Tuesday, June 24, 2008
One of the things that continues to stagger me is how the media routinely follows the United States’ party line in treating the issue of Nuclear proliferation. A recent report I heard on National Public Radio, for instance, addressed the “explosive” situation in the Middle East, with experts on Iran, Pakistan and India commenting on the danger as if all three nations were equally culpable, irrational and essentially out of control where nukes are concerned. Reference was of course made to the United States’ alarmist warnings about Iran, and the Bush administration’s constant reassertion of its threat that Iran must not, under any circumstances, be allowed to continue with its alleged quest to obtain nuclear weapons. Underlining this was commentary on the fact that Israel not only supports (or demands) this U.S. stance, but multiplies it, as evidenced by the revelation that it has recently conducted military exercises said to have been a dress rehearsal for a pre-emptive attack on Iran’s “nuclear weapons facilities.”
All of which left out two crucial facts.
First, India and Pakistan are two of the states on the planet which have NOT signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran, by contrast, HAS signed it.
Second, India and Pakistan are KNOWN to have nuclear weapons, and have tested them in recent years. Furthermore, India has just been gifted with a proposed treaty whereby the Bush Administration would give India even more nuclear technology—despite the fact that it has NOT signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, much less abided by it.
Then, of course, there is the real elephant in this geopolitical room. I mean Israel. Israel is the third (fourth if we count Korea) nation on the planet which has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has not signed because, according to almost all objective observers including Israeli nuclear scientist Mordecai Vanunu, Israel has had its own nuclear weapons program for years, and is now estimated to possess at least 200 nuclear weapons along with the sophisticated rocketry to launch them. Further, Israel’s leaders, such as Golda Meir, are known to have considered firing those weapons at the beginning of the 1973 war. That they did not does not mean they would not. As neocon godfather Norman Podhoretz wrote in Commentary in 1976: “The Israelis would fight with conventional weapons for as long as they could, and if the tide were turning against them…it is safe to predict that they would fight with nuclear weapons in the end.”
So we have the following nuclear situation. Iran has joined the NPT. That treaty, in particular Article IV, guarantees unequivocally and in several places “the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.” Iran has stated that its nuclear program is in fact peaceful, thereby putting it in compliance with NPT. The recent National Intelligence Estimate of the United States has also concluded that Iran, in fact, gave up all attempts to pursue nuclear weapons in 2003, and has not revived them.
And yet, we are assaulted almost daily with inflammatory rhetoric from George Bush and Israeli officials of every stripe screaming about the threat posed by Iran and its nuclear weapons, and the right of states like Israel and the U.S. to take action against this alleged “illegal” threat because the economic sanctions are not working.
“Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons,” we are told.
“All options are on the table,” we are told.
‘Both Israel and the United States are preparing to attack,’ we are told. Because this imperial “we”—Israel and the United States, we are told—these two peaceful and innocent and holy states are simply outraged that Iran would dare to secretly violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But WAIT. Israel is one of only four states which refused to sign this ultimate peace treaty! Where does it get off accusing Iran for violations? Even if Iran had violated it, which all evidence says it has not, where does Israel get the right?
And WAIT, again. The United States is criticizing Iran? The United States—the only nation in the history of the world to ever use a nuclear weapon against another nation, wiping out 200,000 Japanese civilians in an instant—the United States is accusing Iran of seeking nuclear weapons?
And WORSE. For aren’t we obliged to remember that the Non-Proliferation Treaty specifically states that the nuclear-weapon states (the U.S., France, England, the Soviet Union, & China—Israel, of course, not agreeing because it has never confirmed it has nukes nor signed the NPT) declare “their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament” and “the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles”? Aren’t we obliged to recall that that’s what the treaty says? And that the United States has not only NOT done that, but under the Bush administration has made clear it intends just the opposite—i.e. that it is seeking to upgrade its nuclear arsenal and outfit it for the space age so it can win unchallenged nuclear dominance in space? Isn’t this the most egregious NPT violation of all?
And this is the nation that is threatening Iran for its alleged nuclear weapons program?
In spite of its own intelligence estimate that Iran has no weapons program?
Aided and abetted and egged on (one cannot tell if it is Israel which is egging on the U.S. here, or the other way round) by Israel, the secret possessor of over 200 nuclear weapons and one of the four refusers of the NPT?
Are you kidding me?
And yet. And yet we have the idiot American media propagandizing us daily, without a touch of irony, with never a mention of Israel—except to refer to poor little Israel which feels so threatened by the possibility that Iran might some day get nuclear weapons. Poor little Israel with only 200 measly nukes, as well as rockets and submarines capable of launching them, of its own.
It is the height of hypocrisy. Though actually, the word hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to address the colossal gall, the provocative, calamitous, Imperial arrogance of this stuff.
Not to mention the fact that this kind of threat is precisely what is prohibited in the United Nations rules and by-laws. So that what we have here, on the part of the United States and its chief enforcer Israel, is something more akin to the threats and blackmail Nazi Germany began to toss around in the years leading up to World War II.
That is what we have here. And it is time the media and the American people and the U.S.Congress began to wake up to it, and do something about it before it is too late.