American Samizdat

Tuesday, October 10, 2006. *

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
--- Groucho Marx

Depending on what/who you read, Kim Jong-Il and his exceptionally (and justifiably) paranoid government has either joined the "Nuclear Club" or has just exploded 15 cherry bombs taped to a radioactive watch. That used to be a pretty exclusive club, the members being the US, France, China, Great Britain, and the USSR, in 1970, when 188 countries joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The club is now (as far as we know) comprised of France, Great Britain, Israel, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, and the United States. South Africa was a member, but decided to scrap its arsenal (yuh think?). Although nominally still an NPT signatory, Iran is a vocal wannabe and the IAEA claims it's in violation. Everybody knows that Isreal is a club member, although nobody wants to admit that the club has Jewish members. And now North Korea is trying to crash the party. There may be more. Note the "2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference" report posted on the State Department's web site in April, 2005 (excerpts):
Setting: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) plays a key role in global efforts to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons. The United States remains strongly committed to the Treaty. The NPT faces a grave challenge due to violations of the treaty's nonproliferation provisions by Iraq, North Korea, Iran and Libya. A widespread secret nuclear procurement network has also been exposed. While the Libyan and Iraqi threats have been eliminated, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons programs continue to threaten the NPT regime.

Compliance with the NPT's Nonproliferation Obligations: The United States is committed to its NPT obligations and will seek support at the Conference for principles and policies to ensure the Treaty continues to advance global security . . .
This is incredibly disingenuous, of course. Wikipedia points out:
[The 5 original Nuclear Weapons States (NWS)] have made undertakings not to use their nuclear weapons against a non-NWS party except in response to a nuclear attack, or a conventional attack in alliance with a Nuclear Weapons State. However, these undertakings have not been incorporated formally into the treaty, and the exact details have varied over time. The United States, for instance, has indicated that it may use nuclear weapons in response to a non-conventional attack by "rogue states". The previous United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, has also explicitly invoked the possibility of the use of the country's nuclear weapons in response to a non-conventional attack by "rogue states". In January 2006, President Jacques Chirac of France indicated that an incident of state-sponsored terrorism on France could trigger a small-scale nuclear retaliation aimed at destroying the "rogue state's" power centers . . . [more at P!]
posted by total at 2:53 PM
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