Dan Plesch on the BBC this week likened the United States of America’s furore over North Korea’s testing of a nuclear bomb to an alcoholic complaining about minors drinking alcohol. He was damn right. The United States has no moral right to demand that other nations should not possess nuclear weapons when it has stockpiles of nuclear weapons. And, that coming from the only country in the world to have nuked another country is somewhat nonsensical. We do not support the production and use of nuclear weapons. But, we also do not think that those who have amassed these dangerous weapons have the moral weight to ask others not to possess them. The United States must come down from its high table. It must dismantle its own arsenal of nuclear and other dangerous weapons as an example to nations like North Korea that their security can be guaranteed even without these weapons of mass destruction. It must stop its belligerence and show humility. Labelling other countries as an “axis of evil” is inherent of all evil and disrespectful. No nation wants to be insulted and no country has the right to insult others however powerful it may be. When Hugo Chavez of Venezuela recently called President George W Bush the ‘devil”, the entire America seethed with anger over the characterisation. So why do to others what you do not want done to you? As the world’s remaining super power, the US has to have the brains of a genius and not the macho and muscle to muzzle others. It should show humility because even being a super power has limitations. The nuclear test by North Korea and President Bush’s vow in 2003 never to allow Pyongyang to possess a nuclear weapon is a grim reminder of such limitation. Washington’s demand that North Korea should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons while tolerating Israel, Pakistan or its own possession of the same is the worst form of hypocrisy and double standards. It makes no sense for the US to use democracy or lack of it as reason for or against acquiring a nuclear weapon. Even then, Pakistan is not a democracy but its possession of nuclear weapons is being tolerated. Nuclear weapons cannot be the sole preserve of an exclusive club of nations that fall within the US ambit. Those who do not want others to possess nuclear weapons must have the foresight to demonstrate what they preach by forfeiting their own arsenals. Nations that feel insecure because of Washington’s unfriendly conduct will always seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction clandestinely so long as they believe that their security is not guaranteed by the international system. The invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein under false pretences is a stark reminder that the international system does not offer sufficient safeguards and protection for those countries that have a fallout with the US. And that is what drives countries like North Korea to lay their hands on nuclear weapons. The time has come for the United Nations to take up the issue of world disarmament including disarmament in the Korean peninsula. It is not the job of the United States to disarm others. It too needs to be disarmed. Only an impartial UN can breathe confidence in the countries around the Korean peninsula and end the hostility there. The US is biased against North Korea. To them, that country represents ‘evil’ and thus cannot mediate in the latest dispute. Strangely, the US is doing everything to enlist the support of China to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang but it has been very unhelpful on the Taiwan issue.
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