It used to be said in this country that politics stopped at the water’s edge. I hope that is still true.
It will take bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate to ratify the New START nuclear arms-control treaty — a treaty that will commit Russia and the United States to modest reductions in their nuclear weapons and will restore the lapsed system of mutual verification between them.
Just as important is the example ratification will send to countries with nuclear programs — the example of the two leading nuclear-arms powers curbing their own forces as they ask other countries to turn away from nuclear arms.
The trouble is that the Republican leadership in the Senate, in particular Sens. Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell, are bent on preventing ratification. All they care about is frustrating President Barack Obama. They don’t mind that they are encouraging the pro-nuclear forces in Iran and North Korea to feel and say that if America won’t give up any of its nuclear arms, why should they?
We need Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to announce that they will vote to ratify the New START treaty and to tell the Republican leaders in the Senate publicly that politics should stop at the water’s edge.
James Parakilas, Lewiston