“If this nuclear deal [with India] stands, the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty is going to fall. The president has just blasted
a huge hole through the framework that his predecessors
worked for over 30, 40 years to help build up.”

MER – – Washington – 7 March: The hardline Neocons couldn’t be happier – now they have a giant Asian India free to greatly expand it’s nuclear arsenal and at the same time free to enrich American ‘defense’ contractors in the process. Furthermore the lobbying alliance in Washington has expanded as well with the Indians getting tips and paying bucks to some of those associated with the powerful Israelis on Capitol Hill — especially now that the Bush/Cheney regime has to get so many laws changed to make the big Indian deal work. When the Israeli-Jewish lobby, it’s big-time allies on the Hill like Tom Lantos and Ileana Ros_Lehtinen, and the operators like Frank Gafney, are all lining up to push hard for something — in this case the new Cheney-inspired Bush-fronted India-U.S. alliance — you know something big and bad is up. The Indians have even named their fast-growing lobby after AIPAC calling it the U.S.-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC). “For the past eight months USINPAC has aggressively worked to get key membes of Congress on board, and we will not rest until this agreement is signed into law” says Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC, referring of course to the new quasi-treaty outlined by President Bush last week in Delhi. In a very real sense, however disguised and presented in other ways, the U.S. is bulking up and the new Indian alliance is a significant new American. The U.S. goal is triple barrelled — to keep China in check as American arms-makers and corporations benefit and as the U.S. targets the rest of the Middle East ‘evil ones’ all of whom are now in the gunsights — Iran, Hezbollah (Lebanon), Syria, Hamas (Palestine), and anyone else who dare defy the ‘If you are not with us you are against us’ mantra.

Now once and awhile someone in the Washington establishment and on the PBS News Hour program is something other than bland and political correct. But then the ‘liberals’ and the truer internatinalists are only on the run and in hiding these days, they are not totally dead. So when it comes to the Indian deal there is still a Washington constituency for opposing and exposing the Imperialists who have major constituencies in both of the major parties far beyond the hardest-line Neocon circles. In this context read the scathing comments by Joe Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on 2 March, the day President Bush announced the new India-U.S. alliance in Delhi:

MARGARET WARNER: How do you see it, Joe Cirincione, the nuclear deal?

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: If this nuclear deal stands, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is going to fall. The president has just blasted a huge hole through the framework that his predecessors worked for over 30, 40 years to help build up


The Indian demands are well-known. We know they’ve wanted trade, they’ve wanted access to nuclear technology for years. But…

MARGARET WARNER: And you’re talking about a civilian technology?

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: A civilian technology. They want to buy fuel from us, to buy reactors from us. But up until now, no previous president has given in to those demands, not Richard Nixon, not Ronald Reagan, not the president’s own father. The president, President Bush, has now given away the store. He did everything but actually sell nuclear weapons to India.

MARAGARET WARNER: But explain why it blows a hole in the NPT, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, when India never signed the NPT. I mean, it’s not like Iran or North Korea, which signed and then either cheated or tried to get out.

Joseph CirincioneJOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Ah, but India did sign cooperation agreements to get those reactors in the first place. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, they promised that, if we sold them the reactors, Canada and the U.S. did, they would use them only for peaceful purposes. They cheated on that agreement.

In 1974, they took plutonium out of a reactor and detonated a nuclear weapon with it. That’s why this entire framework has grown up, to prevent any country from doing that again. The president, with one stroke, has now demolished that framework.


MARGARET WARNER: But what about — excuse me. What about Mr. Cirincione’s point that it did mislead countries, Western countries, that sold them civilian nuclear reactors? Is that true?

SUMIT GANGULY: Well, quite frankly, it’s overstated. His position is overstated. There was some diversion of plutonium from a Canada-supplied reactor. But, on the other hand, there was nothing formally in that agreement that prohibited India from taking spent fuel from that reactor.

It may have violated the spirit of an agreement, but it did not violate the letter of an agreement.

JOSPEH CIRINCIONE: Well, that’s just absurd. And that’s what the U.S. Congress reacted to when Richard Nixon encouraged the Congress to pass new laws that prohibited the U.S. from doing anything that would help India or another country do what India had just done.

And that’s what the president is now violating; he’s not only giving up on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits us from assisting India with its nuclear weapons program, but he requires the change of five or six major U.S. laws.

MARGARET WARNER: And let me ask you one quick follow-up before we turn the corner to the broader relationship. Are you saying it means nothing, though, for the whole international system that India is finally going to separate its civilian from military program and is going to finally allow inspection of two-thirds, at least, of its reactors?

JOSPHEN CIRINCIONE: It’s the other way around. It’s one-third of its reactors are not subject to any inspection at all, and that’s the problem.

In essence, what this deal means is that India is going to be able to double or triple the number of nuclear weapons it can make every year. It can make about six to 10 now. With U.S. fuel going to the civilian reactors, it is free to turn its military reactors to triple that production.

And that could set off a nuclear arms race, because Pakistan’s not going to stand by idly and watch that happen. Neither is China. And what’s Japan going to do? That’s the problem for the region, as well as the regime.


MARGARET WARNER: How much of a factor or how valid a factor do you find the China — sort of countering rising China as a reason — we understand you object on the nuclear deal, but the bigger picture?

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Sure. First of all, the sea change in India-U.S. relations took place with Bill Clinton’s visit. He was treated like a king when he went there in 2000. There were no demonstrations against him, and he didn’t give up on U.S. principles or U.S. law.

China clearly plays a big role in this. This deal was basically put together by a small number of officials. Some of those officials are the neoconservatives who see China as a looming threat. For them, the problem isn’t that India has nuclear weapons; it’s that they don’t have enough nuclear weapons. They want to encourage nuclear as a nuclear ally against China.


MARGARET WARNER: … my two guests here in the remaining minute or so we have. OK, what are the prospects on the Hill? Briefly explain, first of all, why the Hill has to sign off on the nuclear deal, that is, Joe Cirincione, and, secondly, what you think the prospects are?

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Well, the president’s deal changes four, five, six major U.S. nonproliferation laws. Congress has to make those changes. This is going to take years. Nothing is going to happen on this deal this year.

We’re going to have hearings, and they’re going to be heated hearings. The Senate chairman, Senator Lugar of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has already said he’s got concerns about this. Henry Hyde, his House counterpart, has said it. You heard Ed Markey. There’s going to be a lot of questions, some amendments to this deal before it gets approved.

MARGARET WARNER: How much of a fight do you expect?

KURT CAMPBELL: Two things to keep in mind. For the first time in a long time, Congresspeople on both sides of the House are really speaking up and standing up to the White House on a range of issues. And I expect that this will be another issue that they’re going to raise some concerns about.

And secondly, India is a proud and occasionally prickly nation. I do not think they’re going to enjoy the process of the inevitable roughing-up that they’re going to get through the process of negotiating this very important agreement with Capitol Hill, between the executive branch and Capitol Hill.

And so I would agree with Joe; stay tuned. There’s still quite a lot to play out over the course of the next several months and years.

MARGARET WARNER: So it could make Dubai look like small potatoes?


Source: Middle East Realities…

Posted in India, South Asia, United States, Weaponry, WMD
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