Bombing, Wars and Nukes

IV. Bombing Iran

Under either Barack Oama or Mitt Romney the United States would be committed to bombing Iran if it achieved or was close to acquiring a nuclear bomb. Obama has said he is not bluffing about bombing if certain red lines are crossed and Romney is, if anything, even more bellicose than Obama about bombing.

Even present and former Israeli security and defense officials are warning about dire consequences from bombing Iran; also, recent polling shows a strong majority of Israelis opposed to bombing. There is a computer model that forecasts up to three million deaths from blast and radioactive effects of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, several of them deeply buried.

V. Stopping Wars

President Barack Obama did end the troop commitment to Iraq but he ended it on the scheduled Status of Forces agreement reached by George W. Bush with the Iraqi government. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama never gave a hint that a large contingent of troops would be in Iraq for almost three full years after he took office.

As Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) so energetically and wisely made the case, the Status of Forces agreement with Iraq had all the attributes of a treaty and should have been under treaty ratification provisions in the Constitution. It should also be noted that if the Iraqi government had given U.S. troops immunity from Iraqi law, we would still have from 3,000 to 15,000 troops in Iraq, based on Pentagon projections, agreed to by President Obama.

Although candidate Obama talked about increasing the U.S. troop commitment to Afghanistan, when he got more specific, he talked in terms of a brigard or two — about 8,000 troops at the maximum. He never intimated that the increase might be four or more times greater. Also, even though the current campaign claim is that Obama is ending the war in Afghanistan, there is no firm agreement that all or most U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, or six years after Obama assumed the presidency. The still-not-completed agreement that the Obama administration has reached with the Afghan government has the attributes of a treaty and should be submitted to Congress for ratification. The agreement governs U.S.-Afghan relations beyond the year 2014.

VI. Nuclear Weapons

Although Barack Obama made an inspiring speech early in his presidency about a world without nuclear weapons, all of his actions, with the single exception of the nuclear weapons reduction agreement with Russia, have been to increase our nuclear weapons capability — even pushing back the completion date for the destruction date of warheads called for in previous treaties. He has added many billions of dollars to the modernization program, which will quadruple the capability of the United States to build triggers for nuclear bombs. Built into his long-range planning are a new nuclear weapons-armed bomber, an advanced nuclear missile and a new nuclear-armed fleet of submarines, operational until about 2070.

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