Jeffrey LewisDick

The only way for us to deal with people that you can’t negotiate with — there’s no arms control treaty here at the end of the day that guarantees our security. There/’s no way to appease these people and have them go away. The only way to deal with them is to destroy them before they can launch attacks against the United States.

Remarks by Vice President Cheney to employees of Billy Goat
Industries, Lee/’s Summit, Missouri on August 4, 2004

I hate platitudes.

Treaties can not, of course, guarantee our security. But then again, neither can a new fighter jet or a national intelligence director. There are no guarantees in life beyond death and taxes–and the GOP is working on the latter.

In the right circumstances, however, treaties, fighter jets and a national intelligence director could contribute to our security. We might find that having multiple tools in the proverbial box would be helpful in case the “destroy them” part either takes some time or isn/’t 100% successful. Dick is a busy man, what with his other priorities such as “destroying” the insurgency in Iraq and making the occasional anatomically impossible suggestion to a member of Congress.

So — just in case — here is a list of treaties that the Bush Administration might negotiate or strengthen to help in the fight against terrorism:

1. Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Hundreds of tons of nuclear material exist in dozens of countries around the world without adequate safeguards. One step toward keeping terrorists from stealing enough fissile material to make a nuclear weapon is to stop producing that material; the Bush Administration recently concluded that it could not support an FMCT with provisions for verification although Dick could straighten that out for us.

2. Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials. International standards would also help keep fissile material out of terrorist hands, but discussions of a draft amendment to strengthen the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials “effectively ground to a halt in March 2003 without reaching final agreement on several key points, throwing prospects for any strengthening of international standards for securing nuclear materials into doubt.” Yo, Dickie, little help.

3. Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The BWC bans the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition and retention of biological weapons, yet the Bush Administration opposed a protocol that would provide for declarations and inspections. In its place, the Bush Administraiton proposed jack taco. Dick could have John Bolton on this in a heartbeat … better make that two shakes of a lamb/’s tail.

Get moving, Dick.