August 18, 2008

Tales from the Crypt Revisited

So now the PTSD-rate for returning vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars has risen 29.1% in Toledo and 34% in the Ann Arbor region. About 1.5 million American servicemen and women have gone through one or both theaters and have returned living, dead, or wounded for life. Only fingers and toes were returned to some families, since their loved-ones had been blown to pieces by booby-traps, Improvised Explosive Devices or Rocket-Propelled Grenades. In return for this unnecessary outrage, the United States has killed, according to authoritative sources, about 1.5 million Arabs and other Muslims from Iraq to Somalia to Afghanistan and Pakistan. As we approach a terrible war in Northwest Pakistan (where atom bombs are stored in caves,) thousands of refugees from our CIA's very recent bombings are fleeing from terror and chaos.

Where are these refugees to go, once the promised-assault on the fundamentalist Federally Administered Tribal Areas is launched full-scale? Defense Secretary Gates has signed off on an additional $20 billion to pursue the Afghanistan War of Vengeance into Pakistan next year. Openly spoken-about in the insider-joints of Washington is the obvious fact that Pakistan is “an unreliable ally in the war on terror.” It all rather reminds me of Vietnam. Remember Vietnam? Another “unreliable ally,” as it turned out.

About 3 million people live in the FATA of Northwest Pakistan. The head of the major Islamic party in Waziristan announced two weeks ago that his province will seek secession from Pakistan. Pakistan’s new government, under pressure from the United States to turn its arms away from India and onto Pakistan itself, accuses India of fomenting separatism in Waziristan. India, having enormous problems with Muslims at home, is deeply involved in the Afghanistan War--against Muslims.

As the Afghanistan War of Vengeance got underway, nuclear nations, alarmed at the approaching instability of war, persuaded the government of Pervez Musharaff to store some of his nuclear bombs in caves in the very region where we now plan to attack. These are the first actual attacks by the United States inside a nuclear-armed country (50). Every major nation involved in this worsening war has enough nuclear bombs to destroy the planet, including Pakistan and India (60.)

Both Obama and McCain have shown enthusiasm for pursuing the Taliban and al Qaeda into their “sanctuaries” in Waziristan and elsewhere across the long and impossible-to-guard border. The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is our new Ho Chi Minh Trail. It is supposed to be guarded by the Frontier Corps; Pakistanis who were, incidentally, trained by the CIA to train Taliban to fight Soviets. They are intermarried, of course, and share the same fundamentalist religion and customs. Moreover, the tribes of the northwest have never recognized the artificial “border” between Afghanistan and Pakistan, imposed by the British. Why should they? They are one people, and have been for thousands of years.

It is insanity to twist the corkscrew of violent war one more turn into the cork of this explosive situation. Rather than increasing its extravagant use of force into a region that has historically and successfully defied force, the United States should cease immediately all armed attacks across the border, and decrease its military presence in Afghanistan, itself.

It is wiser to train a competent Afghanistani army to take care of the Taliban in the way the people of Afghanistan have always done, and to spend much more on competent reconstruction of the ravaged nation’s infrastructure. Russia and the United States together should grow a conscience and combine money and resources for this reconstruction. About a trillion dollars should do it.

Both nations had more than a little to do with wrecking Afghanistan and producing this intolerable military stupidity. It is hubris and hubris alone that produces support for this war of vengeance; America’s “pride has been injured.”

“Pride goeth before a fall.” And isn’t it true?

This expanding war will lead to more war not less. India and Pakistan have been exchanging cannon and machine gun shots for months. They are supposed to be negotiating a peace deal. India complains that “there is no one to talk to,” because of the chaotic political situation in Pakistan—produced by the war next door.

Even the United States accuses Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence of bombing the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 41 and injuring more. President Bush himself has been reported calling Pakistan to demand to know who commands ISI. Now Musharaff has finally resigned. Is this the end of something old and the beginning of something new? Or is it only more of the plethora of lies from all sides that creates the "fog of war?"

Some nuclear scientists in India, who were involved in building India’s illegal nukes, and who have an inordinate amount of influence on the government, have openly called for India to nuke Pakistan. This is coming to us from the land of Gandhi.

