Tuesday, December 19, 2006

He's learned nothing

One of George Bush's presidential habits is to append "signing statements" to his signature on bills. These statements explain which parts of the law he intends not to obey. He'd been quiet for a few weeks with these but he tacked one on to the nuclear deal with India -- it's buried on a list of White House news releases for yesterday.

While much of the statement is arcane, and can only be understood with reference to the text of the bill (the complexity being part of the point), the main thing he's declaring he won't obey is this --

It shall be the policy of the United States with respect to any peaceful atomic energy cooperation between the United States and India--
(1) to achieve as quickly as possible a cessation of the production by India and Pakistan of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices;
(2) to achieve as quickly as possible the Government of India's adherence to, and cooperation in, the full range of international non-proliferation regimes and activities, including India's--
(A) full participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative;
(B) formal commitment to the Statement of Interdiction Principles; ....

(3) to ensure that India remains in full compliance with its non-proliferation, arms control, and disarmament agreements, obligations, and commitments;

(to see all the details, go here and search HR 5682; this Washington Post article also took note of what he's up to, as, relatedly, did Dan Froomkin)

This is all important because the India deal allows India to operate outside the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and keep its military nuclear facilities away from international inspectors. Thus the South Asian arms race is fed -- all to the benefit of American nuclear contractors (who will end up selling the stuff to Pakistan anyway, via China).

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