Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

India Nuke Deal The Next Big Fight

The wheels of Air Force One were barely on the tarmack berfore the NYTimes blasted Pres. Bush's recent Asia trip as "spectacularly misconceived." Their main gripe: That India got a nuke deal. Their next biggest gripe: That Pakistan didn't.

India first.
The nuclear deal that Mr. Bush concluded with India threatens to blast a bomb-size loophole through the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It would have been bad enough on its own, and disastrously ill timed, because it undercuts some of the most powerful arguments Washington can make to try to galvanize international opposition to Iran's nuclear adventurism.
Two sentences; two errors. India was never a signator of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (nor is Pakistan). It has already proliferated. It's hard to make this case, but count on Dems to shout it shrilly when the treaty comes before the Senate.

And if the deal was so bad for negotiating with Iran, why then did India grudgingly come to our side and vote to refer Iran to the Security Council? That significant vote was not a given by any means, and we can only conclude that the nuclear deal was influential in New Delhi's decision-making.

Next, Pakistan. NYT gets it part right:
Mr. Bush was right to say no to Pakistan. It would be an unthinkably bad idea to grant a loophole to a country whose top nuclear scientist helped transfer nuclear technology to leading rogue states.
What it gets wrong is the concept that Bush "embarassed" Musharraf, as if no groundwork and negotiations preceded presidential trips. Musharraf knew exactly what was happening, and why.

His country is too unstable to get our support on nukes. Radical Islamism could be just around the corner; mad Dr. Khan is recent history. Bush's message to Musharraf was clear: You're our ally and expect money and aide, but Pakistan will have to be more stable, as India is stable, before you get nuclear help from us.

He drew the carrot and the stick quite clearly, and though it was a tough message, it was a necessary one. NYT seems to like Clintonian glad-handing more than the tough and truthful politics of Pres. Bush.

Also worth reading, in today's LAT: A Nuclear Deal, Warts and All (hat tip: RCP)