In 2003, India and Pakistan came perilously close to nuclear war. The present “peace talks” are the result of that. Recently, reputable scientists in Colorado reported that a nuclear exchange between the two South Asia nations could set cities like Islamabad and Bombay afire, producing firestorms that would “blowtorch a hole through the Ozone Layer.” Then, the scenario continues, soot would rise into the stratosphere, collect harmful radiation, and drift to the surface to cover crops the world around.

Into this situation struts the Bush Administration, representing those corporate magnates who outsourced a big chunk of our productive economy to India for cheaper wages, wanting to sell India nuclear fuel in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It seems India has exhausted (poor) uranium deposits, and can’t find the fuel for its 22 reactors.

After India agreed to inspections for 14 of the 22 reactors (?), the International Atomic Energy Agency approved the sale and an “exemption” for India (so trustworthy) from the treaty—a first. But Bush still has to go to the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group for approval. Politicos say it is unlikely. But why in the first place does the US want to help India get its reactors up and running faster? India now gets only 2% of its energy from them. (Eight reactors are obviously military property for making bombs, off-limits for inspection by the IAEA.)

Without being a strategist for the the National Security Council or Rand Corporation, anyone can see that India needs power to handle requirements of expanding American business, which our patriotic corporations exported for higher profits, betraying their own workers who made them wealthy, and ultimately our country, for cheaper labor. The United States Government wants to help India compete with American workers!

More important than that unsurprising fact, however, is that selling (profitable!) nuclear fuel and technology to India is a clear tilt by the United States in the India-Pakistan conflict. Even supposing that Bush does not get permission to go ahead—and supposing he lacks the arrogance to disregard disapproval--what are the implications of this request? Who will be next-up for a precedent-setting “exemption” from the most-important treaty in the world? Perhaps it will be Israel, with its 100-200 undeclared nuclear bombs.

The aim and purpose of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is to stop the spread and rid the world of all nuclear weapons. It is vitally important that there be no exemptions from this very important treaty. To exempt India or any other country for any reason is to reward nations for bad behavior in defiance of the commonsense of the whole world. As the United States prepares to do this, it loses more credibility in the just struggle to prevent the development of nuclear bombmaking technology into Iran. It also undermines the treaty, violates the U.S. Constitution ("a treaty has the force of law,") and threatens our national security.

The following is the whole treaty signed in 1968 and “continued indefinitely” in 1995:




