Saturday, March 04, 2006

American Hypocrisy:Don't Leave Home Without It!

From: Pakistan's 'Frontier Post' (3/3/06)

"With a few exceptions, today the Indians are rapturosly jubilant. They have their deal for American nuclear technology just the way they wanted it. President Bush has called the deal historic. The quaking Indian media, the intellectual elite and wide swaths of the political class have cooingly adopted his description, extolling the deal as landmark, epoch-making and what not. And indeed it is historic, but only for making history in hypocrisy and duplicity.

At this point in time, America and it's European allies are unbendingly arrayed against the Iran's nuclear program, even though it's a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which India is not. Iran insists it's nuclear effort is well within the NPT's framework and had signed up an additional protocol, calling for snap inspections of it's nuclear facilities by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. While India has persued it's nuclear activities away from the gaze of international monitors, and most of it's nearly 2 dozen nuclear facilities are outside international safeguards.

And yet President Bush has decreed that India can have access to America's nuclear technology, and possibly to that of the Nuclear Supplier's Group, but Iran can't even pursue what it insists is a peaceful nuclear program.

The U.S. proposed the formation of a Nuclear Supplier's Group following the 1974 nuclear explosion by India. It's primary purpose was to endure that supplier's uniformaly applied a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that nuclear cooperation did not contribute to proliferation, and to involve a key non-NPT supplier, France.

But there was a sticking point in this nuclear deal. The American's wanted India's fast breeder reactors, which provide fuel for weapons, to be added to the list of civilian nuclear facilities that are to be open to international scrutiny. The Indian establishment would not agree to this, it's nuclear scientists wanted these reactors on the military list, which will not be open to inspections. But even on this difficult issue, President Bush conceded to India's demands, magnanimously agreeing that they could keep their fast breeder reactors on the military list.

Is this not blatant hypocrisy and duplicity? Pray, what else could it be if Iran is not allowed even peaceful nuclear pursuits and India is permitted to keep even military nuclear facilities outside international scrutiny? And isn't it even bigger hypocrisy to deny Pakistan the same access to American nuclear technology?

It would take a nuclear expert to more poignantly explain how this nuclear deal will impinge on the regions security situation. But it's incontrovertible that it has disturbed the balance of power in the area. India was already known to possess enough plutonium to build scores of bombs. And now, that enormous capability is bound to get a tremendous shot in the arm, with unmonitored fast breeder reactors functioning with complete freedom under the protection of the world's only superpower, pursuing it's weapons program with added vigor.

But when have the American's shown any consideration for such concerns on the part of Pakistan? Or for the tilt of balance of power against it in the region? Only our sages in the administration seem to believe that things are changing for the better. Unfortanately, there are no such indications on the horizon. Rather, it appears that the nuclear episode of decades ago is about to be repeated.

Let us recall those days, when India tested it's 1st bomb in 1974, and unleashed the demon of nuclear weapons on the subcontinent. Was India punished by the self-styled champions of non-proliferation? Wasn't it, instead, Pakistan, that was castigated?

India was left alone to freely, even indulgently, puruse it's nuclear weapons program, and all of it's guns were trained on Pakistan. Pakistan was pilloried, demonized, and cut with the sharp blade of sanctions, embargoes, and what not. For greater effect, it was slapped with the racist charge of trying to fabricate an Islamic Bomb. Hypocritically enough, these denigrators of Pakistan admitted Indians into their ranks to denounce it for it's nuclear program. Nor were these people overcome with shame or remorse when India tested a series of bombs in 1998. Instead, they turned all their animosity on Pakistan to keep it from nuclear testing.

Indeed, anyone in Pakistan who thinks it will be different this time around must be the most moon-struck soul on earth. The Americans have many tricks in their bag to deny Pakistan a similar nuclear deal. They can tout up hoaxes like the AQ Khan epidode and the bleak possibilty of congressional approval such as a dispensation for Pakistan. And even though Bush has spoken of the deal with India as the beginning of some kind of grand global plan to supply nuclear power technology in some distant future, Pakistan can never hope to benefit from a similar nuclear deal from America. It's as simple as that.

It is India that really matters to Americans, as much to build it up as to have a counterweight to the fast rising global power in China as to benefit from India's huge market and lucrative investment opprotunities. Pakistan's relevance comes only in the context of America's war on terror. All of Washington's current talk of long term relations is hogwash. It has dished out such prattle aplenty in the past, only to abandon and betray Pakistan at it's most crucial hour. It's only our elite that despise the lessons of history. Otherwise, the hypocrisy of the Bush administration would be more than enough to tell us where we stand in it's calculations."