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Japan, the economic giant grinds to a halt for a minute in silence on 6 August every year. In that space in time men and machine stop in remembrance to those millions who were roasted alive instantaneously and the immediate survivors in their thousands slowly reduced to ashes through radium-contamination in the most degrading condition ever known to mankind. (US Army file photo)...






Weapons of Mass Destruction: The forgotten chapters

M. Shafiullah

Japan, the economic giant grinds to a halt for a minute in silence on 6 August every year. In that space in time men and machine stop in remembrance to those millions who were roasted alive instantaneously and the immediate survivors in their thousands slowly reduced to ashes through radium-contamination in the most degrading condition ever known to mankind. On that day in 1945 -- which by all reckoning was the darkest day of the 20th century -- innocent Japanese men, women and children fell victim to the nuclear Holocaust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two densely populated cities in Japan. At the fag end of the Second World War fatigued and exhausted Japan became the first victim of the Weapons of Mass Destruction. To day's Crusader to destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq had the unique distinction of using the very weapon against unarmed civilians first time and retaines the solo title to-date.

Throughout the Cold War era this very champion of human rights and 'defender of life, liberty and freedom' on this planet argued that the nuclear weapons had brought peace through nuclear deterrence and, therefore, justified stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

The Declaration of Independence of that great nation says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal" but in reality when it came to the crunch on whom to drop the Atom Bomb whether on Germany who invaded one European country after another or on Italy and Japan who joined subsequently the Axis Power, axe fell on the Japanese. America is the land of European settlers. They were drawn from almost every corner of Europe. To Americans, Europe is the Fatherland. The waters of Atlantic has been the eternal bond for both the parents and the offsprings. The deadly fall-out of nuclear bomb had it been dropped on either Germany or Italy would have engulfed much of Europe. Therefore perhaps Italy and Germany were discriminated against Japan. The Whites were spared. American hands were kept clean of patricide. The weapon of mass destruction was tested on the Yellow Race with all fire and fury of the Seven Hells.

Has history drawn final curtain on the First Chapter of Genocide written in human skeleton of innocent souls? No. From archive in the Pacific shore soulful cries render the air heavy in the Atlantic on 6 August every year reminding of the crime committed against humanity in an unimaginable magnitude.

In the classic theory of Divine Justice it was ordained that crime visits the criminal at a time of its choosing.. Has it already paid such visits? It's a matter of deep understanding and introspection. Will eliminating suspected weapons of mass destruction from dictator Saddam and continued stockpiling of much more lethal weapons in the bloody hands of Sharon Nethenyaho in the Arab heartland be able to stop the 'visit of the crime'? Perhaps it has some answer in the State of the Union Address of 30 January. Therein it was stated," We're strongly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] in its mission to track and control nuclear materials around the world. We're working with other governments to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, and to strengthen global treaties banning the production and shipment of missile technologies and weapons of mass destruction." Will IAEA be allowed to fulfil its mission to track and control nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in Israel?

What was the American experience of nuclear inspection in Israel in the first place? It is now almost a forgotten chapter that Washington carried out abortive inspections of Israeli nuclear installations for ten years from 1961 to 1969. Israel most grudgingly agreed to US inspection to avoid international intrusion into its clandestine operation. Under Atom for Peace Programme President Eisenhower provided technology for a small reactor outside Tel Aviv to encourage non-military nuclear science. In 1958 U-2 spy plane, contrary to Eisenhower's expectation reported construction of nuclear reactor at Dimona deep in the Negev desert thousand of KM away from Tel Aviv. Eisenhower was succeeded by Kennedy who was skeptical of the Israeli intention and asked for inspection of the site. With impeccable terrorist record, David Ben-Gurion was then Prime Minister who accepted inspection only by scientists of US Atomic Commission and debarred Soviet or any other nationality.

After stalling for months the first inspection was allowed on 18 May 1961 under tight Israeli control for a day only. At the insistence of Kennedy another Israeli-guided inspection was allowed after 16 months but only for 40 minutes. Not satisfied Secretary of State Dean Rusk conveyed to Israelis that President Kennedy wanted semi-annual unhindered access of US scientists to Negev reactors but defiant Ben-Gurion offered one supervised inspection per year. His successor Levi Eshkol agreed to Washington's term but by that time Israel installed false control-room panels and walled passages leading to Dimona's critical installation. It was a bluff that the American inspectors smoothly swallowed. Next year in 1962 Kennedy was assassinated leaving the world to intelligent guess who masterminded the gruesome murder in broad daylight?

Next President Lyndon Johnson was cautious enough to settle down for one daylong inspection under Israeli control. When Nixon came to power Henry Kissinger, a first-generation American Jew was appointed his Assistant National Security Adviser in the White House. Israel became a full-blooded non-declared nuclear power. US inspection was abandoned in 1969. Will IAEA dare to burn its finger by touching the most sensitive US organ in the Middle East?

. The International Herald Tribune report on 3 February says, " Israel is poised to become India's largest arm supplier, and India desperately wants Washington's approval to buy the US-Israeli-built Arrow missiles defensive system under its military partnership with Israel. Both India and Israel are secular democracies under terrorist attack from Islamic militants. Simon Peres calls India Israel's best friend in the region." If the Herald Tribune finding is accurate, Israeli missile system would make smooth sail to Indian arsenal despite what was stated in the State of the Union Address' to strengthen treaties banning shipment of missile technologies. Traffic sign indicates road to Washington is through Tel Aviv.

Secretary of State Collin Powell put UN on notice on 5 February. Addressing the Security Council he said, "Iraq had already been found guilty of material breach of its obligations stretching back over 16 previous resolutions and 12 years. Iraq has now placed itself in danger of the serious consequences called for in UN Resolutions 1441. And this body [UN] places itself in danger of irrelevance if it allows Iraq to continue to defy its will without responding effectively and immediately." UK and US pressed sixteen plus resolution number 1441 against Iraq during twelve years, only one resolution number 1405 was adopted with abstention of US against Israel in May 2002 to find out the extent of Israeli massacre of Jenin Palestinian refugee camp. That too was disdainfully defied by Israel with impunity of US. No other resolution against Israel for wanton violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory saw the light of the day due to Anglo-US opposition.

Bush-Blair are in war-hysteria to implement Resolution 1441 against Iraq not only to destroy suspected weapons of mass destruction but also to disarm while keeping the nuclear and wide range of weapons of mass destruction in the Israeli arsenal. US opposed India and Pakistan going nuclear, as they are adversary neighbours, brought them under economic sanction for flouting her will. Arabs and Israelis are at each other's throat. Under benign US eyes Israel is the only nuclear power in the region, Arabs are disarmed.

It was said of American double-standard until recently but now Washington corrected itself. Under Bush, America returned to one standard. White House watchers say the new standard is "American oil standard ". To meet the new American standard UN has been merged with the multilateral desk in the State Department turning 10 Downing Street into European Branch office with Blair on deputation paid by British commoners. UN Secretary-General has been assigned to organise humanitarian assistance to 'oil-war' survivors. Washington appears to determine weapons of mass destruction with massive killings to bring down the size of world population to maintain balance of nature as well as to remove any one standing in its way to oil fields.


M. Shafiullah is a former Ambassador.

How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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