Throughout the last century, the two major parties have fought fiercely over domestic policy while most often cooperating on international matters in order to show a united front to adversaries and allies.
Republican Sen. John Kyl of Arizona nuked that tradition with an extraordinarily arrogant decision to place a “hold” on ratification of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.
The New York Times reported recently that Senator Kyl was demanding President Obama beef up the budget to rebuild nuclear factories to the tune of $87 billion. The need for this is disputed by arms experts.
The new START Treaty is a key foreign policy achievement and has the full backing of our military establishment. Why should one senator be allowed to put a hold on the vote for the treaty? The treaty deserves a clean up or down vote on its own merits and does not deserve to be held hostage to anyone’s political ambitions.
Nuclear weapons are extremely expensive to make, to store, to target. Anyone in the so-called nuclear club that launches a nuclear bomb would initiate a holocaust that would destroy life on the planet. So, what good are they?
And the $87 billion would be better spent building schools and health clinics in impoverished countries. Additionally, we should quit selling arms to dictators. Perhaps dismantling our empire and removing our military from some of the 130 foreign bases would help. Because we are the biggest kid on the block, we seem to think everyone should play by our rules and we are privileged to break them with impunity.
Let’s all pray that sanity prevails. Violence only breeds more violence and the threat of violence breeds resentment. For Christians, the message of the cross is to transform violence into good.
Deacon Art Donart