The Hypocrisy and Illegality of the Nuclear Deal Between India and the U.S.
For the past 30 years, the U.S. has led the way in denying India access to nuclear technology because India tested and developed nuclear weapons outside of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India refused to sign the deal because it opposed the discriminatory nature of the treaty that allows the 5 declared nuclear countries of the world to keep their nuclear arsenal and develop their arsenal using computer simulation testing. In response to India performing nuclear tests in 1998 and in an effort to get India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, President Clinton imposed sanctions against India and the U.S. stalled international loans from the World Bank that were meant to fund a renewable energy program and development of a national electricity grid in India.
Now, President Bush, is saying forget all of that stuff we did to India in the past when we were trying to prevent them from becoming a Nuclear Power, India is now our ally and “times change.”
The following reasons are why I have a problem with this new deal with India – our new ally.
1.) President Bush is selling this deal with India to the public, as a way to ease the effect of increasing oil prices on US consumers. I personally think President Bush and his administration recognize the intricate details and consequences of Peak Oil. I think President Bush is sacrificing the reputation of the U.S. and engaging in dangerous foreign policy tactics in an effort to buy more time for the U.S. to come up with this “magic” technology that will allow Americans to continue to guzzle oil, remain wasteful, and keep their standard of livings. The equation of the U.S., India, and China increasing their oil demand each year and all competing for the remaining scraps of oil left on the planet is obviously not going to work (i.e. 2+2+2 will never equal 5). Instead of reducing the U.S. demand on oil, which will inevitably slow our economy, I believe the Bush Administration is betting that they can work to curb the oil consumption of other countries and reduce their demand on the remaining oil resources. The problem with this "bet" is that experts say that this deal meets only 10 to 12 percent of India’s mammoth energy needs. Therefore, the U.S. is engaging in dangerous and extremely hypocritical foreign policy that doesn’t really solve the problem of the world having a greater demand for fossil fuel energy than what is actually available. Which begs the question…is this deal smart foreign policy? In addition, I also think Bush wants India in his pocket, so he can call on them in future, similar to what happened when Bush was garnering support against Iran.
2) It is a complete double standard for the United States to attempt to hold other countries, who have actually signed the NPT to a different standard than countries who haven’t even signed the treaty. India gets nuclear cooperation from the U.S., while other countries such as Pakistan and Iran are unilaterally deemed ineligible for such cooperation.
3) The U.S. is a signatory to the NPT, but the deal between the U.S. and India violates tenets of the NPT, because based on the treaty, a non-signatory state is not eligible for cooperation support from other countries that are non NPT members even in the form of non-military assistance.
4) This foreign policy move by Bush and Rice, appears to reward bad behavior and sends a bad message to other international countries who have not signed the NPT that it’s ok to develop nuclear weapons outside the NPT, which is the exact opposite of a goal of non-proliferation.
5) The U.S. is currently calling for Iran to abandon its nuclear program and alluding to sanctions and possible military action if Iran doesn’t comply. Iran has complied with the terms of the NPT and allowed more inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) than any other country that is a signatory of the NPT and has agreed to additional Protocols required by the IAEA, that are not required by other NPT signatories. In addition, Iran already suspended its nuclear program voluntarily in order to continue EU nogotiations and "build trust" in the international community. The U.S. has accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons with little evidence, similar to the situation of the U.S accusing Iraq of having weapons of mass destructions with little/false evidence. The U.S. argues that Iran can’t have weapons because it’s not a true democracy, it doesn’t have any need for nuclear power because it’s rich in oil, and a nuclear Iran would cause a regional nuclear arms race. None of these “qualifications” stated by the U.S. are noted anywhere in the NPT. The NPT gives Iran the right to develop peaceful nuclear technology and actually requires nuclear superpowers like the U.S. to share nuclear technology to further these efforts.
6) The U.S. has watched while Israel has secretly developed nuclear weapons and not referred them to any Security Council, nor had any qualms about Israel spurring a nuclear arms race in the region. Israel is not a signatory of the NPT.
7) The deal with India violates U.S. law, because any signed international treaty such as the NPT automatically becomes U.S. law and in addition, U.S. law currently prohibits sharing of nuclear technologies and materials outside the framework of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation, by controlling the export and re-transfer of nuclear materials. India is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The Nuclear Suppliers Group was actually founded in 1976 in response to a Indian nuclear weapons test in 1975. The test demonstrated that certain non-weapons specific nuclear technology could be readily turned to weapons. Nations already signatories of the NPT saw the need to further limit the export of nuclear equipment, materials or technology. It’s more than ironic that this deal with India will violate a U.S. law that requires adherence to rules of an organization that was founded in response to India developing weapons outside of the NPT.
8) The deal with India only requires that India make 14 out of its 22 nuclear facilities open to inspections by the IAEA. The remaining 8 are military facilities and not subject to inspection or monitoring. India has not agreed to scale back it's nuclear program and plans to continue it. India's reprocessing and enrichment of uranium — key steps in making weapons-grade material — will not be subject to international safeguards.
The hypocrisy of India (who wants civilian nuclear energy) agreeing to refer Iran (who also wants civilian nuclear energy) to the Security Council in effort to secure a deal with the United States has not gone unnoticed. The hypocrisy of the U.S. ignoring the NPT when it comes to their “allies”, but demanding sanctions be brought against countries adhering to the NPT, such as Iran, has not gone unnoticed. The hypocrisy of the United States now putting all of this faith in the inspections of IAEA with regards to India and Iran but completely ignoring Mohamed ElBaradei, Director of the IAEA, with regards to his view that Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction, has not gone unnoticed. Days before the Iraq war started, Vice Presdient Dick Cheney officially said “We believe [Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei, frankly, is wrong," Cheney said. "And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency in this kind of issue, especially where Iraq's concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what Saddam Hussein was doing."
Pictures of Protests in India during Bush's recent visit. It's estimated that 50,000 people protested: