It’s often useful to read Robert Creamer’s posts over at HuffPo. Creamer composed the political strategy “blueprint” for ObamaCare from federal prison
, and was hired by the Obama campaign after his release, training volunteers at Camp Obama
and running the DNC’s rapid response team in 2008
. He remains connected to President Obama
, and blasts out talking points that seem either to shape or reflect the White House message.
A recent Creamer post is entitled: “Post-Bin Laden, It's Time to End the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism for Good
.” That’s a tip to the likely theme of President Obama’s foreign policy as he addresses the “Arab Spring”
and shapes his 2012 re-election messages. It points to Obama’s only foreign policy achievement--and that a dubious one--aside from killing Osama bin Laden: the ratification of the new START treaty
with Russia last December.
[caption id="attachment_117560" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Perfidy in Prague: Obama guarantees missile defense, April 2009--a promise swiftly broken (Jason Reed/Reuters/CSMonitor.com)"]
The fact that Creamer--a hard-core Alinskyite--praises Ronald Reagan in his post, without irony, is a clue that Obama’s new foreign policy message is meant as a signal to independent voters, whom Obama hopes to win back. He won’t triangulate on the economy or the deficit, but Obama may try to do so on foreign policy--and he may as well, because he’s already broken most commitments he made to the left in that arena.
But nuclear disarmament remains somewhat anachronistic. Obama seems never to have updated his geopolitical outlook since his college days
, when he clamored for the U.S. to embrace disarmament and a nuclear freeze. For the past two decades, the real and urgent concern has been the development and possession of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons by rogue states and the terror groups that they arm, fund, and train.
Obama has resisted that conclusion. What is interesting about Creamer’s message, if it indeed reflects Obama’s current thinking, is that the president is now linking nuclear weapons directly to the threat of terrorism. That’s precisely why we went to war in Iraq, and why the Bush administration began thinking about Iraq right after 9/11: the U.S. could not take the risk that Saddam Hussein would provide such weapons to terrorists.
Obama will never admit that, any more than he will credit George W. Bush for the surge in Iraq that Obama opposed. So why link nuclear weapons to terror now? A charitable view would speculate that Obama finally intends to get serious about Iran, and perhaps pressure Pakistan as well. A less charitable view would be that Obama simply intends to use the bin Laden success to revive his stalled multilateral approach to the problem.
That would be dangerous, because the Obama administration’s past diplomatic efforts at disarmament resulted in the U.S. abandoning our painstakingly built missile defense program in Europe
, with little to show for it in terms of hoped-for concessions from Russia
. Those same disarmament efforts have also encouraged nominally “non-aligned” nations to insist on Israel’s disarmament as the price for half-hearted pressure on Iran
More broadly, Obama’s shift towards international disarmament continues his reckless departure from the Bush-era war on terror, which ought not end just because bin Laden is no longer leading Al Qaeda. Casting nuclear terrorism as a threat that arises from nuclear weapons in general rather than particular terror-supporting regimes not only risks harming allies like Israel, but will also prevent us from isolating would-be enemies.
The administration’s preference for “leading from behind” on this and other issues has also led the U.S. into a position of diplomatic weakness and strategic incoherence that has emboldened past and future rivals
. Obama cannot be allowed to evade the urgent question of what he intends to do about Iran if and when global disarmament fails. Any serious Republican challenger must be prepared to ask that question early, and often.