The National Security Committee of federal cabinet decided last night, after more than two hours, to allow the uranium shipments to India, despite the subcontinental nuclear power not signing the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.Last week I shot this video clip of an anti-nuclear protest in happening in downtown Melbourne, Australia. Between 1,000 and 2,000 citizens marched to protest the Howard government's pro-nuclear agenda.
Australia sure picked a good time to offer Pakistan's nuclear rival, India, a present. Because Washington DC sent a very different signal to India today: "The US State Department said today it would scrap a landmark nuclear deal with India if New Delhi conducted an atomic weapons test."
The US-India nuclear deal was a bad deal. The editors of the The Economist seem to think the deal came about because the US thinks it needs a security hedge against China. But China's military poses no great threat to US interests -- and won't for a long, long time. So why make a mockery of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty over a meaningless security hedge? Why, when the greater threat is nuclear proliferation?
One thing seems clear: under Prime Minister John Howard, Australia is not about to put global security before profit.