The States concluding this Treaty, hereinafter referred to as the Parties to the Treaty,
Considering the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples,
Believing that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would seriously enhance the danger of nuclear war,
In conformity with resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly calling for the conclusion of an agreement on the prevention of wider dissemination of nuclear weapons,
Undertaking to co-operate in facilitating the application of International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on peaceful nuclear activities,
Expressing their support for research, development and other efforts to further the application, within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards system, of the principle of safeguarding effectively the flow of source and special fissionable materials by use of instruments and other techniques at certain strategic points,
Affirming the principle that the benefits of peaceful applications of nuclear technology, including any technological by-products which may be derived by nuclear-weapon States from the development of nuclear explosive devices, should be available for peaceful purposes to all Parties to the Treaty, whether nuclear-weapon or non-nuclear-weapon States,
Convinced that, in furtherance of this principle, all Parties to the Treaty are entitled to participate in the fullest possible exchange of scientific information for, and to contribute alone or in co-operation with other States to, the further development of the applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes,
Declaring 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,
Urging the co-operation of all States in the attainment of this objective,
Recalling the determination expressed by the Parties to the 1963 Treaty banning nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water in its Preamble to seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time and to continue negotiations to this end,
Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,
Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources,
Have agreed as follows:
Article I
Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
Article II
Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Article III
1. Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agency’s safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfilment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Procedures for the safeguards required by this Article shall be followed with respect to source or special fissionable material whether it is being produced, processed or used in any principal nuclear facility or is outside any such facility. The safeguards required by this Article shall be applied on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of such State, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere.
2. Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this Article.
3. The safeguards required by this Article shall be implemented in a manner designed to comply with Article IV of this Treaty, and to avoid hampering the economic or technological development of the Parties or international co-operation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, including the international exchange of nuclear material and equipment for the processing, use or production of nuclear material for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this Article and the principle of safeguarding set forth in the Preamble of the Treaty.
4. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty shall conclude agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet the requirements of this Article either individually or together with other States in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Negotiation of such agreements shall commence within 180 days from the original entry into force of this Treaty. For States depositing their instruments of ratification or accession after the 180-day period, negotiation of such agreements shall commence not later than the date of such deposit. Such agreements shall enter into force not later than eighteen months after the date of initiation of negotiations.
Article IV
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting 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.
2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.
Article V
Each Party to the Treaty undertakes to take appropriate measures to ensure that, in accordance with this Treaty, under appropriate international observation and through appropriate international procedures, potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions will be made available to non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty on a non-discriminatory basis and that the charge to such Parties for the explosive devices used will be as low as possible and exclude any charge for research and development. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty shall be able to obtain such benefits, pursuant to a special international agreement or agreements, through an appropriate international body with adequate representation of non-nuclear-weapon States. Negotiations on this subject shall commence as soon as possible after the Treaty enters into force. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty so desiring may also obtain such benefits pursuant to bilateral agreements.
Article VI
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Article VII
Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories.
Article VIII
1. Any Party to the Treaty may propose amendments to this Treaty. The text of any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Depositary Governments which shall circulate it to all Parties to the Treaty. Thereupon, if requested to do so by one-third or more of the Parties to the Treaty, the Depositary Governments shall convene a conference, to which they shall invite all the Parties to the Treaty, to consider such an amendment.
2. Any amendment to this Treaty must be approved by a majority of the votes of all the Parties to the Treaty, including the votes of all nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty and all other Parties which, on the date the amendment is circulated, are members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The amendment shall enter into force for each Party that deposits its instrument of ratification of the amendment upon the deposit of such instruments of ratification by a majority of all the Parties, including the instruments of ratification of all nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty and all other Parties which, on the date the amendment is circulated, are members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any other Party upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification of the amendment.
3. Five years after the entry into force of this Treaty, a conference of Parties to the Treaty shall be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in order to review the operation of this Treaty with a view to assuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realised. At intervals of five years thereafter, a majority of the Parties to the Treaty may obtain, by submitting a proposal to this effect to the Depositary Governments, the convening of further conferences with the same objective of reviewing the operation of the Treaty.
Article IX
1. This Treaty shall be open to all States for signature. Any State which does not sign the Treaty before its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article may accede to it at any time.
2. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification by signatory States. Instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, which are hereby designated the Depositary Governments.
3. This Treaty shall enter into force after its ratification by the States, the Governments of which are designated Depositaries of the Treaty, and forty other States signatory to this Treaty and the deposit of their instruments of ratification. For the purposes of this Treaty, a nuclear-weapon State is one which has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to 1 January 1967.
4. For States whose instruments of ratification or accession are deposited subsequent to the entry into force of this Treaty, it shall enter into force on the date of the deposit of their instruments of ratification or accession.
5. The Depositary Governments shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification or of accession, the date of the entry into force of this Treaty, and the date of receipt of any requests for convening a conference or other notices.
6. This Treaty shall be registered by the Depositary Governments pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
Article X
1. Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
2. Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty, a conference shall be convened to decide whether the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely, or shall be extended for an additional fixed period or periods. This decision shall be taken by a majority of the Parties to the Treaty.1
Article XI
This Treaty, the English, Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese texts of which are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the Depositary Governments. Duly certified copies of this Treaty shall be transmitted by the Depositary Governments to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Treaty.
DONE in triplicate, at the cities of London, Moscow and Washington, the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight.


Note:On 11 May 1995, in accordance with article X, paragraph 2, the Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons decided that the Treaty should continue in force indefinitely (see decision 3). [back to the text]
Copyright 2000, Department for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations

So far, 189 nations have signed the treaty, which came about at the behest of the General Assembly of the United Nations, whose Charter the US has repeatedly ignored or otherwise violated.

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