A year ago Obama gave his nuclear disarmanent speech in which he announced the "first step" to disarmament was the need for an international treaty to control the production of fissile material. This seemed to imply he was changing positions on FISSBAN.
The problem is nothing of substance has come from it except more rhetoric. His agreement with Russia to remove a tiny fraction of our thousands of nuclear weapons from our arsenal and his assurance that we won’t nuke non-nuclear states was largely superficial.
We still retain enough conventional weapons to destroy the world as well as enough nukes to do the job several times over. And as Chris Floyd pointed out, the policy change was a thinly veiled threat of nuclear terrorism issued against Iran and North Korea.
And while President Obama gathered 47 world leaders so they could hear him go on about the very real threat of nuclear terrorism he carefully omitted the fact that the US government has been the main obstacle to disarmament and establishing a treaty like FISSBAN.
Then there was the nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran which was, as Eric Wallberg wrote, clearly "a coup for Iran — a truly international platform for challenging Washington’s assertion that it wants to see a world without nuclear weapons [...] President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says nuclear-armed states such as the United States should be removed entirely from the IAEA and its Board of Governors. Iran’s president called for the formation of a new international body to oversee nuclear disarmament, or at least the reinvigoration of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)."
The US and Israel, of course, didn’t show up. It looks like Iran successfully called our bluff. Just like Bush’s rejection of the Iran peace offer in 2003, Obama’s snubbing of Tehran’s conference sent the same message: we’re not interested.
In May the NPT conference will likely yield the same results as the past: failure. Too bad McNamara isn’t around to call Obama out like he did Bush.