Would Obama Retaliate against a Nuclear Attack?

Thursday, September 15, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
September 15, 2011

hat if a Muslim country, such as Iran, launched a nuclear attack against us, or if agents aligned with Pakistan using dirty bombs were to attack America? Would Barack Hussein Obama retaliate with nuclear force, as has been our stated policy since the 1950s? Would he even unleash a barrage of non-nuclear shock and awe that would level those countries so that they’d be incapable of striking a second time?
When queried in Japan in November 2009, Mr. Obama declined to defend President Harry Truman’s nuclear attack on Hiroshima, despite it having saved hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who would have otherwise died trying to defeat the recalcitrant Japanese. Many on the left and in academia have gone so far as to characterize it as a display of American racism, questioning if we would have done so had the victims been British. They ignore the efficacy of how that one-time use of a nuclear weapon spared this country from ever being a victim of nuclear attack.
This is a question the president needs to be asked, given how he is a proponent of a doctrine labeled Responsibility to Protect, “R2P.” The question is, though, what is Mr. Obama’s conceptual understanding of the term “responsibility” and how will it influence the manner in which he wages war?
The past may be a guide. As with all references to “responsibility,” domestic or foreign, Obama sees responsibility as a type of sacrifice by the more powerful to those less powerful, be it redistribution of wealth or sacrificing one’s optimal protection when weighed against how it effects those he considers innocent. A nuclear response to a nuclear attack on us, or even a devastating shock and awe campaign, would certainly kill many non-combatants Obama would consider innocent.

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