Monday, July 25, 2005

Nuclear Conundrum

India and Pakistan have been rivals, if not enemies, throughout the nearly 60 years since their partition established them as separate states. Few things are more inexplicable, or more shameful, than the fact that the U.S. chose to align itself with Pakistan, a dictatorship, against India, the largest democracy in the world. That choice was sustained over several administrations of both parties. Now, in the era of global terrorism, we have no choice but to remain engaged with Pakistan, but we have both practical and moral reasons for engaging with both countries. Thoughtful engagement with India would go a long way toward building a more peaceful world, as well as righting a wrong.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration seems incapable of thoughtful engagement. Bush has now abandoned the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, by breaking a 30-year nuclear technology embargo against non-signatories to that treaty. There are only four sovereign states that are non-signatories: Israel, Pakistan, India and (now) North Korea. Bush has elected to allow sales of sensitive nuclear technology to India, as a way of kissing their butts to win some long-overdue brownie points. Oh, India is a democracy and is committed to peaceful engagement with the rest of the world, so what is the problem?

Simple: Within hours, Pakistan's President Musharraf was on the phone, demanding equal treatment. If he doesn't get it, he will likely turn to China, which might be quite happy to oblige. The temperature on the subcontinent will soar, and Pakistan, already a danger to the world (especially should Musharraf fall) will become even more dangerous.

Isn't anyone in this administration capable of thinking ahead?


Blogger atoep said...

I like your site and agree with you.

July 25, 2005 11:26 AM  
Blogger Cutie B said...

Doesn't India still have a caste system in place that openly discriminates against citizens based on the darkness of their skin? Sure, I don't really trust Pakistan either, but India has its problems too. It is a difficult situation.

July 25, 2005 11:57 AM  
Blogger Carlos Zapato said...

you are right, India has plenty of problems, and caste is high on the list (though skin colour is only part of caste). But it is the largest democracy in the world, and voter participation is higher than in our own country. We should be constructively engaged with India, because how things turn out there will have a huge impact on all of us.

July 26, 2005 8:35 PM  

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