Nuclear Hypocrisy

World leaders are aflutter now that North Korea has apparently tested a nuclear device for the first time.

Condemnation of the secretive state appears unanimous. Sanctions have been proposed.

Many people are searching for someone to blame for the failure to stop North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons. Ever the bumbler, George Bush seems like the perfect patsy.

It’s true there’s much to fault him for, which I won’t go into here (summary: Bush’s ‘diplomacy’ is as effective as his military ‘interventions’), but it’s not all his fault.

He shares the blame with all of the other world leaders who chose, irresponsibly and unforgivably, to keep us living under the threat of imminent destruction instead of working towards eliminating nuclear weapons.

In 1968, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and 59 other countries signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which was designed to halt the production and spread of nuclear weapons. Today, 188 countries have signed the treaty.

Five of those 188 countries – the US, the UK, France, Russia and China – openly possess nuclear weapons. Article VI of the treaty they signed says they must disarm:

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.

None have.

So the blame for a world brimming with nukes rest squarely on the shoulders of all those who did not give up nuclear weapons – who did not “live up to their international obligations”, to use Bush-speak.

Blame all of them except for Pierre Trudeau. In 1971 he declared that Canada would be free of nuclear weapons; in 1984, the last of the nuclear warheads we possessed as part of our NATO membership were removed.

[tags]north korea, nuclear weapons, wmd, nukes, politics[/tags]

6 Responses to “Nuclear Hypocrisy”

  1. We are heading all the way back to the days of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). You can add that Isreal and India to the list of haves as well.

    Really though, those 5 countries you named (the haves), I would argue, are in a priveledge position because they have the B. So what is the draw of not possessing the B? Global security maybe? Not a great incentive for all those realists in International relations. I think the best we are going to get is democratic states advocating a solid no first strike policy. It makes my hair stand up on end when undemocratic, corrupt or united… states have the B. Hidden agendas and nuclear bombs are never a good combo.

  2. Ade:

    As far as I know, only China has a no first strike policy. Ryan can talk more on that issue.

    Israel, India and Pakistan are not signatories to the NPT.

  3. from Wiki

    Soviet Union, Russia, North Korea & India all have a no first use policy (in theory)

    the United Kingdom, France, and Russia (It is weird, as they are above as well) reserve the right to respond with nuclear force to a conventional attack on their territory (or the territory of an ally) carried out by a non-nuclear state in association or alliance with a nuclear state.


  4. aju:

    If you have a gun, you do not give it up if you expect a knife fight. Not if you have any common sense.