Friday, January 12, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 4

Since the weekend has come, and it is a long one for some, putting in an extra topic with the feeling that people will put in extra effort.

"Nuclear issue - The hypocrisy of USA"

Wanted to have an 'international politics' topic and I have kept it very broad and open to get in more points. You have to be careful in such topics so that the group does not waver too much. A good start takes the trophy since it is very tough :)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

START:

The Controversy over Nuclear issue is, proverbially speaking between the haves and have-nots. On one hand, the haves - The Nations having nuclear capabilities talk of behaving responsibly and further closing the ranks for future interested parties (the have-nots). But at the same time, they can not claim to be the vanguards of the world power equation when their own actions have been proved hypocritical and otherwise. United States, being the only remaining superpower in the world easily becomes the protagonist in all such talks. In fact, Its meddlesome policies have made the Arab world a breeding ground for anti-West sentiments.

Points:
1) United States can never use the argument that it is a responsible superpower and the nuclear club wannabes are intent on joining nuclear club just for bullying their neighbours or, for destruction purposes. Its actions in Iraq, Vietnam, Arab world and elsewhere have shown that its primary purpose is to serve US interests only and not serve the cause of the world, as it usually proclaims.

2) Iran is an Arab country having Nuclear ambitions and It clearly may be termed an extremist state and some would agree with the kind of sanctions imposed on it due to its anti-Israel and holocaust denying stance. Yet, one must not forget the US and Britain past actions in case of Suez controversy when these nations directly interfered with sovereignty of Egypt. This had huge ramifications in Arab world. Even if today, if Israel were to accept that it has nuclear weapons, there would be no sanctions against it due to strong pro-Israel lobby in US. (In fact, Mr. Ehud Olmert, prime minister of Israel accepted Israel's nuclear capabilities in an interview few days back. afterwords, it was termed as just a slip of tongue. Perhaps, if Mr. Ahmadinejad were to say such things, it would have caused immense furore in international circles.)

3) In case of India too, the US attitude has changed only due to pressure of its Defense companies lobbying which stand to gain billions of dollars if Indo-US nuclear deal were to go through.

4) There is no commitment on part of US to bring down its Nuclear Arsenal. Britain, for its part, might have done that somewhat. Still, The US can't claim moral high ground when its own actions suggest otherwise.

5) Even in case of countries, which proclaim that they want nuclear energy harvesting just for Electricity production (again, e.g. being Iran). There is heavy meddlesome politics by US in not allowing such countries to buy Uranium. Instead, it would be better if US would choose to collaborate and persuade such countries to give up nuclear weapons ambitions in return for US help in removing their more basic problems such as health, education and poverty. A US help in electricity production through nuclear means isn't a bad idea. In fact, it would also validate the Iranians claims.

6) Unless US starts behaving less of a Big-Brother, no country will willingly listen to its advice. Even, A country like Sudan where US already has sanctions has continued with barbarous genocide in Darfur. In an increasing globalized world depending more and more on Oil, countries rich in Oil can choose to ignore US advice and still survive - as example of Iran, Venezuela and Sudan have shown. Perhaps, this is a good thing which will force US to rethink its hypocritical policies and instead adopt a more reasonable attitude towards nations not proclaiming affinity to US superpower status.

10:54 PM, January 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START-> From the era of cold war till the present times, the most critical political battles between nations are revolving around the nuclear issue. Being the inventor, USA has used it for different purposes in different forms suiting it.We should look at the stand of USA on "nuclear disarmament" that it adopts in various situations.

1) One should not preach what he cannot act. The issue of CTBT can be cited as a ideal example of the conflicting stands. In spite of being a advocate of the signing of this treaty by all non nuclear nations, US itself hasnt signed it.

2) US has advocated a ban on all nuclear tests only when it was sure of continuing its own research by means of supercomputer simulation.

3) US has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and has not shown signs of eleminating them. on the contrary, it is taking a voilent stand against Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear fuel cycle with the fact that it is not a signatory of NPT.

4) India has not signed CTBT so is nto provided nuclear fuel by producing nations but US has signed a pact to provide nuclear fuel to India making a exception in its policy.

12:06 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After people have bashed US for a while of its being playing a big brother politics, i will put a point that in spite of all the brickbats, US is doing what ideally a responsible nation has to do in order to secure a better position deal for its country in the global scenario.If the present situation demands shaking hands with India and trying to cre4ate a balance for the rising china and if it will ensure the continuity of a superior position for US then be it.

12:24 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the comments that will be given to question the stand of america on india nuclear deal, i will put forth the comment that the scope of the deal is limited only towards civilian use primarily for addressignt he energy needs of India and it required India to put its eligible reactors under IAEA safeguards. Same case is not with Iran.

Also, We have to take issues on a case to case basis, we cannot generalize things where the stakes are high.

12:28 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said Atul, but can you point out the mistakes done by Iran for which it can't be granted a nuclear deal except that it doesn't confirm to the US standards of democracy, open-society and capitalism. Just because it is anti-Israel and in fact, it has got very valid reasons to be so, Iran is pointed out as a sore thumb.

