According to neo-crazy media sycophants at the
New York Times and elsewhere, the Bush-Cheney administration is currently
engaged in the six-party talks "aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons
programs" and is "supporting" European Union efforts to force
Iran "to end its nuclear weapons program."
But media sycophants to the contrary, that is not what the six-party talks
are "aimed at," nor is that what the European Union is attempting to do.
When Bush-Cheney came to power in 2001, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were "non-nuclear-weapons
states parties" to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(NPT). Hence, all their nuclear programs were subject to safeguards agreements
with the International Atomic Energy Agency. And as best the IAEA inspectors
could determine, none of the safeguarded "special nuclear materials"
or safeguarded facilities in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were involved at that
time in any activity that served a military purpose.
Nevertheless, in his 2002
State of the Union address, after singling out Iraq, Iran, and North Korea
by name as "regimes that sponsor terror" and threaten America "with
weapons of mass destruction," President Bush declared
"I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand
by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not
permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most
Later that year, Bush announced a new National Strategy to Combat Weapons of
Mass Destruction, which declared – among other things – that
"The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions
to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat,
the greater is the risk of inaction – and the more compelling the case for taking
anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the
time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts
by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."
But Bush had a couple of problems.
First, at the Sixth
NPT Review Conference, held at UN Headquarters in New York City in 2000:
"The [Sixth] Conference notes the reaffirmation by the nuclear-weapon states
of their commitment to the United
Nations Security Council resolution 984 (1995) on security assurances for
non-nuclear-weapon states parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear
Among other things, UNSCR 984 "recognizes" that "in case of
aggression with nuclear weapons or the threat of such aggression against a non-nuclear-weapon
State Party" to the NPT, "the nuclear-weapon State permanent members
of the Security Council will bring the matter immediately to the attention of
the Council and seek Council action to provide, in accordance with the Charter,
the necessary assistance to the State victim."
In other words, if Bush had threatened to nuke North Korea prior to its withdrawal
from the NPT, China and Russia would have been required to seek Council action
Then there was a second problem.
"The [Sixth] Conference reaffirms that IAEA is the competent authority responsible
for verifying and assuring … compliance with its safeguards agreements … with
a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear
weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. … It is the conviction of the Conference
that nothing should be done to undermine the authority of IAEA in this regard."
In other words, an IAEA determination that none of the safeguarded "special
nuclear materials" or safeguarded facilities in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea
are involved in any activity that serves a military purpose is final.
Nevertheless, Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003 after "determining"
that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program in spite of
the IAEA determination that he hadn't.
Shortly after invading Iraq "to counter a sufficient threat to our national
security," Bush formally announced his Proliferation
Security Initiative. Its stated objective was to create a web of international
"counter-proliferation partnerships" to prevent proliferators from "carrying
out their trade in WMD and missile-related technology."
According to Undersecretary of State John Bolton, the PSI was necessary because
"proliferators and those facilitating the procurement of deadly capabilities
are circumventing existing laws, treaties, and controls against WMD proliferation."
Unlike the existing UN proliferation-prevention regime, "PSI is not diverted
by disputes about candidacies for director general, agency budgets, agendas
for meetings, and the like."
Like, specifically, the NPT and UNSCR 984?
So what will Bush do if the EU-Iran and six-party talks fail – as they no doubt
will – to reach an agreement acceptable to him?