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First Things First

There's an intriguing article in Sunday's New York Times about the fact that Barack Obama's desire to build a nuclear arms-free world goes back to his youth, at least to his youth as an undergraduate at Columbia University. Reading Obama's piece now--it is reprinted in the Times from Sunday--one can't help put feel that was more than little bit jejune. But my views on nuclear matters (nuclear freeze, nuclear winter etc.) were also detached from the real world.  

The Times correspondents, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, compare Obama's to the 2007 epistle of Henry Kissinger and Geroge Schultz, William Perry and Bill Clinton with more or less the same aim. Read the document of the four to see how far-fetched the comparison is.

Now, the fact is that many of us, most of us want a nuclear free world. But it would have to be contained in an environment where big countries with enormous populations would not be able to smother smaller neighbors simply by dint of size or ferocity.

In any case, the president's long-term dream (he's admitted that it won't be realized in his lifetime) would be more plausible if he actually had a strategy curbing the brazen nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. In the meantime, we have to realize that even really forceful economic sanctions are not in place against these two states. Did you know, for example, that American businesses are up to their neck in Tehran commerce?