

Clifton B said...


Yes it was foolish to attack Palin. The woman can make zingers on the fly. Add to the fact that his performance with Iran and N. Korea has not produced fruit, he shouldn't talk about expert anything.

Clifton B said...


Yes she does. A lot of people on the left seem to forget that fact. Hopefully it will come back and bite them in the ass soon.

Clifton B said...


K....I'll play your straw man game. She knows a lot about making babies ...

Easy on the Sexism Flakes fella, too much of that and you will turn into a full blown Misogynist.

True Reagan wanted nuclear reductions, but he did it from a position of strength not weakness. Google Reykjavík Summit. Hint: you have to give something to get something. What has Obama gotten for this new policy?

joegrind said...

Okay....I take back the "making babies" remark....inappropriate example.
I'm in agreement that he doesn't have a PhD in Nuclear Physics and thus not an expert...I was just pointing out when you said "14 months ago".
I don't consider a renewed focus on START to be 'weakness' however. What have we gotten from our previous 'position of strength'?

Disclaimer: I'm independent, refuse to vote along party lines, and get my news from several sources and make my own opinions (as I'm sure many do) I may not be considered a 'true party-line conservative' so if I do decide to comment on any future may not be in agreement.

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