Saturday, October 14, 2006

Will Anyone Speak to the Hypocrisy?

One of the great frustrations of my life as an American, who has been in vigorous and active opposition to the Nuclear Arms Race for the past 35 years, is the arrogance and hypocrisy of the US government's attitude about our proliferation of (and use of!) nuclear weapons while expressing outrage at the notion that any other country should want them as well.

For those of you who may not know the history of the critical, crucial, essential "Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty:" it was opened for signature on September 24, 1996, and was signed by 71 nations, including five of the eight then nuclear-capable states. The CTBT has now been signed by 176 nations and ratified by 135. India and Pakistan, though not nuclear weapons states as defined by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, did not sign; neither did North Korea. (India and Pakistan conducted back-to-back nuclear tests in 1998, while North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003.) Additionally, to enter into force, the treaty has to be ratified by 44 designated nations (which is unlikely to happen in the near future.) North Korea, India and Pakistan have neither signed nor ratified the CTBT, and China, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States have not ratified it.

The United States, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea are the only nuclear-weapons states which have not ratified the CTBT yet!

Nevertheless, today...

UNITED NATIONS - (AP) The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose punishing sanctions on North Korea including ship searches for banned weapons, calling Pyongyang's claimed nuclear test "a clear threat to international peace and security." North Korea immediately rejected the resolution, and its U.N. ambassador walked out of the council chamber after accusing its members of a "gangster-like" action which neglects the nuclear threat posed by the United States. The U.S.-sponsored resolution demands that the reclusive communist nation abandon its nuclear weapons program, and orders all countries to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting any material for weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles. It orders nations to freeze assets of people or businesses connected to these programs, and ban the individuals from traveling.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said North Korea's proclaimed test "poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security that this council has ever had to confront. Today, we are sending a strong and clear message to North Korea and other would be proliferators that there will be serious repercussions in continuing to pursue weapons of mass destruction," he said, in what appeared to be a clear warning to Iran whose nuclear ambitions come before the Security Council again next week. North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon countered by blaming the United States for forcing the country to conduct a test because of its "nuclear threat, sanctions and pressure. (North) Korea is ready for talks, dialogue and confrontation," Pak said. "If the United States increases pressure upon (North) Korea persistently, we will continue to take physical countermeasures considering it as a declaration of war."

It's not that I have anything against world opposition to North Korean nuclear weapons, I just so desperately wish that this opposition could come from a coalition of nations who do not possess their own nuclear weapons - especially the one with the vast majority of them! It's bad enough that the USA is the world's only "superpower;" it's bad enough that we have military installations in 144 countries all over the world; it's bad enough that we totally ignore UN resolutions and sanctions when they are inconvenient to our own global political, military, and economic agenda; but now- we decide to pound our superpower fist in righteous indignation and urge the UN Security Council to sanction North Korea for wanting the same despicable, demonic weapons that we have in abundance and will not give up.