We all know that we need 67 votes to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It’s not an easy fight with Senate Republican leadership out to create multiple “Waterloos” for President Obama. That mentality of political destructiveness hurts the security of our country. Our national security requires ratification of the START treaty, advance nuclear non-proliferation and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Some history is in order. JFK’s 1963 treaty banning of nuclear tests in the atmosphere had the support of 80 Senators in a genuine bi-partisan effort. I lobbied for that treaty as a young lobbyist working with Hubert Humphrey and Norman Cousins. I recall Senator Dirksen, the Minority Leader, acting as a statesman and supporting the treaty.. Most Senate Republicans supported the treaty
Today Senator McConnell,I the current Republican leader, focuses on creating political wreckage. Statesmanship is absent from the current Republican leadership. That is why I am encouraged by Senator McCain’s openess on this issue. He’s not fully there yet but as he showed on stopping the F-22 he is not a narrow partisan. He must be encouraged and his concerns answered because they can be.
On the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it is important to remember the role the late Herbert York played. Herbert York died earlier this year. His legacy is one of high national security standards and support for arms control and ending nuclear testing. His analysis and intelligence on this issue made him a credible advocate to the skeptics.
On the fortieth anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic bomb I attended a luncheon with some of the builders of the weapon. Hans Bethe, Phillips Morrison and other notables were there. Each person, passionate and prudent, had dedicated their lives to ending the nuclear option. They inspired me as I was lobbying to ban nuclear tests through legislation. Several years later we succeeded..
This CTBT treaty can also be ratified as we make our all out effort to do so.