I recently received a handwritten, signed, gold-embossed, heavy cream note card from my congressional representative, after I had sent him a preprinted postcard urging support for reducing nuclear weapons. He suggested I write to Senator Kyl, the Republican Whip, since Kyl is the one promoting more delay in ratifying the new START Treaty. Of course, we progressives have been deluging our senators with detailed, reasonable arguments about the urgency, morality, and sanity of ratifying the new START treaty right now. We want to see them do it before the new Tea Party-infused Senate takes its seat in 2011. But I am wondering if we shouldn't try another approach too-- a little satire with the sting of truth in its tail, now or if need be, in 2011. So here goes. (You may upload, post, or reprint what follows, with proper attribution.)
Some Senators Gamble with Nukes
By Susan C. Strong
In mid-November Senator Kyl, (R, AZ), the Senate Whip, said we shouldn't ratify the new START treaty with Russia until all newly elected senators take their seats .Of course, members of Senator Kyl's party have already announced that they will do anything to see that Obama fails. So their nuclear gambit smells very much like another way to stop the president. But these senators are gambling big--stopping Obama versus quickly resuming our inspection of Russian nuclear bomb facilities? Or how about supporting our collaborative work to prevent the Iranians from building a nuclear bomb? Hey, if these right wing senators could just stop Obama, they wouldn't care what happens in the Middle East?
Then there's doing more to stop the flow of nuclear materials into the hands of terrorists all over the world. Ditto for reducing the chances of accidental nuke launch, triggered by bird strike, or cloud shadow, or computer glitch--who cares about that, these "conservative" senators seem to say. Stopping a launch like that before it really got going, because there was still U.S.-Russian trust? No dice to all that is the Senate holdouts' message?
Even if an accidental launch triggered global nuclear winter, making climate change big-time and life on earth caput, it would be worth stopping Obama? Senator Kyl and his friends don't seem to care about reducing the chance by even a hair that some terrorist will create a suitcase bomb with black market nuclear material, smuggle it into the capital, and blow up DC, starting with the Senate. These senators just want to make very sure that their political party wins the next presidential election, which might end up taking place amid the radioactive ruins of New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Main Street USA?
If they could just stop Obama, that, they believe, would be the BIG win? Well, let's just hope and pray they don't win this one! Maybe the sanity displayed by grown up Senators Snowe and Collins, will spread; the two now say they will vote for ratifying the treaty. And maybe, if the treaty is held over to 2011, the new Tea Party senators will also wake up and smell the fallout. Some gambles are really just not worth it. That's what Henry Kissinger, George H.W. Bush, George Schulz, William Perry and Sam Nunn think too.
Susan C. Strong, Ph.D. is the founder and executive director of The Metaphor Project.. The Project assists activists in mainstreaming their messages by framing them as part of the best American story. http://www.metaphorproject.org