DATE=10/15/1999 TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP TITLE=SENATE DEFEATS TEST BAN TREATY NUMBER=6-11517 BYLINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS TELEPHONE=619-3335 CONTENT= /// [EDS: ADDITIONAL EDITORIAL comment on the test bank treaty vote can be found in Today's Editorial Digest, 6-11516 that moved earlier] /// INTRO: United States newspapers have unleashed a barrage of editorials regarding the Senate's rejection of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. While the majority of commentaries castigated the Republican-led Senate for playing politics with world disarmament, a minority of dailies cheered the result, emphasizing that the treaty was - and is - badly flawed and in part unverifiable. We get a sampling of both the pro and the con now from _____________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup. TEXT: "Foolish, perverse, reckless, dangerous," are just some of the adjectives editorial writers are using to describe the Senate's rejection of the Nuclear Test Ban treaty. But a minority of papers with conservative editorial page philosophies are running editorial headlines reading: "Treaty rout deserved," "A victory for principle" and "without sufficient trust, treaty won't be possible." The majority of newspapers are disgusted with the Senate's action, however, and several are calling it a political vendetta against an unpopular president. We begin our sampling in Florida, where The Orlando Sentinel calls the vote an "Explosive rejection." VOICE: The Senate vote on a nuclear-test-ban treaty is irresponsible. Many nations look to the United States to lead on such matters. . The Senate majority doesn't appear to understand the serious circumstances that the . rejection has produced. Many nations look to the United States to lead on matters such as nuclear explosions and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. Against the backdrop, the Senate vote is irresponsible. /// OPT /// In the interest of everyone's safety, objecting senators should put their desires for partisan victory aside and reconsider. Democracy, after all, requires compromise. /// END OPT /// TEXT: In Tennessee, The [Memphis] Commercial Appeal takes a balanced view, agreeing with points on both sides, before lamenting the final vote. VOICE: There were persuasive arguments for and against the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty - more for than against - but in the end none of them mattered. Senators of both parties placed momentary, domestic political advantage ahead of global stability, and as a result the threat of nuclear proliferation has grown. The G-O-P-majority (Republican majority) Senate's vote this week to reject the treaty thwarts an arms control goal first expressed by President Dwight Eisenhower - a Republican and a military man - 41 years ago. . Ratification of the treaty would have enabled the United States to maintain its lead over the rest of the world in nuclear technology. That advantage now may be lost, or at least threatened. TEXT: Speaking out in favor of the Senate vote is The [Cleveland, Ohio] Plain Dealer, which feels the treaty is "unenforceable" and passage would have been "a perilous gesture." VOICE: . defeat is what this well-intentioned but hopelessly flawed agreement [deserved] . Its essence runs counter to established U-S nuclear deterrence policies. It is unenforceable and toothless, and would serve only to stir up a tsunami [Japanese for tidal wave] of international bureaucracy, the tides of which easily could run counter to this country's interests. TEXT: The Boston Globe strongly disagrees, writing: VOICE: The Senate's vote not to ratify the . Treaty was a foolish and perverse act, increasing the risk of nuclear proliferation, squandering the enormous qualitative edge of this nation's nuclear stockpile, and imperiling American national security. . If politics accounted for the Senate's sabotaging of nuclear nonproliferation, then the task of the treaty's backers is to make ratification of the test ban a political touchstone in upcoming presidential and Senate elections. TEXT: There is a strong reaction as well in northern New Jersey's Bergen County, where The Record asks in this editorial headline: ** [All italics for emphasis] "Are we becoming the new international pariah?" VOICE: the Senate rejection of the nuclear test ban treaty is a grave mistake. In orchestrating the vote, a small number of conservative Republicans put their own political interest in humiliating President Clinton above the good of the nation - and the world. And many more Republican senators followed like sheep. That lack of courage spelled the treaty's defeat. . The U-S rejection of the treaty is dangerous. It is a major step backward for arms control. In fact, this is the first arms control accord ever defeated by the Senate. The action also sets the wrong example for other nations .. TEXT: The influential financial daily, The Wall Street Journal, also feels the treaty is fatally flawed and writes this about the vote, and the resulting furor at the White House: VOICE: . if indeed it is the intention of the Clinton- Gore