Yesterday, I made my views known about the Democratic primary, so I’m sure my opinions on this issue will not come as much of a shock. Obama was asked by an AP reporter whether he would be willing to use nuclear weapons to fight Al Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a question which obviously caught him off guard:
“I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance,” Obama said, with a pause, “involving civilians.” Then he quickly added, “Let me scratch that. There’s been no discussion of nuclear weapons. That’s not on the table.”
This represents the latest development in a foreign policy battle of words, mainly between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, which has followed a pattern of Obama introducing the ideas and Clinton criticizing them. Not to break the trend, Clinton said:
Presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons. … I don’t believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons.
What? I think the issue of non-state terrorism is an area where one should obviously not use nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons serve mainly as a deterrent against attack by state actors, especially those who would be using nuclear weapons themselves. Using nuclear weapons on Afghan or Pakistani soil, both countries being our allies, to attack non-state actors within their borders is silly.
I am amazed at how Clinton continues to get away with vapid criticism of Obama’s proposed policies when she has offered little herself. Of course, this is winning her points with the public, as her poll numbers have apparently stayed high relative to Obama’s.
However, my hope is that as time progresses and people take the time to review the facts and as Clinton either reveals her strategy on the issues (she has maintained relatively little of substance in comparison to the other two front-runners thus far) or is called out for not doing so, potential voters will realize that their previous perceptions of the field to not match the facts.