In case of US-China equation, Your response in Support of Indo-US nuclear deal is similar to the response of US diasporic-Jews who support every act of Israel, whether right or wrong. Just because the US deal is in favor of India, One can not justify it. In fact, as i have already pointed out, Iranians too are claiming that they are developing nuclear capabilities for energy purposes only. It's just that they don't trust the US and anyways, who would after the Iraq fiasco about WMDs!

Regarding the rise of China and your US supportive stance, i would say that - Is there any reason to say that a world with the US as sole superpower is better than multiple power centers? or, in other words Is dictatorship better than democracy? Choose your pick!!

3:31 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi gyanee,
This is just regarding the overall blog. Your efforts are truly commendable and i would seriously like to thank you. Regarding the GD practice thing that we are doing, i think new-comers(or, late-comers!!) wouldn't really understand the basics of what is going on here inside the comments i.e. first few lines correspond to the intro part and points are the discussion that can be done in the middle during the GD. Just write a new heading in the sidebar and give a link to your first post regarding this online GD blogging.

Regards,
Himanshu

3:56 AM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Himanshu and Atul,

Great going guys. I am very happy with the arguments and counter-arguments. With such a good discussion going on, I wud expect more to pitch in and hence will leave this topic open till tomorrow.

Specific comments to each of you are below

Himanshu,
1. Good Start. Again, very consistent in the arguments.

2. Good counter points. Expecially your signing off your points with choose between dictatorship and democracy puts the whole thing in perspective. And such perspectives wins instant support from the group and hence helps you win GDs.

Atul,
1. Good start, especially since there was already one start put up by Himanshu and you have not allowed it to shadow yours

2. Your starts and other points have improved drastically over the last few topic discussion. Good to see you applying the learnings

3. Good to see you putting the India-US nuclear pact as probably 'morally wrong'. Usually difficult to take such a stand being an Indian (Are we ourselves being hypocratic here :))

4. Do not make a complete switch and support US. You have to be more subtle if you really want to do it. Be careful that you dont go against your own previous arguments while trying to go against the group's arguments :))

Looking at the quality of the discussion, I have kept it open till tomorrow. Jump into the battle guys, afterall there is still so much arsenal to fight on. Nuke it.

5:19 AM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Thanks Himanshu for the suggestion. Keep them coming.

I have put the rules in the latest topic.

5:37 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START:International Politics is all about exerting control, & ensuring one's supremacy over the neighbour.What USA is doing is no different. To what extent it is correct or wrong is debatable.

Some more points:
1)The most shocking display of such power has been the supposed search for weapons of mass destruction(WMD) in Iraq. It has gone on for so long, that people have forgotten what the true motive was.
Now they have left millions dead, a nation shattered & have started the introduction of "democracy".

2)While, North Korea blatantly ignores any threats & warnings, & continues with its missile testing, noone dares anything. For fear of unknown action.

But when Iran declares that it wants to develop the nuclear plants for peaceful purposes, it is stalled harassed & put through numeous sanctions.

3)India, despite being an openly peace loving country is being given unreasonable sanctions & changes in the nuclear development program.

We are having to seek sanctions for very normal pro-development nuclear projects.

4)China has openly declared its plan to develop more nuclear plants & continues enrichment, but USA does nothing to oppose it. Since it sees no threat from China.


5)USA's stance in certain countries like North Korea, does seem reasonable, & for peace purposes.

But its insistence on having a tight control over every country's nuclear program & its merciless attitude towards potential threats, causes alarm bells to ring in our head.

6)Sooner or later, the balance of power shall shift, & USA should keep in mind, that countries in trouble with her now, shall have a long memory later.

Awaiting your comments.
Aparna

10:35 PM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Aparna, your start was the best among the group. But there are some facts which you have wrongly portrayed. I'll like to correct few of them.

1) US stance in case of North Korea is by no means a peace loving gesture. In fact, UN has already imposed sanctions on it due to pressure by US. But they are mostly ineffective due to North Korea supportive stance of South Korea and China. As i've already stated in one of my points, In an increasing globalized world where US power is increasingly being undermined, It will continue to matter but still it can't be the sole decider of who does what. for further reading..
http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=8046820&fsrc=RSS

2) US doesn't sees any threat from China.. saying this would be very wrong in case of geopolitical power equations. By no means, US consider China an ally. However, the economies of US and China have become so inter wined that it would create a crater equal to nuclear bomb explosion in US economy were China to break trade relations with US!

3) Since we are Indians and we have been taught in our text books that we're a nation of peace loving people, We forget that we've gone to three wars with Pakistan. We forget that we've done nuclear tests and nations like Japan have terrible memories about such things. Even if you forget these, Incidents like Godhra, Kherlanji, 1984 riots have occurred in Indian mainland only and the perpetrators have been we common Indians only. Anyways, can you point out one nation who says that it is always ready to go to War (We're war loving nation!!)

