terror in delhi 10/29
Sunday, February 19, 2006
  N-deal: The Clueless Gray Lady
The New York Times in an editorial speaks out against the Indo-US nuclear deal:
This energy-guzzling congestion will only become worse as India continues producing fairly high-quality goods and services at lower and lower prices — from automobiles that cost only $2,500 to low-budget airline flights for $50. In the new enclaves for India's emerging middle class and its rapidly rising nouveau riche, environmentally unsustainable, high-ceilinged houses feature air-conditioning systems that stay on year round.
Are we the only one to see NYT frothing at the mouth watching India's rising middle class? Aside, I suppose the NYT also does not know that India's automobile emission standards (close to Euro-III) are much higher than the ever-regressing American standards. And India's energy consumption/GDP is less than that of China.
India desperately wants Mr. Bush to wring approval from Congress for a misbegotten pact in which America would help meet India's energy requirements through civilian nuclear cooperation.
Right, we too are opposed to a sell-out version of the deal, but for entirely different reasons.
In trying to give India a special exemption, Mr. Bush is threatening the nonproliferation treaty's carrot-and-stick approach, which for more than 35 years has dissuaded countries that are capable of building or buying nuclear arms from doing so, from South Korea to Turkey to Saudi Arabia.
NYT sounds exactly like the non-proliferation ayatollahs. Apparently, NYT does not say a word about exemptions made to Pakistan even while the Pressler Amendment was in effect and the deliberate proliferation of weapons design/material from China. All this happened under the watchful eyes of the non-proliferation lobby.
There is no diplomatic quick fix in this energy-hungry world. Even if India shunned Iran, it would still have to turn to other petroleum suppliers that Washington wants to isolate, including Sudan and Venezuela. And the Iranian supplies would wind up going to other energy-hungry nations, tying them more closely to Tehran. If Mr. Bush wants to tackle this quandary seriously, he needs to begin by pushing for significant energy conservation steps in the United States, by far the world's largest energy consumer.
Now, after all this moral posturing, the NYT offers no concrete solution to the energy problem. It will be political suicide for President Bush or any other President to restrict America's energy use - the U.S. ain't going to sign the Kyoto Protocol in the forseeable future. We have argued that if India can manage to hang on tight till 2025, the Thorium cycle will take over. Till then, we shouldn't be afraid of burning the locally available fossil fuel and while developing alternative energy sources on its own. Sure, that will again anger the NYT, but then who cares. Update: Read this much better take by Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria, though we don't agree with him on certain points.
The Bush administration has been farsighted on this issue. With China rising and Europe and Japan declining, it sees India as a natural partner. It also recognized that 30 years of lectures on nonproliferation and sanctions have done nothing to stop, slow down or make safer India's nuclear program. Most important, it recognized that India was a rising and responsible global power—India has never sold or traded nuclear technology—that could not be treated like a rogue state. So the administration has proposed reversing three decades of (failed) American policy, and aims to make India a member of the nuclear club.
Cross-posed in Desicritics.org.
hi cn,

this is a pretty good article... most people are so ignorant about India here that i feel sick.
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