Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In Which I Argue Against Motherhood

Mark Kleiman thinks Obama is savvy and right

two out of Obama's five points were about the nuclear threat: chasing loose nukes and fissile material, and taking our own weapons off the hair-trigger "launch on warning" status they should have gone off at the end of the Cold War. I'm pleased by this substantively, but it also looks politically savvy. These are both what might be called "good motherhood issues."

I'm not going to defend launch on warning (stochastic does not mean crazy) but I think one can argue that paying Russia to keep track of their nukes is a mugs game. Once upon a time I thought that was about the best possible use of money (even better than speed bumps) but times have changed. In particular, the price of oil has changed a lot. Russia is no longer a basket case. Do we pay France to keep track of their nukes ?

Furthermore Putin is not Yeltsin who was not Gorbachev. That large country over there which isn't as big as it used to be has gone from definitely well meaning and questionably competent to definitely incompetent and questionable well meaning to definitely competent and ruthless.

Putin can get the job done. Not only if the job is ending this silly democratic experiment and grinding Chechnya into dust, but also if the job is securing nukes.

Also apple pie is fattening and baseball is booooooooorrrrrrrrrring.

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