A delusion is a false belief, and a person who is consistently
delusional is sometimes judged to be insane. The dictionary defines
insanity as “unsoundness or derangement of mind, especially without
recognition of one’s own illness.” When we look at U.S. arms control
policy, and President Clinton’s recent statements on the subject, words
like “unsoundness” and “derangement” come readily to mind.
At his press conference last Thursday, President Clinton savaged the
U.S. Senate majority for voting against the Comprehensive Nuclear Test
Ban Treaty. Clinton remains dedicated to the proposition that the United
States should never again test a nuclear weapon.
Last summer I talked with a Washington intelligence expert, Peter
Vincent Pry, on the reasons for nuclear testing. The Clinton
administration maintains that underground nuclear tests are no longer
necessary since computers can now conduct “virtual” nuclear tests.
These, say the administration, are sufficient for assuring that our
bombs are in working order. I asked Pry about this. He told me that
simulated tests conducted on computers are of dubious value. “Simulated
tests are not the same as real tests,” he said. But the Clinton
administration doesn’t want any more real tests.
According to Clinton we have not tested a nuclear weapon since 1992,
and we will not resume testing until after he leaves office in January
2001. In fact, Clinton is hopeful that the U.S. Senate will eventually
ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (so that America will never
again test a nuclear weapon).
Clinton did not confront the fact that a test ban might result in the
gradual erosion of our nuclear deterrent. He did not acknowledge the
existence of a very real nuclear threat from Russia and China. Instead,
he blasted the United States Senate for “reckless partisanship” and for
threatening the economic wellbeing and national security of the country.
The president further stated, “We will not abandon our commitment to the
treaty.” In other words, he will enforce the treaty whether the Senate
likes it or not.
It was an odd performance for a U.S. president to suggest that our
nuclear arsenal is a serious threat to peace. Every U.S. president, from
Harry S. Truman to George Bush has publicly stated that America should
be second to none in nuclear power. Some recent presidents, like Nixon
and Carter, compromised our nuclear strength by signing foolish arms
control agreements with the Russians. Even so, they never said that our
arsenal was a threat to peace.
“The future of our children is in peril,” warned Clinton. Then he
proceeded to impugn the good faith of the Republican Senate leadership.
“Why can’t you accept that vote (against the treaty) as a good faith
expression of conviction?” asked one journalist.
Clinton answered by incorrectly suggesting that all the nation’s top
scientists and generals were in favor of the test ban. Clinton said the
treaty provides for 300 sensors to detect treaty violations, and he said
the treaty provides for on-site inspections — even though the Russians
and Chinese have blocked both monitoring efforts and on-site
inspections. Glossing over the treaty’s one-sided anti-American tilt,
Clinton said that American security depended on America’s willingness to
give up nuclear testing.
“There are always going to be objections from the country that is in
the best position,” said Clinton. From his point of view it would be
wrong for America to maintain the first rank among nuclear powers. Even
though America’s nuclear deterrent has kept the world safe for over five
Clinton feels it’s time for a change. The world’s only superpower —
America — must set an example.
The idea that America is the world’s only superpower combines
flattery and disinformation in one lump. America’s military power has
been in decline since its Reagan-era high in 1985. People are always
talking about the bad state of the Russian army. The poor morale of our
own forces is hardly
In typical demagogic fashion, Clinton warned that renewed nuclear
testing would “gut our efforts to have more teachers in the classroom.”
This is a surprising statement coming from our national leader. Never
before has a president of the United States suggested that military
strength could only be purchased at the expense of our children’s
On the subject of national ballistic missile defense, Clinton said,
“If we had the potential to protect our people … it would be the
responsible thing to deploy such a system.” But all the same, he added,
we cannot tear up the ABM Treaty. Clinton then suggested that whatever
defensive system we developed should be shared with the Russians.
Clinton said that America should not desire more weapons than it
already has. In his view, weapons do not guarantee our safety and
security. Only scraps of paper and Russian promises can make us secure.
Clinton did not address the fact that Russia has been caught in numerous
He did not discuss their nuclear modernization program.
Treaty-breaking is an honored Kremlin tradition. In 1987 Senator
Malcolm Wallop and Angelo Codevilla wrote an excellent volume entitled,
“The Arms Control Delusion: How Twenty-Five Years of Arms Control Has
Made the World Less Safe.” Wallop and Codevilla pointed out that the
same Russian organization that was in charge of tactical concealment and
military deception was also in charge of arms control policy. This is
still true today.
