Jim Walsh on the Nuclear "Table"

Jim Walsh, Board Member of Council for a Livable World (the sister organization of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation), gave a great radio interview last Friday on nuclear weapons, the recent Obama-Clinton spat, and that proverbial "table" for "On the Media," a program produced by WNYC and syndicated by NPR.

Walsh also recently put out a tremendous op-ed on keeping the nuclear option on the "table," in which he argues, "Presidential candidates who think they can go around threatening the potential use of nuclear weapons to look tough without serious international repercussions are living in a bubble." The full op-ed is available here.

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Dennis Kucinich on ABC's This Week w/poll

While many MyDDers were watching our Great Orange Overlord and his DLC counterpart spar on NBC's MTP, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich appeared on the rival networks Sunday news show.

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Dodd Criticizes Clinton for Comments on Nuclear Weapons

This isn't a real diary, but I was curious what people thought of Dodd's swing at Clinton for the comments she made about the use of nuclear weapons on Iran a year ago.  I have to give it to him, he is consistent.  And maybe this will contest a couple of the claims that he's just running for Vice-President.  

I was disappointed to learn that Mrs. Clinton, like Mr. Obama, would make such an unwise categorical statement about military options. If nothing else, these kinds of careless statements expose the difference in the candidates' depth of experience and understanding when it comes to the complex world of foreign policy and military affairs.

The next President will require a level of understanding and judgment unprecedented in our history to keep America safe. With over a quarter of a century of experience helping to resolve conflict around the world, I offer that kind of leadership.

Careless statements exposing Clinton's lack of experience?  Wow.

(h/t TPM Election Central)

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Political Fall-Out Over Obama's Statement of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Against al Qaeda in Pakistan

There has been quite a bit of discussion and rancor following Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) recent comments on potentially striking al Qaeda in Pakistan if there was "actionable intelligence" and if President Musharraf refused to act, including whether the attack would include nuclear weapons.

Allow me to try to recap and clarify.

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Harkin Seems to Defend Obama On Use of Nuclear Weapons

Harkin criticized the Democratic field of candidates for not being willing to rule out the use of nuclear weapons against terrorist cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan, also going so far as to equate the policy of leaving all nuclear options on the table with Bush policy.  From the Des Moines Register:

Harkin likened the nuclear talk among Democrats to President Bush's policy.

"Bush policy is, you got a big stick, use it," Harkin said. "You use tanks and you use huge weapons and massive military to go after terrorists.

"It's just wrong, not the way to beat terrorists."

Harkin then apparently referred to policy statements about Pakistan:

"You're going to drop a bomb in Pakistan? They do have nuclear weapons themselves, folks," he said.

It's not really clear what Harkin is referring to here.  The use of a nuclear weapon inside Pakistan?  Any sort of strike inside Pakistan?

It's not really clear how much impact a statewide endorsement like Harkin's can have on the field.  Much has been made of the fact that Harkin endorsed Dean in 2004.  It's not clear if endorsements are much good for anything other than a few days of nice headlines, though politicians often bring with them a network of local activists, email lists, etc.  

Second, Harkin may end up facing an at least modestly competitive re-election campaign this year, so I imagine it's in his best interest to remain neutral.  

Anyway, so I don't imagine this means much in terms of endorsements, but it is nice to see political leaders in Iowa support Obama's position on the absurdity of nuclear weapons in dealing with al Qaeda.

(h/t TpmCafe)

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