Friday, June 19, 2015

208.9 - Outrage of the Week: US sabotages conference on Non-Proliferation Treaty

Outrage of the Week: US sabotages conference on Non-Proliferation Treaty

Finally for this week is our other regular feature: the Outrage of the Week.

And this week it starts with something I bet you didn't hear about: the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) took place at the UN from April 27 to May 22.

Of course you didn't hear about it; there was essentially no new coverage at all of any kind.

Over 100 nations came together to discuss the status and progress of the NPT, the main international device to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, which would seem to be a laudable enterprise, despite the continuing danger found in the fact that eight nations admit to having nuclear weapons and the estimated total number of such weapons is in excess of 17,000, with 16,000 of them in the arsenals of just two nations: the US and Russia.

But instead of making progress or even just issuing a bland motherhood and apple pie consensus statement, the conference broke down in disarray and angry exchanges, sufficient to, in the judgment of Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee, "shake the foundations" of the NPT.

Why? How? Because, again in Gerson's words, the US "sabotaged" the conference by blocking the conference's consensus statement because it included a call from Egypt to convene a conference within six months to work on establishing a nuclear-weapons-and-weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle East.

And why would the US do that? The real clue is found in the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US - along with, let it be said, the UK and Canada - for undermining the proposal.

Because, you see, a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East not only would mean a nuclear-weapons-free Iran for example, it would also mean a nuclear-weapons-free Israel. Israel, with a nuclear arsenal estimated at anywhere from 80 to perhaps 200 nuclear weapons, is the only state in the region with such weapons and the only state in the region not to have agreed to the NPT. It denies having nukes but everyone knows that's a lie and even those denials have become pro forma and expressed with a smirk rather than any real conviction. It's the only state in the region with nuclear weapons and it damn well intends to keep it that way.

The Amazing Mr. O
And the US is prepared to be Israel's enabler, even if that means threatening the structure of the NPT which has at the very very least severely limited the spread of nuclear weapons. Yes, eight nations - nine when you count Israel - have nuclear weapons, but before the NPT, predictions were that by now there would be around 30.

But so ready is he to run interference for Israel in the international community, Barack Obama - and let's take a moment here to remember that one of the bases for giving him that Nobel Peace Prize was his supposed dedication to eliminating nuclear weapons - Obama is so eager to run interference for Israel that he is prepared to risk the structure of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Which leads me to wonder which of his principles Obama is not prepared to throw over - and to express my outrage at his abandonment of this one.

Sources cited in links:

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