Nuke danger

In full accord on the perceived global threat, world leaders Tuesday endorsed President Barack Obama’s call to secure all nuclear materials around the globe within four years to keep them out of the grasp of terrorists.

They offered few specifics for achieving that goal. But as 47 nations — including Armenia, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam — signed on the dotted line, President Obama declared "the American people will be safer and the world will be more secure" as a result.

Let’s hope the Moroccans didn’t drive too hard a bargain.

Those with some knowledge of history may recall the naval treaties of the 1920s, as well as the deal Neville Chamberlain won from Hitler in 1938, all guaranteed to prevent war. But perhaps the half-term senator from Chicago has all his bases covered.

Mr. Obama says he called the summit to focus world attention on the threat of nuclear terrorism, a peril he termed the greatest threat facing all nations. "Terrorist networks such as al-Qaida have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they ever succeeded, they would surely use it," he told the opening session, which convened under tight security at the Washington Convention Center. "Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world, causing extraordinary loss of life and striking a major blow to global peace and stability."

That’s odd. He may not have been the most suave of leaders, but former President George W. Bush acted firmly and promptly to take the battle to the terrorists halfway around the world following 9/11. All parties — including Democratic leaders in Congress — agreed at the time that the man most likely to provide such weapons to the terrorists was Saddam Hussein of Iraq. President Bush took him out.

Al-Qaida and others of their ilk were thrown on the defensive. There may have been some controversy over the means adopted, but America was kept safe for eight years.

And what of today’s administration? Mr. Obama goes to the Middle East and bows to Arab potentates, while giving Israel — whose Air Force might be the first line of defense against jihadist nukes emanating from Iran — the back of his hand.

Even the language of the war on terror — apparently seen as fatally poisoned by its association with the reviled memory of Mr. Bush — is systematically revised with a thoroughness not seen since George Orwell’s "1984," with instructions that no further reference is to be made to Islamic fascists … we are to pretend the forces that attack us are not fundamentalist zealots, until the official response to a disgruntled Muslim Army officer who shouts praises to Allah while gunning down a dozen soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas is that the fellow must have been psychiatrically disturbed.

If we cannot acknowledge who our enemies are, why are our troops still dying in Afghanistan? If our terrorist enemies could be anyone, anywhere, why not instead send our troops to New Zealand, Newfoundland, Ireland and Amsterdam? The climate’s nicer, as is the food.

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