Thursday, March 02, 2006

Prudent Stewardship or Cynical Sucking-up?

Yahoo! News ponders the question here.

Of course, with such an informative and fair hearing like this:
Bush Ushers India Into Nuclear Club
Terry Holt's story opens with this sober assessment:
Reversing decades of U.S. policy, President Bush ushered India into the world's exclusive nuclear club Thursday with a landmark agreement to share nuclear reactors, fuel and expertise with this energy-starved nation in return for its acceptance of international safeguards. (emphasis mine)
Yeah, that's a hook. Establish the President as a rogue that reverse" decades of U.S. policy" who opens the door to the illegitimate "exclusive nuclear club" to let in, of all nations, India! Brilliant brick-batting, already!

There's more:
Eight months in the making, the accord would end India's long isolation as a nuclear maverick that defied world appeals and developed nuclear weapons. India agreed to separate its tightly entwined nuclear industry — declaring 14 reactors as commercial facilities and eight as military — and to open the civilian side to international inspections for the first time.

The agreement must be approved by Congress, and Bush acknowledged that might be difficult because India still refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

"I'm trying to think differently, not stay stuck in the past," said Bush, who has made improving relations with India a goal of his administration. Celebrating their agreement, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "We have made history today, and I thank you."
So, what's the meme here? Bush and Republican American hypocrisy.

Think about it. India and Pakistan both developed their nuclear programs in defiance of the world. Both suffered sanctions for their obstinance. Sound like anyone else that's been in the news, recently? Yeah: Iran! That would be the same Iran that the US would love to pound under a mossaleum of sanctions. So, here's the US rewarding one nation's intransigence on nuclear technology advancements while punishing another nation's--all while fully possessing both military and commercial nuclear might.

Breath-taking. About as persuasive as a sophmore's first draft of a Critical-Lens Essay. Talk about yawns.

If the US is playing the hypocrite, then so must that bastion of genuine order and peace in the world: the UN!
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, gave its endorsement Thursday, calling the deal "an important step towards satisfying India's growing need for energy, including nuclear technology and fuel, as an engine for development."

"It would also bring India closer as an important partner in the nonproliferation game," IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said in a statement.
Well, the UN that tossed the US off the UN Human Rights Commision must somehow have sold out to the Great Satan. After all, the IAEA had no such approval for Iran's nuclear ambitions:
The IAEA board voted Feb. 4 to send a resolution to the United Nations Security Council expressing "serious concerns" about Iran's nuclear intentions, but delayed a debate on more definitive action until a March 6 meeting in hopes that Iran would back down from threats to restart its nuclear enrichment research.
So much for hypocrisy.

Not to be undone, Mr. Holt trots out the bourgeoisie v. proletariat meme:
India has more than 1 billion people, and its booming economy has created millions of jobs along with consumer demands that have attracted American businesses. India's middle class has swelled to 300 million — more than the population of the United States. Still, 80 percent of Indians live on less than $2 a day.

Bush acknowledged that Washington and New Delhi were estranged during the Cold War, when India declared itself a nonaligned nation but tilted toward Moscow. "Now the relationship is changing dramatically," he said.

Bush began the day by paying respects at a memorial to Mohandas K. Gandhi, India's independence leader and apostle of nonviolence. Following tradition, the president and his wife, Laura, left their shoes behind. Bush also conferred with the CEOs of Indian and American businesses, religious leaders and the head of India's political opposition.

Bush and Singh announced new bilateral cooperation on issues from investment, trade and health to agriculture, the environment and even mangoes. Bush agreed to resume imports of the juicy, large-pitted fruit after a 17-year ban.

The president ended the day at a state dinner with Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam under a crescent moon in a lush courtyard of the presidential palace. Waiters in red tunics and red-and-white turbans scurried to serve broccoli-almond soup, seafood and peach ice cream after toasts of mango juice by the two heads of state.
While painting India as the new "Open Dood Policy" China, they fail to discern the obvious. Determined to hammer the President and Corporate America for exploiting India to outsource American jobs, they miss the most blatent benefit the world receives from a nuclear India. That would be stable oil prices and fewer CFC emissions.

Sure, they mention the rising Indian middle class--along with the "80 percent of Indians live on less than $2 a day." They observe that Indians have new consumer demands that attract US businesses.

What they fail to explain is how manufacturers and service providers based in India--US owned and otherwise--will fulfill these demands.

The production and service delivery systems require power. This can come from Oil. Or it can come from nuclear power.

If it comes from oil, then the Indian demand will drive up prices and give every player in the petroleum supply chain huge opportunities to price-gouge. Plus, India--not a signatory of the Kyoto protocols--will pump carbon emissions into the atmosphere that can have potentially devastating effects worldwide.

If it comes from nuclear power, then Indian demand for petroleum will drop, and prices will stabilize relative to the demands of other new global players. Plus, nuclear power plants will not pour carbon emissions into the air.

Jeeze, could this possibly be a reason that the US might want India to improve it's nuclear capability? Perish the thought!

India has never called for the US' destruction. They haven't funded terrorist organizations that threatened US allies. Their leaders don't publically deny the Holecaust. Indians live in a representative democratic state with a society that begins to open more and more, Hindu Caste System notwithstanding.

Helping India to develop nuclear technology, while providing safeguards to prevent potential abuse, benefits the world. Assisting Iran, or any other rogue state, to do the same destroys it.

Helping India to develop nuclear technology, while providing safeguards to prevent potential abuse, doesn't exploit Indians. It doesn't impose US "imperialism" on the abject poor of the Asian sub-continent. It helps the nation with the largest (or second-largest) population on Earth provide for its energy needs without destroying the world economy or the planet's biosphere.

Mr. Holt's failure to appreciate the difference between India and Iran troubles the honest reader. His complete ignorance of India's complex role in world energy supplies defies belief. If this is the highest level of critical thinking that White House correspondents are capable, then the country suffers from a lack of intelligent analysis, indeed!

One piece of advice for Mr. Holt and his ilk: Not every story has to be a brickbat against the President. Try some other angle next time. You might actually discover the real story!