Monday, February 14, 2005

Pakistan's Nuclear Garage Sale

Imagine for a moment that Al Qaeda has 50 nuclear weapons. I personally can not even comprehend such a terrible prospect. The absolutely scary truth is that it almost happen. Yesterday the feds announced charges against a Pakistan man who supposedly tried to secure 50 nuclear weapons for Al Qaeda, the full story is here.

While the world focuses on Iran’s bid for nuclear weapons and North Korea’s announcement of actually processing nuclear weapons, lost in the political shuffle is the fact that both of those countries were allegedly help by one man, Dr. A.Q. Khan a Pakistani nuclear scientist and the father of their nuclear program. His exploits are documented here for all to read.

During the 90’s the world sat like a deaf-mute, not seeing or hearing anything while Pakistan provided technology and training regarding nuclear weapons to Libya, Iran and North Korea. In one report regarding the North Korean effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons, Khan claims to have seen 3 North Korean nukes, 5 years ago! Now while this may come as a shock to most, but the North Koreans have been working their nuclear program since the ink was barely dry on the 1994 Non-proliferation agreement that then President Clinton negotiated to prevent the North Koreans from pursuing the weapons. Details of the agreement can be read here, and as anyone can clearly see, we only asked for a dictator to promise not to build these weapons while giving him everything he needed in the form of Nuclear reactor technology.

The technology and training that North Korea received from A.Q. Khan would have been meaningless without the vital lessons learned from the 2 light-water nuclear plants that we built for the North Koreans under the Clinton agreement. The fuel from other nuclear plants that was supposed to be removed from the country only served as a seed for the weapons that followed. The path that the North Koreans and to a lesser degree Iran has taken to joining the nuclear community was brought and paid for by the unwillingness of President Clinton’s administration to make tough choices and engage our allies in the effort as well.

Now hindsight is 20/20 and I am sure in his heart President Clinton never intended to pave the road to nuclear weapons for either Iran or North Korea. Unfortunately the road to Hell is often laid brick by brick with good intentions. I doubt that history will look kindly upon William Jefferson Clinton when his failures of foreign policy are added up and laid out for all to review. I give only a short list; failure to address the rise in terrorism against this country even after Richard Clarke begged them to listen, failure to strike at or bring to justice those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, failure to slow or prevent North Korea from exporting missile technology across the globe, failure to secure nuclear material as the former Soviet Union splinter further into separate countries, and failure to prevent the Pakistani government, through A.Q.Khan, from exporting nuclear weapon technology.

If God forbid we have to go to war with North Korea or Iraq over their nuclear weapons programs, I am sure that Clinton’s “I feel your pain” speech will be a great comfort to the many families who may lose members who serve in the military. No, they will shake their heads and wonder how it came to this. And the answer my friends is it came to this because of the failure of two men to do the right thing, Bill Clinton to see the threat and defend this nation as he swore in taking the oath of office, twice. And the failure of A.Q. Khan to see that by helping Iran, Libya, and North Korea to obtain or start nuclear weapons programs, he was sowing the seeds of destruction.

The future will take some tough decisions and I believe we will get there despite the efforts of these men to kick off a new nuclear arms race. Rest easy fellow citizens, we have extraordinarily men and women working to resolve these issues so that our children do not have to learn “A-Bomb” drills as our mother and fathers once did.

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