Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Obama's Nuke Policy's Gaping Loophole

President Obama is supposed to announce his new policy on nuclear weapons on Tuesday, which is supposed to be a departure from the Bush Doctrine (of preemptive strike, possibility of using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states) and a step toward "a world without nuclear weapons" (according to Washington Post, sounding like what the Japanese have repeated over and over again since 1945).

Washington Post reports: "Under the new policy, the administration will foreswear the use of the deadly weapons against nonnuclear countries, officials said, in contrast to previous administrations, which indicated they might use nuclear arms against nonnuclear states in retaliation for a biological or chemical attack."

Except this policy comes with a major caveat.

Antiwar.com reports that there is an enormous loophole to the new Obama doctrine:

Obama Policy Retains Right to Nuke Iran: Obama's 'New' Policy Leaves Hydrogen Bomb-Sized Loophole (Jason Ditz, 4/5/2010 Antiwar.com)

"...But while the Obama Administration formally renouncing that option on the surface and claiming its arsenal is for “deterrence” only, it appears that the doctrine will include an enormous loophole that will mean the nominal policy shift will ultimately mean very little.

"The loophole will insist that the only non-nuclear states free of preemptive nuking are those which are “in compliance with their nonproliferation obligations.” This would, at least from the administration’s perspective, leave open the possibility of attacking Iran with nuclear weapons.

"Iran would certainly argue that they are in compliance, of course, but exactly what these obligations are is never altogether clear to the public (the IAEA safeguards agreements are not made public) and President Obama has made clear that he believes Iran is not.

"...while the president still claims to have a goal of a nuclear-free world, the manufacture of such a deliberate loophole for a nuclear first strike is beyond troubling."

Rather than a loophole, it seems more like a "qualifier" to me. Obama is clarifying which country will be singled out to be attacked by the US using nuclear weapons.

He could also redefine the meaning of "compliance" to include just about any country he wants to bomb. By another executive order, perhaps.

Crude oil went up again on Monday despite the US dollar strength. The supposed reason was the accelerating (and jobless) economic recovery in the US.


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