4) Regarding Indo-nuclear deal, India has not committed that it is going to throw away its nuclear weapons. If tomorrow Pakistan too wants a Pak-US deal just for the energy purposes, On what grounds Indians can oppose it. Just that Pakistan doesn't have a democracy. Well, On that grounds, every nation which has democracy has the right to do anything in the world claiming democracy as a magic pill. It is the will and joint efforts of the political leaders which change the History as the WTO trade talks have shown, where collectively developing nations have forced United States and EU to come down from their earlier stubborn stances over agricultural subsidies.

1:19 AM, January 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=8046820&fsrc=RSS

I tried to give the link path but it was wrongly displayed. Trying to post it again.

1:23 AM, January 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

huff!! giving up on the effort. Go to www.economist.com and search for "UN Sanctions + North Korea"

1:24 AM, January 16, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Aparna,

1. Good start. Crisp and neat.

2. Iraq war a little off way and I would have preferred you to stick with nuclear issue itself since there is so much to talk about. But it is fine since you are trying to come from the US hegemony perspective

3. India having unreasonable sanctions – I feel it is factually incorrect now that the exclusive nuclear deal is being signed. Note that no such deal is available for anyone out of the top 5 nuclear group

4. US sees no threat from China?? – Nope, I don’t think anyone agrees with that. It is only that they can do very less about it

5. Good point that US is doing decent job in N Korea

6. And I kinda liked your last point. Not from the GD perspective though :)

Complete analysis in a while

4:27 AM, January 16, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Himanshu,

Thanks for all the links. I am sure it enriches the group's knowledge. Good readings too.

And I am very happy with the point you have made on India not being a very peace-loving nation. Panel loves counter-intutive points when they make sense. 2 brownie points for that

And good last point on the nuclear deal too. one brownie for this too.

Complete analysis coming in half hour

4:31 AM, January 16, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Nuclear issue - The hypocrisy of USA

There were only three people participating, but the points brought in were pretty good. All the starts were good too and that raised the quality bar. Good show guys.

I did not know that this was a tough topic. And please note that you have to pitch in even if you don’t know anything on the topic on your GD day. So if you have nothing to talk on a topic check the article http://catfundae.blogspot.com/2007/01/topics-you-dont-have-knowledge-on.html#links and do pitch-in in future.

Points that the group discussed:

1. US should not dictate terms to other so-called rogue nations since its own behavior in Vietnam/ Iraq etc have been far from exemplary
2. US has been hypocritical in its stand on nuclear issue. One stand for Iran/NK while another for Israel ----- I would have liked someone club India with Israel too
3. US also looking at its economic interests and lobbies
4. No commitment to bring down nuclear arsenal
5. US is preventing many countries from procuring nuclear material for energy purposes ---- I would have liked someone also take a positive note on the same point
6. US needs to behave less like a Big-brother-say-all
7. US hypocrisy – it does not conform to NPT and doesn’t do what it preaches
8. It has a large pile of weapons that it has not depleted ---- Some numbers would have put things in better perspective. US has more than 10000 war heads
9. US may not be so bad afterall as it has prevented many from acquiring the weapons - Is there any reason to say that a world with the US as sole superpower is better than multiple power centers
10. USA's stance in certain countries like North Korea, does seem reasonable, & for peace purposes. But its insistence on having a tight control over every country's nuclear program & its merciless attitude towards potential threats, causes alarm bells to ring in our head
11. China has openly declared its plan to develop more nuclear plants & continues enrichment, but USA does nothing to oppose it

My comment (Apart from the appreciation that I have already mentioned)
I am surprised that no one took a stand saying that ‘ultimately nuclear weapons should be completely eliminated from the world’ – though it came in bits and pieces, I thought would have been a good start since it provides a huge umbrella to discuss under

Additional points that could have been discussed:

1. Hypocrisy could have been shown in how the US, with other countries, categorized ‘Nuclear Group’ within the UN as countries having tested nuclear weapons before 1964

2. Though US has been shouting hoarse on nuclear weapons, it has done nothing to encourage nuclear power generation since it has its own oil interests even within USA. This is inspite of the growing environmental concerns worldwide and US is one of the biggest gas guzzlers in the world

3. US has not punished Pakistan for being a nuclear proliferators since it is helping in its fight against war on terror

4. US has made a nuclear deal with India since there is so much economic benefit out of it. This inspite its repeated concerns over India-Pakistan being a nuclear flashpoint. Note that when India moved its troops to the borders after parliament attack, US issued a travel advisory to all its citizens to move out of the country fearing a possible nuclear war

Parting Shot
What my start would have been
US has been hypocritical in its stand on the nuclear issue when it comes to various countries that it chooses to categorize as ‘nuclear group, ‘responsible countries’, ‘axis of evil’, ‘politically unstable’ etc when you look at their actions. But looking it in a bigger perspective, their actions seem to have just one thing in mind – The interests of United States of America and nothing else. The interest of the world in general, which would be better off without any nation having nuclear arsenal does not even cross its mind.

On the whole, good show guys.

5:13 AM, January 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the helpful comments Himanshu & gyan-ee. Am not really strong in this area, can use all the help I get :)

BTW, your knowledge of the international pollitics is enviable!

Aparna

8:49 PM, January 16, 2007  

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