Obama, NYT Keep Israeli Nuke Secrets

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by Robert Parry: Cheney
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Overall, the New York Times praises President
Barack Obama’s revised policy on when to launch nuclear attacks,
though agreeing with some critics that it was a mistake to continue
brandishing nukes at Iran, the only non-nuclear-armed state still
being threatened.

“It would
have been better if Mr. Obama made the ‘sole’ purpose
of nuclear weapons deterring a nuclear attack,” the Times
wrote in a lead
editorial
on Wednesday. “No one in their right mind can
imagine the United States ever using a nuclear weapon again. …

“But any
loophole undercuts Washington’s arguments that nonnuclear states
have no strategic reason to develop their own arms.”

Exactly. So
why did Obama carve out a special exception intended for Iran, claiming
that any nation not “compliant” with the Nuclear Non-proliferation
Treaty – even one without nuclear weapons – can be targeted for
nuclear annihilation by the United States?

Though Iran
is an NPT signatory and asserts that it wants to use nuclear energy
for peaceful purposes only, Obama’s position is that since
Iran arguably violated some technical provisions of the treaty,
it is not “compliant” and thus open to U.S. nuclear attack.

The chief violation
that the United States has cited is Iran’s failure to disclose
the Qum nuclear reactor before construction began. Instead, Iran
announced the existence of the facility last September while construction
was underway but before it was operational.

The technical
– and debatable – nature of this violation, however, suggests
that Obama’s pledge not to nuke non-nuclear-armed states may
not mean much. It’s likely that any country with a nuclear
energy program could be found to be in some such “non-compliance.”

The Times
suggests that Obama included the caveat mostly “to deter hard-line
critics on Capitol Hill” who want to get even tougher with
Iran. There may be some truth to that – as well as suspicions
that Obama was bowing to pressure from his hard-line secretaries
of State and Defense – but there is also the Great Unmentionable,
Israel.

Typically,
U.S. presidents – and the New York Times – seem
incapable of acknowledging that Israel is possibly the world’s
most egregious violator of international non-proliferation regimens,
not only having refused to sign the NPT but having amassed the largest
undeclared nuclear arsenal on earth.

Still Coy

Yet, Israeli
officials have remained coy about whether they have nukes, though
there is no doubt that they do, most likely several hundred.

Not only have
Israeli leaders refused to declare their nuclear arsenal –
and have harshly punished whistleblowers who have spoken up –
but U.S. presidents have fallen in line, too, playing along with
the charade. [For a brief history of the Israeli nuclear program,
click
here
.]

Read
the rest of the article

Robert
Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the
Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck
Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush
, was written
with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. His two previous books are Secrecy
& Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq

and Lost
History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’
.

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