THE PLANK SEPTEMBER 24, 2009
This morning the UN security council unanimously passed a resolution echoing Barack Obama's vision of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. It's hard to criticize this vision, but some conservatives have criticized Obama's vision for a world without nuclear weapons as naive. And, more specifically, some are complaining that the broad themes discussed here this morning amount to going soft on Iran and North Korea, who are not mentioned by name in the resolution approved by the council, and who went unmentioned in Obama's opening remarks. Writing at National Review Online, Anne Bayefsky brands today's session "one of the most dangerous diplomatic ploys this country has ever seen."
That's more than a little hyperbolic, but at least one leader here today shares the complaint that Iran and North Korea warrant more discussion in such a forum. "If we want a world without nuclear weapons in the end, let us not accept violations of international rules," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, noting that Ira and North Korea have flaunted international pressure without much consequence. While saying he is "totally welcoming" of Obama's vision, Sarkozy implored his fellow leaders that, "if we have the courage to affirm sanctions… we will be lending credibility to our commitment towards a world with fewer nuclear weapons." Sarkozy's words seemed to cause Rahm, Hillary and Susan Rice to perk up, though Obama merely thanked Sarkozy for his remarks without comment.