“Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not going to retaliate …” – said Sarah Palin on Hannity and the whole country immediately understood the new Obama policy on nuclear engagement. Like the “death panels” remark got the attention of the seniors to the health care reform, the “punch me!” line made the crowd curious about the new Obama activity involving nuclear arms negotiations.
With the “death panels” Palin made Obama defend himself that he will not pull the plug on Granma. With the “I will not retaliate” line the famous now FOX News contributor made the President do just that: retaliate.
Sarah Palin is no expert on nukes… concluded the President. Ironically Obama who will not retaliate if a foreign country gases the USA readily engaged in a Nuclear War of words with Sarah Palin.
Nuke punches went back and forth as the former VP contestant reminded the world that Obama’s experience contains mainly of being a “community organizer” and “part-time” senator.
What is even more damaging for Obama is that “the experience” attack comes just a week after the President of Iran Ahmadinajad proclaimed that mistakes of the Obama foreign policy come from his inexperience. Ouch!
Obama vs Palin nuclear war comes at a time when the US Congress has to ratify the new START treaty with Russia (with 2/3 majority in the Senate). Looks like the President is trying to politicize the matter by engaging the enemy (Palin and the Republicans – not Iran and N. Korea).
The cheap shot at Palin prompts the public to take another look at Barack Obama’s experience in the realm of the nuclear disarmament.
What we know so far is that he wrote a paper on the Soviet disarmament while in college. The “senior thesis” as it is famous is missing from the Columbia University library and Obama campaign spokesman said in 2008 that the candidate at the time doesn’t have a copy himself.
Obama’s professor at Columbia Michael Baron said in an e-mail for NBC:
My recollection is that the paper was an analysis of the evolution of the arms reduction negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States. At that time, a hot topic in foreign policy circles was finding a way in which each country could safely reduce the large arsenal of nuclear weapons pointed at the other … For U.S. policy makers in both political parties, the aim was not disarmament, but achieving deep reductions in the Soviet nuclear arsenal and keeping a substantial and permanent American advantage. As I remember it, the paper was about those negotiations, their tactics and chances for success. Barack got an A. The course was not a polemical course, it was a course in decision making and how decisions got made, None of the papers in the class were controversial.
There you go! President Obama got an A on nuclear disarmament. If only we could take a look at the details and see if the A-grade logic is the same that was involved in the new treaty with the Russians.
Obama went to Columbia University in 1981 and graduated with a B.A. in 1983.
Let’s take a look at the USA at that time. According to a study on public opinion released in 1981
Since then Soviet-American relations have chilled in the face of the huge Soviet arms buildup, Russian-Cuban adventurism in Africa, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Communist repression in Poland, and commentators are talking of a second cold war…
The public evaluated President Carter’s approach as tending to be too soft, and at least initially has voiced much more satisfaction with President Reagan’s harder line toward the Soviets.
The public has also become more willing to oppose the spread of Communism.
The growing unfavorable opinion of the Soviet Union and concern about Soviet goals, actions, and its military might also have led to increased caution about the type of mutual ties and bilateral agreements that were the heart of detente.
As you can see from this overview of the foreign affairs in 1981 the Obama senior thesis on negotiations with the Soviets was not an easy matter. It is different looking back knowing that the USSR disappeared 10 years later. At the time the Soviets were no laughing matter. They were spreading communism all over the Third World.
The 1981 public opinion study shows an interesting discrepancy. Americans were very unlikely to have positive opinion on international communism. However they were much more tolerant toward the domestic communism:
American Communists are apparently seen as less dangerous now than in the l950s and they are accorded more civil liberties, but they are still seen undesirable and are ranked at or near the top of various lists, harmful groups and are about the middle among a list of problems. However there has been no increase intolerance towards Communists during the 1974 and early 1980s as conceal about Communism grew, dislike of Russia scare and in general Soviet-American relations deteriorated across the board.
-TOM W. SMITH Jan 1981
Apparently Obama was lucky that that tolerance for communism at home existed at the time. It is likely because of the love of the Americans for the freedom of speech. In the famous quote from, “Dreams from My Father” Barack Obama writes about his college days:
To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.
It is no wonder President Obama often goes against the public opinion. Even in college he was looking for the most fringe elements in the crowd.
I hope the professor who graded the Obama Soviet disarmament paper in 1983 with A was one of the not-Marxist professors that young Barack had to deal with. All because it is the only evidence of some nuclear experience in the Obama job resume.