Monday, March 06, 2006

no nuke race in south asia?

Sometimes I just have to wonder how much oxycontin W and friends are taking. That has to be the only explanation for this: US insists India nuclear deal will not spark arms race . Really what are they thinking? Are they thinking in any meaningful definition of that word?

Last year The Atlantic published a multipart series by the insanely anal William Langewiesche (I mean that in a good way. He is/was a pilot and like all the pilots I have known he shares an obsession with detail that despite how much air travel sucks makes me feel good that people like him are driving).

Langewiesche documents the rise of A. Q. Khan the Father of Pakistan's Nuke. That is not too much to say. Pakistan honors him as such. Like a George Washington of megatonnage.

Langewiesche's article produces this one quote which puts the lie to the Bush pollyanna insanity and points the way for the next two decades in South Asia. Here it is - sadly subscription required - go to the library and read it (The Wrath of Khan) if you must.

"Bhutto, who was then the foreign minister, uttered the now famous remark that Pakistanis would eat grass if necessary, but they would have their bomb."

Thanks to Khan, Pakistan has its bomb. Khan and Pakistan helped North Korea, Iran, and Libya in their pursuit of a nuke. Today Khan is under house detention. Off limits to not only the IAEA but to Musharef's allies in the War on Terror - the US.

And now George Bush has insanely given India - whose success in developing a nuke was the entire reason that Pakistan felt it too must have an "Islamic" (that's how Pakistan got the money for it) bomb - the green light to build as many bombs as it wishes.

Please someone anyone tell me what the fuck is George Bush thinking? How can this development lead to anything other than a more intensive nuke race between India and Pakistan? The arms race between these two countries has been ongoing since the partition of Pakistan from India. The nuke race was an organic outgrowth.

Now George Bush has told India it is ok for them to openly build nukes. But not Pakistan. What does any sentient being expect Pakistan's response to be? What would your response be? (The issue of how George Bush has the international authority to even grant such a right is an open question.)

I have political and philosophical difference with the Bush junta on every issue - but this one has me phlummoxed like no other.

Granted Bush desperately wants India as an economic partner (India was famously non-aligned during the cold war). For what reason Bush sees good things coming economically from India eludes me seeing that so far India seems to be absorbing U.S jobs like a sponge. And has no discernable market for America's all but phantom manufactured goods (nuclear technology excepted). But ok globalization is good. I can suspend my disbelief.

And I can understand the Bush wants India as a bulwark in Asia against China.

But Pakistan's dictator Musharef is a great friend of democracy - just not in Pakistan - and of the United States (kinda/sorta) in the war against terror. What meaningful sanctions are going to be placed on Pakistan when they seek parity with India? We can't even get Musharef to turn over Mullah Omar, nevermind Osama Bin Laden.

The next major catastrophic Asian conflict is not going to be in Asia proper. It is going to be in South Asia. India and Pakistan will once again skirmish. Both have nukes now. Soon, thanks to George Bush both will have more nukes and India has the green light to build them; Pakistan will be desperate to build them and they no longer have to steal the technology to do so.

I have said this before but now it is more pertinent than ever: God have mercy on George Bush's soul. He has condemned South Asia to a holocaust.

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