As compiled by Louis Rastelli in late 2001
From Vol. 2 No. 3, 2002
1. 1972 Convention on Biological and Toxin Weapons
Despite the anthrax attacks, the Bush administration rejected any effort to enforce this treaty. They basically insisted that random inspections apply to every country in the world except for the U.S. (even though the U.S. has by very far the largest active stock of biological and chemical weapons in the world.) Having failed to convince the world they were so special, the U.S. made it impossible for weapons inspectors to enforce the treaty anywhere else. The American pharmaceutical industry, which profits from the U.S. biological weapons stockpile and its related vaccines, lobbied heavily during Bush’s election to make sure he pulled out of this treaty, and so he did.
2. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
The U.S. caused chaos this year within this organisation by having its director fired for alleged financial mismanagement. Every other member nation interpreted it as deliberate sabotage, as the U.S. has long said they need to maintain the biggest collection of chemical weapons in the world in order to deter other countries from attacking them with chemical weapons. The position of the few other countries with these weapons is that they need to maintain a stock of chemical weapons to deter the U.S. from attacking them… As with other treaties, real progress would only begin once the U.S. goes along and sets a big example, i.e. get rid of their chemical weapons. But nooooo…..
3. U.N. Anti-Terrorism Convention
The U.S. refused to sign this one not long after George Bush got into office. Right after September 11, there were reports that the Bush administration was re-considering it…
4. UN Conference on Small Arms
The Bush team sabotaged all efforts at making this conference agree on a binding treaty to limit the growth of the world small-arms trade. Although the U.S. suffers by far the largest amount of deaths caused by small arms in the world (between 15 000 and 30 000 murders per year), they produce the most small arms in the world. Of course, the big small arms companies are among Bush’s most faithful election donors. So there.
5. 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty:
Bush annulled it in 2001 because it made illegal the U.S.’s stepped-up testing of missile-defence systems. Of the treaty, he said “the thing was 30 years old, a relic” (which doesn’t bode well for the 227-year old U.S. Constitution…)
Missile defense systems were outlawed in the first place because they only encourage other nations to build more missiles, so that they could overwhelm any defense system by sending dozens of nukes for each target. Bush concedes that missile defense will never work against Russia, China or any country with many nukes, but claims it’s necessary for “rogue states” who might launch a missile or two. Critics point out how useless such a system would have been on 9/11, and that a suicidal terrorist with a backpack would be vastly easier and cheaper than a missile. Europeans have also pointed out that although a missile shield could keep missiles from landing on their targets, they’d still have to land somewhere, and that somewhere would likely be some innocent country or ocean. Why should they get nuked?
The U.S. acknowledged this possibility and now says they’ll go the much harder route of shooting them down just off the American coasts (where, presumably, dozens of nukes going off would still inflict untold catastrophe on the country.) The Russians have responded by building its own updated missiles and high-tech defenses, with other countries deciding to do so as well, to keep up with their enemies and allies alike.
The ABM treaty was a landmark in international affairs because it sought to help replace provocation with diplomacy. Its replacement now with a new arms and space race among a half-dozen or more large nations is a step back to the worst excesses of the cold war, or even the arms accumulation among allies before World War I, when of course, everyone had confidence they were civil (and smart) enough not to ever actually use these weapons.
6. Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty
The U.S. unofficially violated this treaty with small underground nuclear tests in Nevada in 1997 and early 2002. Shortly after the 1997 tests, India and Pakistan traded nuclear tests in a show of strength which alarmed the world. Experts believe that if the U.S. hadn’t violated the treaty first, India and Pakistan may not have either, for risk of U.S. sanctions or retaliation. The right-wing hawks of the Bush administration claim such treaties limit the ability of the U.S. to maintain “overwhelming military force” when required.
7. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The U.S. uses the potential breaking of this treaty by Iraq as the main reason it should be attacked, but the U.S. itself plans to break it when they test their next-generation nukes. A $6 billion factory in Britain is already being built to produce these new “mini” nukes, but the official announcement that the U.S. or Britain are pulling out of this treaty will only come when the first new bombs are ready to launch.
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