Senator Wallop was objecting to President Reagan’s negotiations with
Moscow. The Russians always cheat, he said, and we always let them get
away with it. Gorbachev was no different than earlier Soviet leaders.
The same argument also applies to Boris Yeltsin. The oligarchy of the
Russian Federation is the old Soviet oligarchy — old wolves in new
The United States government under Bill Clinton refuses to entertain
the possibility of a Russian nuclear attack. Clinton refuses to grasp
the implications of a large Russian missile force that only exists to
attack America. This is clear when we look at the range capability of
Russian missiles. The reality of the situation is lost on a delusional
administration which is determined to defend its policy with a bodyguard
of lies. Up until 1995 the National Intelligence Estimates produced by
the combined effort of America’s intelligence organizations — CIA, NSA,
DIA, and military services — maintained that Russia was a serious
nuclear threat to the United States. But President Clinton used
political pressure to force the intelligence community into an
assessment that conformed to his personal beliefs. On Feb. 28, 1996, the
U.S. intelligence community broke down and accepted the “politically
correct” dictate of the Clinton White House. NIE 95-19, the most recent
National Intelligence Estimate, stated, “With the end of the Cold War,
the United States faces a clearly diminished threat of nuclear attack by
the missile forces of the former Soviet Union.”
President Clinton was not interested in an objective analysis of the
Russian threat. He wanted the threat to be disregarded. It did not
matter to him that many intelligence officers strongly disagreed with
NIE 95-19. “Dissent was especially strong among those tracking Russian
strategic thinking and nuclear force modernization,” says Peter Vincent
Pry in his newly released book, “War Scare.” “Their more sobering views,
which should have been reflected in the main findings of NIE 95-19, were
ignored. The document did not allow one dissenting footnote into its
easy dismissal of the Russian nuclear threat.”
On Sept. 8 U.S. intelligence detected an underground explosion at
Novaya Zemlya, a remote Russian military base. Some analysts believe it
was a small nuclear test. I asked Peter Vincent Pry about Russian
violations of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which they have
repeatedly promised to uphold. Pry replied that there was evidence of
Russian violations. There was even an incident in the summer of 1997
which got major press attention. American intelligence detected an
“earthquake” in Russia which had a shock wave consistent with that of a
nuclear test. The Russians denied the violation, saying it was a natural
event. Without further discussion or investigation, the Clinton
administration accepted Moscow’s assurances.
Earlier this month the CIA admitted that the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty was unverifiable. CIA experts explained that low yield nuclear
explosions, below the five-kiloton range, could not be distinguished
from conventional explosions. Since the Russians have continued to set
off low-yield explosions, and since they have denied us an opportunity
for on-site inspections, we are forced to take Moscow’s word for it.
That is why the U.S. Senate decided against the Comprehensive Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty. The Senate does not share the president’s delusions
about Russian compliance. The Senate does not believe we can maintain
our nuclear deterrent without testing. Meanwhile the president cynically
accuses the Senate of endangering our children’s future. In truth, Bill
Clinton is determined to deprive us of our strongest weapons.
President Clinton, a man who lives by polls, claimed on Thursday that
most Americans favor the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. If this
is true, then our country is woefully misinformed.
Senator Trent Lott, replying to Clinton’s charges against the Senate,
said the treaty was “ineffectual, unverifiable, (and) unenforceable.”
Lott denied the president’s charge that the Senate leadership had
dishonestly hurried the treaty to a vote. He denied that the Senate had
voted out of ignorance. In fact, said Lott, it was the president who had
attempted to rush the treaty through the Senate. It was the president
who wanted to shorten the debate. But the president’s tactic backfired.
Behind the president’s deceit, beneath his public lies, he remains
deluded by Russian promises. Some have criticized Clinton for lacking
conviction and for changing his mind on this or that; but if you saw
Clinton’s performance on Oct. 14 you would realize that this man remains
a determined opponent of a strong American military, and an advocate of
the Russian and Chinese position on arms control.
A delusion is a false belief. In this context, the president of the
United States is determined to base our nation’s security on a delusion.
The United States Senate has taken a necessary and important step. We
need to encourage our senators to oppose all arms control and
that involve Russia and China. George Washington once said, “To be
prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving the
peace.” It would be irresponsible in the extreme to allow our nuclear
arsenal to degenerate while Russia and China continue to test their
weapons behind the
facade of a bad treaty.
If we do not put an end to the arms control delusion, it could be the
end of us.