It’s getting smelly
Here, according to the editorial board of the New York Times, is why India should be denied the benefits of international co-operation in the area of nuclear technology — because, essentially, Iran and Pakistan have been rather bad boys. It has already devoted much space to carry forward its fallacious argument that it is only due to this deal that the world will find it hard to convince North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear weapons programmes. For a newspaper that has devoted much space to expose Gen Musharraf’s duplicity on everything from the hunt for bin Laden, to his treatment of rape-victims, it now argues that regardless of all his failings the United States must sacrifice the benefits of a closer relationship with India just to keep him in good humour.
But sticking Mr. Musharraf with the unwelcome task of explaining to Pakistanis why his friend and ally, Mr. Bush, had granted favorable nuclear terms to Pakistan’s archrival, India, while withholding them from Pakistan left him less likely to do Washington any special, and politically unpopular, favors on the terrorism front. [NYT]
The New York Times entirely ignores the fact that Musharraf finds himself on the wrong side of public opinion in Pakistan today because of his own failings. If he had only been honest with the Pakistani people he would not have have been in this situation. Does the New York Times seriously think that after such a long record of unkept promises and broken commitments further rewards will create fresh incentives for him to shape up?
Many Americans are genuinely concerned about the repurcussions the exception for India will have for global nuclear non-proliferation. It is possible to respect them while disagreeing with them. Their concerns must be addressed by the supporters of the deal. And then there are others who see nothing wrong in appeasing dictators and rewarding bad behaviour while ascribing to themselves a divine right to determine whether and how many nuclear weapons India should have. Like the Gray Lady’s recent condescending reference to the use of air-conditioners in middle class Indian homes, this one too is below contempt.
Update: Pragmatic over at Secular-Right India posts an excellent parody