Echoing Ronald Reagan, President Obama calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Even as a North Korean rocket launch upstaged his ambitious, if not realistic, call to action in the heart of Eastern Europe, Obama dismissed those who say the spread of nuclear weapons cannot be checked.

“This fatalism is a deadly adversary,” he told a crowd of more than 20,000 in an old square outside the Prague Castle gates. “For if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.”

Calling nuclear arms “the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War,” Obama appealed to anti-nuclear activists in the United States and abroad while taking care to promise that America’s national security would not be compromised.

He chose as the venue for his address a nation that peacefully threw off communism and helped topple nuclear power Soviet Union. “Let us honor our past,” Obama said, “by reaching for a better future.”

Somehow I suspect that Reagan’s devotees will see this as a sign of weakness.

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