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McElwee: A False Strategy for Nuclear Non-Proliferation

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:34 PM
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McElwee: A False Strategy for Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Justifying War With Iran: A False Strategy for Nuclear Non-Proliferation
By Patrick McElwee
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 23 October 2006

Six nations have been most frequently mentioned in discussions of nuclear non-proliferation in recent years. Four are known to have nuclear weapons and do not allow UN inspections of active nuclear weapon sites. Israel's nuclear stockpile is an open secret. India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons; they conducted highly publicized nuclear tests in 1998, creating a very tense moment between the rivals. This month, North Korea tested a nuclear device.

Another frequently mentioned country, Iran, does not now have nuclear weapons. It actually signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the international legal foundation of non-proliferation. Iran allows UN inspections of its nuclear facilities, which it claims will be used solely for civilian power plants - legal under the NPT - and never to create a weapon. No proof has ever been offered that Iran is taking steps to produce a nuclear weapon.

The sixth country, Iraq, was invaded on the pretext of having a serious program to produce nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction, which are now known not to have existed since soon after UN inspections began there in 1991.

Yet, leaving out occupied Iraq, the only one of these countries the US is threatening to attack is Iran - despite the lack of proof that Iran is even seeking a nuclear weapon. In fact, of those five countries, Iran is the only one currently playing by the rules.

The use of nuclear non-proliferation as justification for threats to attack Iran looks like a sham, just as it was shown to be a sham in Iraq.

This impression gets even stronger when we compare the behavior of the Bush administration toward the real proliferators of this group (excluding for the moment the biggest proliferators - declared nuclear powers, including the United States, who are obligated under the NPT to work toward disarmament).

Israel is one of the closest allies to the United States and the biggest recipient of US military aid. Its nuclear program has not noticeably slowed that aid.

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