Another Example of U.S. Hypocrisy:

South African Apartheid and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Revolutionary Worker #1191, March 16, 2003, posted at

On March 7, as U.S. Secretary of State Powell and British Foreign Minister Straw made their "final" war ultimatum to Iraq, both explained that what they were demanding from Iraq was cooperation similar to South Africa's in 1994. Throughout the preparations for war, this South African "model" has repeatedly been raised in contrast to Iraq--as a glowing example of genuinely voluntary cooperation and disarmament.

There is a hidden story here about the South African nuclear program--that reveals much about the hypocrisy of the "great powers" in regard to nuclear proliferation and "weapons of mass destruction."

During the 1970s, apartheid South Africa and Israel cooperated to develop and test nuclear weapons for themselves These two ugly colonial settler states were confronted by powerful resistance from the masses of people in their region. South Africa was then a racist apartheid state and brutally oppressed the African majority within its borders. It feared guerrilla war from fighters based in surrounding "front- line" states. Israel had just doubled its size by seizing the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights in a war of conquest--and faced continuing armed resistance from fighters based in surrounding states.

Israel, a small country on the Mediterranean, had little space for secret development and testing-- while South Africa needed the key technology that Israel already possessed. So together these hated "pariah" states moved to develop nukes.

In 1979, satellites detected a flash in the Indian Ocean--almost certainly the test of a nuclear bomb launched from South Africa with close Israeli cooperation. The U.S. government under Jimmy Carter pooh- poohed the event--and was obviously not worried that its allies, these bitterly reactionary and racist states, might get weapons for threatening and annihilating surrounding African and Arab peoples.

In 1993, the last ruler of the apartheid system, President de Klerk, announced that the white racist government had destroyed its nuclear arsenal as they were preparing to transition power to a Black-majority government headed by Nelson Mandela.

At that point and only at that point , the U.S. government and the United Nations announced an interest in making sure that these weapons were destroyed. Over a year, the UN's IAEA inspectors scoured South Africa (now headed by Nelson Mandela), studying their nuclear facilities and records.

Powell's "model" example of disarmament is really a model of gross double standards, racism and imperialism. For the U.S. and the UN, racist South Africans with nukes were OK, but an African-led government with nukes was not.

Allies of the U.S.--including these ugly racist states--are protected and whitewashed as they develop nukes. Meanwhile every effort is made to eradicate those same nuclear weapons as soon as the racist apartheid government starts to fall.

At the same time, the United States had never (not to this day!) protested the nuclear arsenal developed by Israel or opposed Israel's repeated nuclear threats against its neighbors. In fact, in complete disregard to the well-documented facts, the U.S. officially pretends Israel doesn't even have nuclear weapons!

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