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(Note added July 1998.)

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     Anti-Business Week, another journal by and for America's college-
educated illiterates, has advocated protectionism, and supports or 
opposes decontrol as the latest fashion dictates. It brought you 
Anthony Parisi's description of Commoner's Marxist garbage as "heady 
stuff" (no doubt one of his efforts that earned him an advance to the 
NEW YORK TIMES); it competed with the NATIONAL ENQUIRER in scare-
mongering over the Browns Ferry fire; it...
     Here comes another episode for its annals. Its issue of August 8 
brings a piece called "A Soviet Nod to Nuclear Safeguards" by some 
innocent lady named Barbara Starr. "A tiny ray of hope has developed 
on the sensitive question of on-site inspection, an old impediment to 
effective arms-control verification."
     The US is placing the key uranium enrichment plant at Portsmouth, 
Ohio, under international safeguards and inspection by the Internatio-
nal Atomic Energy Agency. And "the Soviets for the first time," jubi-
lates Barbara, "have made a limited offer to allow IAEA inspection of 
Soviet nuclear power station and research reactors." 
     Indeed, they have. To impress innocents like li'l Barbara; and to 
give the bureaucratic buffoons of the State Department an opportunity 
to express the hope (what else do these useless pieces of furniture 
ever do but express hope?) that these developments "may", "eventually" 
of course, lead to a "breakthrough."
     But this is NOT a simple case of misplaced hopes that the Soviets 
will live up to something; it is a case of utterly useless window 
dressing -- so useless that it does not even matter whether they live 
up to it or not. 
     The IAEA is supposed to inspect power plants to see that no fis-
ionable material HAS BEEN diverted from peaceful purposes to illicit 
ones. The "has been" is part of the farce; if there are tons (yes, 
literally tons) of depleted uranium lying around next to a research 
reactor that can within hours be modifed to breed plutonium from it -- 
as was the case with the Iraqui reactor at Osirac -- it is none of the 
IAEA's business: their concern is with history, not with prevention in 
the future. There are plenty more farces associated with both the IAEA 
and the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and one day we will have them right 
here in the Power Plant of Fort Freedom, unless we put it in the 
     But one of the more farcical follies of this farce is the weapons 
states offering their power plants for inspection as a gesture to 
encourage the non-weapons states to follow suit. Imagine the makers of 
Johnny Walker whiskey offering their boardrooms for international 
inspection to make sure they don't have any illicit stills under the 
conference table! It couldn't be done, because people know what whis-
key is and what stills are; but plutonium is mysterious, well suited 
for bamboozling the li'l Barbaras of this world.
     Could there be anything more farcical in this farce? Yes: Johnny 
Walker agreeing to inspection of only SOME of their conference tables. 
That is what the USSR is doing when it offers only SOME of its power 
and research reactors for inspection. More farcical still, the US 
offers an enrichment plant, not just its power reactors, for inspec-
tion. Unlike the latter, enrichment plants could indeed be used for 
producing weapons-grade uranium, were it not for one insurmountable 
obstacle: the US Congress, which will not allow civilian and military 
applications to be mixed. Its control over Soviet enrichment plants is 
somewhat less effective.
     The final farce, of course, is American journals printing stories 
about such idle window dressing as if it were of the slightest use. 
     Well, at least it absolves Business Week of tendencious report-
ing. This is obviously not tendencious malice; it is unmitigated 
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[Note added in March 1988: In May 1985, the farce materialized when the 
USSR did indeed open two of its reactors for inspection, and Neville 
Shultz's State Department officially announced how pleased they were with 
this eyewash.] 

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