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Welcome to the United States of Duplicity

Mike Whitney


March 6, 2006

Bush’s nuclear-summit with Prime Minister Singh was rehearsed long before he teetered off to India. That explains why the media was all atwitter over Bush’s severing the last frail strands of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT); the press loves to see our Crawford-strongman rummaging through international agreements like a bull in a China shop.

Bush manages nuclear issues like a schoolboy handing out party-favors; rewarding India with one deal, offering a different one to Pakistan, and then a third for Iran. This is how Bush has expanded America’s traditional double-standards into "triple standards"; a new nadir in foreign policy.

In just days, Bush toppled long-honored safeguards for the allocation and control of fissile material, and created a "nuclear bizarre" to be exclusively regulated by the United States. His trip tells the world that global nuclear-policy will now be decided by the Pentagon big-wigs and hard-right fanatics who dominate the Bush White House.

No wonder the media was so awestruck by Bush’s performance and celebrated his recklessness as "groundbreaking" or "a landmark deal". The press seems to relish the idea that America can single-handedly nudge the planet ever-closer to nuclear destruction.

Bush’s deal with PM Singh allows him to provide technology and fuel to a nation that has stubbornly refused to comply with internationally-accepted standards for the supervision of nuclear material. The agreement flaunts the NPT, the IAEA, the United Nations, and the US Congress, which is the body that is supposed to ratify such pacts before they are enacted.

Instead, Bush has elected himself "the god of all things nuclear"; capriciously revamping 20 years of nuclear policy with a sweep of the hand. Why would any country sign the NPT when America claims to be the sole arbiter of its application?

Former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami has already noted the duplicity of the Bush-system. He said, "I believe that double-standards are to blame for the crisis in our region and the world, because if a rational and fair approach were pursued, all issues of contention could be resolved easily and peacefully."

How could anyone dispute that?

Bush hands out technology to a "nuclear cheater" like India while his UN ambassador, John Bolton, is busy threatening Iran with "tangible and painful consequences" for complying with the terms of NPT.

What kind of message does that send?

Bolton’s blustery speech was delivered at a meeting of the powerful Jewish lobby AIPAC, where he stated that America was "beefing up defensive measures to cope with the Iranian threat".

"Beefing up defensive measures"? Will America really go to war again when the IAEA has repeatedly said that there is "no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program"?

So, what is the yardstick the administration uses to decide who gets technology and who doesn’t?

Regrettably, it looks like the only principles guiding American foreign policy are cynicism and self-aggrandizement. India gets the royal treatment because it’s seen as a strategic ally that will help contain China. It also promises to lift limits on foreign investment ensuring that more of America’s high-paying, high-tech jobs will continue to flee the country. Pakistan has less to offer by way of market-potential, but is still a valued ally in the war on terror.

Iran, unfortunately, sits atop an ocean of oil which is coveted by American petroleum giants and guarantees that it will receive a laser-guided dose of shock-and-awe, followed by "liberation" of its vital resources.

If these aren’t the Machiavellian principles that underscore Bush’s foreign policy, then what are?

The administration’s shortsighted approach to proliferation is dragging the world towards disaster. No one will accept this blinkered standard for regulating nukes.

The threadbare treaties that once slowed the production of nuclear weaponry have all been tossed overboard. Now development is to be decided according to the whims of Washington mandarins and their corporate colleagues.

What kind of fool would ever listen to them?

Courtesy and Copyright © Mike Whitney

:: Article nr. 21279 sent on 07-mar-2006 03:05 ECT


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