Archive for April 14th, 2010

Is Jon Kyl Paying Attention?

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Jon Kyl, a Republican Senator from Arizona, had this to say about President Obama’s nuclear summit:

“The summit’s purported accomplishment is a nonbinding communiqué that largely restates current policy, and makes no meaningful progress in dealing with nuclear terrorism threats or the ticking clock represented by Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

Consequently, he has vowed to oppose nuclear treaties that Obama is working so hard to sign.

Sometimes I wonder where Republicans get the chutzpah.

Did Kyl miss the part where China agreed, for the first time this week, to discuss a serious sanctions regime against Iran?

Did Kyl not notice that Canada, Mexico, and Ukraine promised to eliminate or give up their surplus weapons-grade materials?

No meaninfgul progress? Really?

Did Kyl miss this, from the Times:

At the end of two days of meetings, Mr. Obama could claim two major accomplishments: The summit meeting forced countries that had failed to clean up their nuclear surpluses to formulate detailed plans to deal with them, and it kicked into action nations that had failed to move on previous commitments.

These are steps. Yes, meaningful steps.

Obama is showing true leadership on this issue, because, as he says, one of the gravest threats to our security is a nuclear weapon in the hands of a terrorist. Would Kyl disagree that this is a threat? If not, why would he throw such prominent darts at the first serious diplomatic effort in a decade to address it?

Wouldn’t it be better — and in our national security interest — for lawmakers (even Republicans!) to forcefully articulate whether they agree with Obama’s assessment of the threat, and at least fairly note the steps taken this week to make the world safer? Couldn’t you do this — and still offer constructive criticism, instead of a broadside? Wouldn’t such a broadside ultimately undermine any positive steps, weaken the overall effort, and thus make America less safe?

Ask Jon Kyl.