White House to make national security an issue for the next 12 months, then we owe them nothing but thanks. With a 51-48 vote against the treaty along party lines and every G-O-P (Republican) contender weighing in against it, this abstruse treaty . offers an excellent opportunity to discover where our major parties stand on national defense. . In rejecting the treaty, the Senate also rejected the hitherto sacrosanct notion that arms-control agreements actually work as they've been marketed to the American people. This is a mind-set that has been more dangerous to international security than any Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. The history of arms control is in fact a history of failure. . There is ample evidence that arms-control agreements have done more to spread arms than . suppress them. /// REST OPT /// TEXT: Calling it a "Harmful Vote," The New York Times defends Mr. Clinton's angry news conference remarks about the vote Thursday. VOICE: President Clinton's forceful and focused performance at yesterday's news conference must mark the beginning of a sustained White house effort to limit the damage inflicted by the Senate's reckless vote . against the .treaty. . At no time in the ludicrously compressed Senate debate was the country offered a serious alternative Republican view of how to contain the alarming development of nuclear weapons in South Asia . TEXT: However from the same city, The New York Post espouses a very different view. VOICE: In angrily excoriating the Republicans and their alleged "new wave of isolationism," which supposedly led to the treaty's rejection, [Mr.] Clinton failed to acknowledge that the more this treaty has been studied and evaluated, the more serious the objections that have been raised to it. In fact, there was almost no argument in **favor** [italics for emphasis] of ratification, if you consider that [Mr.] Clinton's own C-I-A said its verification depended on technology that doesn't even exist yet. TEXT: In one of the stronger reactions, columnist Arthur Hoppe writing in today's San Francisco Chronicle, and admitting he is incensed, calls the Senate vote "A Filthy Act of Politics," while in Boston, David Nyhan of The Boston Globe" writes: VOICE: It was never this bad. Not during the first 99 years of the 20th century. Not till the very last year of the bloodiest, weapons-drenched, cordite- stenched, violence-saturated century has the Congress . behaved in such awkward, backward, retrograde fashion. The Republican majority's rejection of the nuclear test ban treaty marks the century's low point. TEXT: In Georgia, however, the headline over today's lead editorial in The Augusta Chronicle reads: "Treaty rout deserved," with this follow up: VOICE: It was congressional Democrats, egged on by the White House, that politicized the treaty - by accusing the G-O-P-led Senate of being soft on nuclear proliferation for not bringing the pact up for a ratification vote. When Majority Leader Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, obliged, proponents cried "foul" after they realized they didn't have near enough votes to win. Democrats were so eager to beat up on Republicans . they forgot to count votes! TEXT: The Dallas Morning News calls the vote "Dangerous" and "shortsighted," while The Philadelphia Daily News calls it "spiteful and irresponsible" and exhorts "voters .. [to] remember this act of wild irresponsibility. The Detroit Free Press frets that the "G-O-P games make the world a more dangerous place" while in Pittsburgh, The Post-Gazette sees the vote as a "defeat of reason" which "sends a bad message." Oklahoma's Tulsa World complains that "the rejection . was without a doubt more about politics than sound foreign policy," while The Chicago Tribune describes the decision as a "reckless, partisan and ill-considered blow to arms control and . U-S leadership in the world." Across Florida, The St. Petersburg Times declares the vote "shows [the] sorry state of [the] G-O-P, while in Orlando, The Sentinel describes the rejection as "irresponsible." The Fort Worth [Texas] Star-Telegram worries that the "rejection . puts the United States in an awkward position," while The Trenton Times, of New Jersey asks "Where are the statesmen?," and suggests the Senate has handed President Clinton "a ringing foreign-policy defeat" and "demonstrated . it has little interest in a U-S leadership role in arms control." Back in Georgia, The Atlanta Constitution calls the "defeat of [the] test ban treaty a foolhardy partisan vendetta," but its sister daily, The Atlanta Journal, disagrees, noting that "without sufficient trust,[the] treaty won't be possible," and goes on to blame President Clinton for failing to lead effectively. VOICE: One of the legacies of President Clinton's loss of credibility is that the level of trust necessary to make government work effectively is gone from Washington. TEXT: With that, we conclude this sampling of comment on the Senate's rejection this week of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. NEB/ANG/JP 15-Oct-1999 14:04 PM EDT (15-Oct-1999 1804 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .