Sunday, March 05, 2006

India and Nuclear Power

The president's strategy with India is inspired - he's de-fanging the despots who control our oil by helping their customers switch to nuclear power. Congress should support this deal, and the president should find a way of helping China too.

The long war with Islam is fueled by oil - as China and India have industrialized, their appetite for oil has pushed up world oil prices to record levels. Since many of the world's oil is controlled by despots, that's handed them huge resources to make mischief:
Why did it take until January for Muslim protests to erupt in violence, after the initial non-violent reaction to the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Denmark on September 30, 2005?

Knowing that Muslims will rise against anyone who defames their Prophet or religion, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called an urgent summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Mecca on December 7, 2005, ostensibly to discuss religious extremism and the image of Islam, with the leaders of the world's 57 Muslim nations.

...the Saudis used the Mecca conference to spark violent reactions to the four-month-old cartoons and eclipse other significant events the Saudis wanted to cover up... Instead of condemning violence, the closing OIC communique tersely condemned "using freedom of expression as a pretext to defame religions." And on January 26, 2006 the Saudis were the first to recall their ambassador from Denmark to protest the cartoons, while radical Wahhabi-Salafist clerics back home called on their Muslim followers to boycott Danish products.

To prevail in this long war we need to starve these despots by cutting global demand for oil. The president addressed this domestically in his State of the Union Address, and the Indian deal addresses the emerging markets.

India consumes 3 times more oil than it produces, and that'll get worse as its economy grows. So it's moving strongly into nuclear power:
Fifteen reactors are under operation and seven reactors are under construction.
Now India will get US technology to cut costs and accelerate this program.

It takes 10 years to build a nuclear power plant, but if by 2020 all the world's major economies have switched to nuclear the world will be a much safer place.

Incidentally, there's much lefty spluttering contrasting US help to India with its opposition to Iranian nukes. They see no difference between a democracy that threatens no-one and a terror state that wants to wipe its neighbor off the map.

Bottom line - Congress should approve this deal, and the administration should help China speed up its own civilian nuclear power program.