by Tahir Mustafa (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 5, Ramadan, 1436)
The West makes much noise about preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons but they themselves are not prepared to live up to their obligations as the latest SIPRI report shows.
Are nuclear weapons developed for war or for peace, and what precisely does the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) say regarding the obligation of member states? These are not theoretical questions since the very existence of humanity hangs in the balance as a result of the proliferation and lethality of nuclear weapons.
When the NPT was first ratified in 1970, the stated objective was not only to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states but to also reduce the stockpile of existing weapons. This was meant to ultimately abolish all nuclear weapons. The NPT had come into force following the “Atoms for Peace” program and in the aftermath of America’s twin nuclear attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of the Second World War. Each of those atomic bombs killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people instantly and millions more were affected for decades, some deformed horribly.
Ratified in1970 amid high hopes by member states, the NPT has demonstrably failed to achieve any of its stated objectives. Instead, it is used as a blunt instrument against states not seen as sufficiently subservient to Western predatory powers, while the nuclear lepers — primarily the US and Russia but also Britain, France and Zionist Israel — refuse to abide by any rules. Two examples from recent weeks would illustrate this point.
Last month, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed that both the US and Russia are pressing ahead with plans to upgrade their nuclear stockpiles despite international calls for disarmament. “Both countries have extensive and expensive long-term modernization programs under way for their remaining nuclear delivery systems, warheads and production,” said the Institute’s 2015 yearbook titled, Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, issued on June 15. The report said that Britain, France and China are also “either developing or deploying new nuclear weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so.”
Prior to the SIPRI report for 2015, an even greater display of hypocrisy was evident at the United Nations’ month-long conference to review the 1970 NPT. Representatives from more than 150 countries met to consider how to make the NPT more effective by improving compliance to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. A proposal by several Arab countries to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone by March 2016 was sabotaged by the US, Britain and Canada resulting in the talks’ failure. Why were these regimes opposed to the proposal? It is no secret that only the Zionist regime has nuclear weapons in the region; estimates about the number of its nuclear warheads varies from 80 (as reported by Ploughshares) to more than 200 according to most media reports.
Four weeks of high-sounding rhetoric at the UN turned out to be so much hot air. This has characterized all NPT review conferences. Zionist Israel, which is not a signatory to the NPT, attending the conference as an “observer,” also opposed the nuclear-free zone proposal. This leper regime should not have been allowed anywhere near the conference venue since it is not a signatory to the NPT. Instead, it should have been boycotted and quarantined, and forced to sign the treaty and comply with its provisions like other members.
The next review conference is scheduled for 2020. In December 2012, the US again sabotaged a UN-sponsored conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone because it would have required the Zionist regime to give up its nuclear arsenal and open its facilities for international inspections.
The number of nuclear warheads has come down from a high of 68,000 in 1986 at the height of the Cold War to around 15,500 today but this is little consolation. The US and Russia, the two leading nuclear states, have developed even more lethal weapons that pose much greater risk to global security and survival than ever before. According to the organization Ploughshares, which lobbies for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, Russia has 7,500 nuclear warheads while the US has 7,100. Other states have much smaller nuclear stockpiles: France (300), China (250), Britain (225), Pakistan (120), India (110) and Israel (80). (Ploughshares, May 15, 2015).
These numbers are still very high. In fact a single nuclear bomb today can cause immense devastation instantly; the fallout from radiation will continue to afflict people for decades. At the height of the Cold War, the two major nuclear powers — America and the Soviet Union — coined the phrase, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). It truly was mad, coming from people making claims to being “civilized” and leaders of the world!
In 1991, for instance, the US used depleted uranium shells against civilians and soldiers in Iraq. More than two decades later, tens of thousands of deformed babies are still being born. Iraq’s soil, especially around Fallujah, has been poisoned. Incidents of cancer have risen alarmingly. The rate of cancer in Iraq has skyrocketed from 40 per 100,000 people prior to the First Gulf War in 1991, to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, to at least 1,600 per 100,000 in 2005. This is an increase of 4,000% over a 25-year period.
Depleted uranium (DU) is a byproduct of uranium enrichment. With a mass fraction a third of what fissile uranium would have, DU emits less alpha radiation — up to 60% less than natural uranium, according to the US Department of Defense. This is touted as its attractive feature. What is seldom mentioned and deliberately obfuscated is that while depleted uranium can have — at a minimum — 40% of the radioactivity of natural uranium, its half-life is still in millions of years: between 703 million to 4.468 billion years (half-life means radioactivity of DU is reduced by half, but it takes millions of years to do so).
Even if depleted uranium presents little to no risk to health via radiation because of its relatively weak radioactivity, direct internal contact can have chemical toxicity effects on the nervous system, liver, heart, and kidneys. DNA mutations and RNA transcription errors have been reported in the case of depleted uranium dust being absorbed in vitro.
As part of deliberate policy, the US and Britain are refusing to share information with the government and people of Iraq about the dangers of depleted uranium and depleted uranium-tainted metals. These are regularly sold for scrap metal and re-used for different purposes including machinery parts, cooking utensils (yes, poisoned metal being used to make cooking pots!) and home furnishings in Iraq. Children play in depleted uranium-contaminated fields; this poses great risk of unintentional ingestion due to hand-to-mouth activity. Similarly, abandoned vehicles contaminated by uranium dust are salvaged for metal parts.
Thus, the US is not only guilty of dropping two atomic bombs on Japan during the Second World War but it has used depleted uranium shells more recently in Iraq. And it continues to provide uranium to such leper regimes as those in India and Israel. Even the two-bit player Canada has signed a multi-billion dollar contract with India to supply uranium although the latter is not a signatory to the NPT.
It is, however, American and French support for the Zionist regime’s nuclear activities that border on the scandalous. Both governments had turned a blind eye when the Zionists were stealing nuclear know-how from the US and France enabling the former to make its own nuclear weapons. And the Americans have shielded the Zionists from international opprobrium ever since.
As recently as May 22, 2015, President Barack Obama reassured American Jews that he still fully supports Israel. “Our commitment to Israel’s security and my commitment to Israel’s security is and always will be unshakable,” he said, adding that not doing so would be a “moral failing” on his part and that of his country. He made the comments in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month at Adas Israel, Washington’s most prominent conservative synagogue. And hardcore Zionists still accuse Obama of being “anti-Israel”!