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The grapes of nuclear
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-12-12 10:07:00
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This is not an article defending Iran’s decision to built a nuclear plan, on the contrary, Iran has no right at all to do anything nuclear and that has nothing to do with the cleric dictatorship that runs the country, which will one day make Stalin’s Russia look like a kindergarten in comparison. It also has nothing to do with the case of Iran building nuclear WMD, which was a rumor in the case of Saddam Hussein and it is reality in the case of the bloodthirsty Ayatollahs; no, it is a case of principals and this is what I’m going to talk about.

First of all, I oppose every kind of nuclear use and even the USA admitted in the end that alternative energy solutions might work better, so they funded a series of researches in this area. Many countries, including Holland and Sweden, have already proved with their extensive experiments that their alternative solutions using water or wind work.

To make it clearer, it is not the nuclear aspect that I’m opposing but the fact we are dealing with a material that we don’t fully understand and nuclear waste is causing more long-term damage than the help the nuclear plants are doing. So until they find out what’s really going on with nuclear fuel and waste I would much rather if they were funding research than nuclear factories that produce more nuclear waste – we already have more waste than w know what to do with and they are polluting an already over-polluted planet.

But going back to India, the second most populated country on the planet seems to live in a multi-speed vehicle with parts of it in different centuries and in a constant arms race with a neighbor country, Pakistan another dictatorship. The country also faces over-production in certain categories of products since low salaries and general costs, including taxation, have made India a paradise for foreign industries; I think provides some answers as to why the USA is anxious to give nuclear fuel and technology.

India is the place where in some places of the country education and health is down to basics, a country where bribery dominates every day life and the social system and survival depends on social castes. It is a country where infants are sold and marriages are pre-arranged before their birth. A place where a long summer without rain means the death of thousands and the state is incapable to cope. It’s a place where illnesses we know only by name exist and there are still humans being attacked and killed by wild animals. A country that has very poor organization and protection network for its citizens, a country that is victim of religious factions, even with prime ministers among the victims over the last few years.

India is also the place where computers are booming, the new Silicon Valley is there, and all the big IT companies employ people who got training and experience in India. It’s the country of Bollywood and mystic arts; a country of textiles and fabrics. It’s the country of over-production. This last one can be their nemesis, just like it nearly happened with Taiwan a couple of decades before. Over-production, without a program, will gradually leave hundreds of thousands unemployed, when the need or the demand falls to zero.

This is the responsibility of the Indian state, a democratic state with democratic elections, actually the most democratic when comparing it with neighbor countries. But a state that has to deal with a huge population, religion and traditional beliefs and castes – an issue not easy to overrun – a country where the decision of the central government have to go through all the things I mentioned above before they reach the people, who in the end trust more the local lords since their every day life depends more on them than the government.

Finally, India is already a nuclear power that has often tested nuclear weapons and missiles. Among everything, India has a visual ‘enemy’ that often threatens the use of its nuclear arsenal and to worsen things Pakistan has an obvious agenda to become a superpower in Asia. From the other side, Pakistan is a nuclear power that has tested nuclear missiles and is capable and eager to create more to answer to any Indian threat. Both countries are friendly with the USA, plus Pakistan is an ally in the war against terror.

Pakistan is home to one of the world’s dictatorships and has been funded and helped on every level by the American administration, so what’s the American’s game now? Are they trying to change the balance between the two powers, especially while the Nepal dispute is still hot? Please don’t tell me that this fuel and technological knowledge will not have any other use for India in a case of war with Pakistan.

Let’s accept the fact that the US Congress really believes that India want to use the knowledge and fuel purely for peaceful reasons and the production of energy. This leads us to the last point: Low cost. India is a paradise for huge businesses where they don’t care if kids are working like slaves in their factories, there are no unions or workers’ rights, just the right to breath, work and obey; where human beings working for a bed to sleep and a plate of food and there is no protection in anything.

I think this last point makes sense in the eagerness of the American Congress to vote positively in the export of nuclear fuel and nuclear technology: Profit! It doesn’t matter if today’s friend becomes tomorrow’s threat after a few years - after all, they have done it before with Iraq and Hussein. It doesn’t matter so long as profit flows directly into their pockets. Too much about world peace and democracy!

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