My recent post on Christie Brinkley's exposition on nuclear nonproliferation struck a nerve with a writer whose moniker is "Balance and Security," and who submitted a caustic comment. Although this individual provides some informative historical context and a few curt rejoinders and admonitions, he fails to address the core contention of my post: To wit: In our age, which is witnessing a growing cohort of nuclearized belligerents, a call for universal disarmament is quixotic, because only the world's civilized nations would consider it.
Indeed, even if we stipulate that all 187 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed to comply, what compliance leverage would that provide for rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran, not to mention a volatile one such as Pakistan? The left's implied reliance on such agreements has produced checkered results at best, because there's only one language despots understand and that's the kind backed with the threat of military action.
Perhaps most convoluted is his statement concerning American values versus power:
The assymetrical (sic) foe is fear driven provincialism that thinks that people are different in the rest of the world and cannot live with the thought that we might actually be able to overcome threats with our core American values of rule of law backed by a strong military not the law of power and a mocking of international law.
The first challenge is parsing that sentence, but once it's digested the complaint seems to be that conservatives instinctively resort to the "law of power" and that they mock international law. Actually, although we were deeply concerned with the balance of power and threat of regional hegemony by tyrants during the wars of the 20th century, it was ultimately American sovereignty and national security concerns that motivated our involvement.
The same principles ought to obtain with respect to our decisions to back the NPT, which is to ask what, exactly, is the U.S. interest. That's not to say we can't strive for world peace, only that we must have a defined course of action predicated on the recognition of the danger of nuclear disarmament by the world's civilized nations, which would leave only rogue nations with nukes.
The writer also excoriates the Bush Administration for its alleged violation of treaties, without offering a scintilla of evidence. Is the charge related to our invasion of Iraq? If so, does he forget that it was Democratic presidents who initiated or continued every major war in the last century? And, was it a violation of international law when President Clinton ordered the attacks in the Balkans without U.N. approval?
This individual's assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, international law is largely a fiction, written and enforced by such moral exemplars as the United Nations. In that regard it has no leverage and no functional authority, which means barbaric nations such as North Korea routinely flout it. The same process is unfolding in Iran, so I would close by asking the likes of this writer how exactly the NPT would force Ahmadinejad to shut down its enrichment program?
He may "like Ms. Brinkley's love the (sic) land of the free and brave!", but in the end our Republic is free because of the brave--not because of international treaties.