Rewriting Proverbs

                             Sauce for the Goose is not

                             Sauce for the Gander.


Unlike my friend, J.Sriraman, the reputed columnist, I am no expert on matters nuclear.


As a lay student of contemporary international history (where “contemporary” goes back , for purposes of this note, to the second world war), I agree with some six billion others that nuclear weapons are unacceptably evil in a usually acceptably evil world.


Everybody of course says so, including those who remain in control of the largest stockpiles.


Yet what stares you in the face is the unconscionable gap between the ethics of the issue which hardly anyone denies, and the record of performance through the decades.


And strikingly here, those that bear the most onus, even opprobrium, seem the most self-righteous.


Which is, after all, what the reviled President of Iran, Ahmedinejad, underscored in his recent appearance at a nuclear disarmament conclave in America.


As I said, on the nuclear question this writer holds no allegiances. So let us ask why was he wrong when he pointed out that America which currently seeks to put him and his country in the doghouse is thus far the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons? And, one might remember, used much more to see that the weapon actually worked than from any real need to use it, besides the collateral intent to show the communists in the then Soviet Union what powers America had.


Why was he wrong in stating the fact that the same United States has thought nothing of using dirty uranium and agent orange weapons in Vietnam and then more recently in Iraq on millions of perfectly innocent human beings? And on pretexts that were to be found to be a hundred percent spurious?


Why was he wrong in pointing out that America therefore may have the least moral right to lecture the rest of the world about the dangers of weaponising?


Did I say “rest of the world”? Wrong.


Why was he wrong in underlining the brazen double standards the United States exercises in determining where to saber rattle and where to wink? For example with respect to the Non-Proliferation Treaty?


Why was he wrong in insinuating that non-signatory weapon-states like Israel and India continue to receive its recognition, support, and strategic partnership, while signatories like Iran are to be denied even those rights that the NPT allows, such as the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes? And, in the process, merrily violating the NPT to the hilt while accusing others of doing so?


And were the matter to be polemicised beyond the lawful, for instance on grounds of reliability or record, whose record remains the most questionable—those that have actually used nuclear weapons or those that don’t even have them?


And among those that have them, does anyone doubt that, like their permanent and permanently uncritical benefactor, it is the Zionists who might not think twice of using the weapons they have, and entirely in pursuit of illegitimate claims?


As to the Islamic world, how is it that the country that never had these weapons, Iraq, came to be annihilated on the basis of a despicable campaign of lies, whereas the other country that has them and that even uncle Sam recognizes to be the “epicenter of terrorism” and the home of the Al Qaeda remains such a darling ally?


Very uncomfortable questions those, and such as only Ahmedinejad could ask, since, however foolishly, he, like some others in Latin America, seem never to want to kowtow to Sam, or beg for his favours.


It would be disingenuous of me not to also point out that American hypocrisy in the whole nuclear question is bettered perhaps only by the aspiring super-power (which harbours the greatest number of the world’s poor, malnourished, and anaemic), India.


Think of the cheek that India, a non-signatory to the NPT but a great beneficiary on the sly, should lecture Iran about how it must adhere to the provisions of the NPT!


Ah, as the chicaneries of India’s unshackled capitalism multiply, you can see how she learns all the tricks that Sam has practiced throughout the decades since 1945.


What better proof of the greatness waiting to descend on the land of Gandhi.


It should be obvious that no greatness resides in peace-making, in allying with those whose growth rates do them no credit, and whose armies are but pitiful adversaries at bottom.


And no greatness resides in diverting funds from the missile and moon mission, from massive military investments, from astronomical capitalist waste and glamourised episodes of sleaze to eradicating hunger, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, shelterlessness, and rural and urban squalor and jobessness; or to investing in systems that might provide clean sanitation, clean drinking water, assured farm incomes, tribal rights, and the social upliftment of some two thirds of Indians. Or in recovering from the fatcats the billions of public moneys they owe, the billions they steal, and the billions they still borrow without the least fear of comeuppance.


And no greatness resides in just being merely a South Asian country in friendly and creative communion with other South Asian countries, or to other countries in the region.


The one indubitable source of greatness lies in shaking Sam’s murderously solipsistic grasp across the seven seas. Even as its grand banks and financial institutions sink in their own perfidy, taking the world with them.


And in nodding agreement when Sam says what a dangerous lout Ahmedinejad is, how clever the Israelis are, and how the beleaguered Generals in Pakistan deserve our cooperation, even as they keep the terrorist factories on the boil.


Few things offend as much as when the votaries of power recommend reason to all the others.


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