Nuclear Deal With India Wins Senate Backing
By THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 — The Senate gave overwhelming approval late Thursday to President Bush’s deal for nuclear cooperation with India , a vote expressing that a goal of nurturing India as an ally outweighed concerns over the risks of spreading nuclear skills and bomb-making materials.
By a vote of 85 to 12, senators agreed to a program that would allow the United States to send nuclear fuel and technology to India, which has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The agreement, negotiated by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India in March, calls for the United States to end a long moratorium on sales of nuclear fuel and reactor components. For its part, India would divide its reactor facilities into civilian and military nuclear programs, with civilian facilities open to international inspections.
So, public notice of our payoff to India for sitting quietly while we played footsie with Musharraf, resulting in the capture of bin Laden and the eradication of the Taliban, finally arrives. And now the world's number one mutual nuclear threat is about to become seriously unbalanced courtesy of the US of A. I know, the other night on the Daily Show Ted Koppel was hammering George W. (Too Little--I believe you know Too Late?), but he was there promoting his new Discovery special, "Iran--The Most Dangerous Nation". Can't wait for the follow up, "Drew Bledsoe--The NFL's Most Respected Passer".
Aw, well, now that we've shattered our commitment to non-proliferation I suppose we can just even things up with Pakistan before long. No downside there.
Matter of Weeks:
Senator Richard G. Lugar , the Indiana Republican who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, hailed the measure’s passage as “one more important step toward a vibrant and exciting relationship between our two great democracies.”
His endorsement was significant, coming from a senator respected for efforts in nonproliferation and whose name is part of a sweeping program to secure nuclear bomb-making materials in the former Soviet Union. He also expressed “thanks for a truly bipartisan effort” to Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat set to become Foreign Relations chairman in the new Congress.
Oh yeah, the significant participation of Dick "Foreign Affairs" Lugar. Just like when he wrote that letter before the Iraq war warning about being too hasty, then voted for the Resolution like he was told. That's an endorsement that should make all of us rest easier.
Lugar just won reelection for his forty-seventh term in the Senate; Democrats didn't even nominate anyone to run against him. His campaign ads--I'm not making this up--featured little vidclips of his involvement in securing the former Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal.