Derailing a deal

Published on Khaleej Times, by NOAM CHOMSKY, 7 October 2007.

2 excerpts: NUCLEAR-armed states are criminal states. They have a legal obligation, confirmed by the World Court, to live up to Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which calls on them to carry out good-faith negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely. None of the nuclear states has lived up to it.

The United States is a leading violator, especially the Bush administration, which even has stated that it isn’t subject to Article 6 …

… It is noteworthy that the great majority of Americans — and Iranians — favour converting the entire region to a nuclear-weapons free zone, including Iran and Israel. One may also recall that UN Security Council Resolution 687 of April 3, 1991, to which Washington regularly appealed when seeking justification for its invasion of Iraq, calls for “establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery.”

Clearly, ways to mitigate current crises aren’t lacking.

This Indo-US agreement richly deserves to be derailed. The threat of nuclear war is extremely serious, and growing, and part of the reason is that the nuclear states — led by the United States — simply refuse to live up to their obligations or are significantly violating them, this latest effort being another step toward disaster.

The US Congress gets a chance to weigh in on this deal after the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group vet it. Perhaps Congress, reflecting a citizenry fed up with nuclear gamesmanship, can reject the agreement. A better way to go forward is to pursue the need for global nuclear disarmament, recognising that the very survival of the species is at stake. (full text).

(Noam Chomsky’s most recent book is Interventions, a collection of his commentary pieces distributed by The New York Times Syndicate. Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.).

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