Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gandhi, Bush and The Bomb

U.S. President George W. Bush travels to India next week, he will lay a wreath in honor of Mohandas Gandhi ... an article on Countercurrents: Gandhi, Bush, And The Bomb
If the President were to give any weight to Gandhi's ideas, international treaty obligations, or U.S. law, he would not be working to provide India with the same nuclear-capable technology that he so vigorously condemns in Iran-a country, by the way, that has signed the NPT, has undergone inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has not conducted any nuclear weapons tests. There are other reasons to oppose this deal, as well. Although India's relations with Pakistan are relatively stable at the moment, they might well be very adversely affected by any perception that the Indian government was racing ahead with a buildup of its nuclear arsenal. Furthermore, Pakistan might demand the same nuclear assistance as India. Indeed, if India can simply ignore the NPT and, then, receive nuclear technology from the United States, why should other countries observe its provisions? The Iranians, certainly, will make this point.

Gandhi, it should be noted, was not only a keen supporter of substituting nonviolent resistance for war, but a sharp critic of the Bomb. In 1946, he remarked: "I regard the employment of the atom bomb for the wholesale destruction of men, women, and children as the most diabolical use of science." When he first learned of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Gandhi recalled, he said to himself: "Unless now the world adopts non-violence, it will spell certain suicide." In 1947, Gandhi argued that "he who invented the atom bomb has committed the gravest sin in the world of science," concluding once more: "The only weapon that can save the world is non-violence." The Bomb, he said, "will not be destroyed by counter-bombs." Indeed, "hatred can be overcome only by love."

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