Archive for the 'WMDs' Category

25
Jan
13

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Delivers Address on nonproliferation and disarmament at the Monterey Institute

130118_un_secretary_general_ban_ki_moon_at_miis1_2100x1400http://cns.miis.edu/activities/130118_un_sg_ban_ki-moon_at_miis.htm

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13
Feb
12

LEASHING THE DOGS OF WAR *

After two ill-informed mishaps in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of thousands of lives, and the economy nearing collapse one would think the United States must have lost its appetite for war. Nonetheless, AIPAC (America’s Israel lobby) considers this moment a good opportunity to start beating the drums of war against Iran. With the election so close, the presidential candidates are trying to out do each other in their threats to annihilate Iran in order to appease Israel sympathizers. The ingrained policy of protecting Israel at all costs divulges the Jewish-Zionist grasp on US politics. It also shows a flaw in the US political system which AIPAC has milked to its utmost advantage.

A 2006 comprehensive Harvard study by two professors titled the Israel lobby and US foreign policy revealed that one of the most crucial factors in President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq in 2001 was to help Israel. With support from AIPAC, Israel and the Jewish high ranking “neo-conservative” officials in the administration, Bush decided to invade and nullify one of Israel’s greatest perceived threats in the region. In 2004, US Senator Ernest Hollings declared that the US invaded Iraq “to secure Israel,” and “everybody” knows it.

However, the invasion of Iraq was not intentioned to be a costly quandary but a first step in the larger plan for the region. Pro-Israel supporters have always pursued a direct involvement of the US in the Middle East in order to seek protection for Israel. Soon after the war in Iraq the Israeli ambassador to the US, Danny Ayalon, called for a regime change in Iran. He claimed that the removal of Saddam was not sufficient and that America has to “follow through” because there were great threats emanating from Syria and Iran.

Thus keeping true to their grand plan for the Middle East, a barrage of op-eds now warn of imminent danger if Iran were to build a nuclear weapon – just like articles on Saddam Hussein being a grave threat to humankind, were published before the Iraq invasion. The very same Israeli, American and other intelligence agencies who insisted Iraq possessed WMDs now assert that Iran is assembling a nuclear weapon. In reality Israel knows that if the US can live with a nuclear Russia, nuclear China, nuclear Pakistan and a nuclear North Korea then it can live with a nuclear Iran as well. However, this goes against Israel’s policy of maintaining a monopoly of nuclear arsenal in the Middle East. Hence, in order to preserve the balance of power in its favour, the Israel lobby is mounting pressure on the US by threatening to take pre-emptive action against Iran.

The US and its allies have hardened sanctions on Iran by targeting its central bank and banning its oil imports. However, sanctions only hurt ordinary citizens and it is delusional to think that a crippled economy will push Iranians to overthrow the regime. In fact, it could lead to more support for Ahmadinejad.

In its determination to wage a war against Iran, the Israel lobby has forbidden diplomacy. According to section 601 of the AIPAC drafted sanctions bill, which was passed in November 2011, the US president, diplomats and other officials cannot pursue negotiations with Iran. In order to even begin diplomacy with Iran the President must now convince, 15 days in advance, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that not doing so would pose an “extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United Sates”. Not to mention that the leaders of this committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman seek war in the first place. By signing this bill the US has severely limited their functionality; never in its history have US officials been outlawed from conducting diplomacy with foreign states even during war. For instance, the Cuban missile crisis was resolved through secret meetings between US and Soviet officials.

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and the former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi stated that the Iranian threat was not as forthcoming as suggested and that a military strike would be catastrophic. It is time for the American populace to wake up and realize how their charity and tax contributions are being used. Discourse on Israel is most often one sided and any other view is instantly labeled anti-Semitic. Not only is AIPAC stepping on America’s democratic principles but by thwarting any US attempts to make peace, it has ensured that a solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict is unlikely. The status quo continues to supply extremists with plenty of fuel for recruitment and further promotes radical Islam around the globe. AIPAC is without a doubt an immense success story, but they are currently walking a fine line with supporters who have long grown tired of a recent decade of conflict. If the Zionists are not careful, their tremendous influence may be the very thing that undoes them.

*Title of this article was borrowed from a Conflict Resolution book, Leashing the Dogs of War: conflict management in a divided world by Crocker, Hampson and Aall

Further reading:

Iran war: what is AIPAC planning?

Iran war would cost trillions: will the GOP pay more taxes for that?

17
Nov
11

Nostradamus of WMDs

Published at the Express Tribune: http://tribune.com.pk/story/293408/the-nostradamus-of-wmds/

On November 4th The Atlantic published an article titled “The Ally from Hell” co-authored by Jeffrey Goldberg. In the article Pakistan is described as the “epicenter of gobal jihadism” and then the author goes into detail about the danger of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. He writes that Pakistan is paranoid about the US seizing its nuclear weapons, so much so that it constantly moves nuclear components and “mated” nuclear weapons in unprotected civilian vans through regular traffic. His wild unsubstantiated claims go on to reveal US operational plans to seize control of Pakistani nuclear weapons in the event of an “Islamic Coup” in the country. In which case US forces would enter Pakistan Hollywood style from helicopters, parachutes, running across the border etc and begin securing nuclear sites. A “disablement campaign” is also in place and it entails disabling the entire Pakistani nuclear arsenal. Under such a campaign the US would put into action the military’s 20th Support Command, whose teams will destroy nuclear weapons without causing an explosion. Another scenario involves US troops evacuating after disabling as many bombs as possible before nuclear bunkers would be targeted with missile strikes.

Such serious allegations without substantial evidence and only citing unnamed sources prompted me to conduct some research into the author’s background. Interestingly enough, one of Goldberg’s most notable pieces of work was a 2002 report for the New Yorker titled “The Great Terror”. There, Goldberg described the imminent threat posed to the US by Saddam Hussein. He detailed Hussein’s links with Al Qaeda and portrayed him as the evilest of all dictators who had weaponized a biological agent called aflatoxin. In an article for Slate magazine Goldberg wrote that aflatoxin does only one thing, it causes liver cancer especially in children. However, a 2004 report from Charles Duelfer, the Bush Administration’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, stated that Iraqi scientists conducted experiments with aflatoxin, but determined that there was no evidence found linking these experiments with the development of biological weapons. Goldberg also wrote about Sadaam’s ability to make an atomic bomb within months of acquiring fissile material. His article concluded “the administration is planning today to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.” In 2008 he wrote an article on how he got Iraq wrong citing faulty intelligence which he claims is a universal phenomenon. For a person who writes on such serious topics, we should hope it is not Goldberg, himself, who suffers from faulty intelligence.

 With a proven track record of false claims regarding Iraq, how are we supposed to trust his newest allegations about Pakistan’s nuclear program? Like his previous articles on Iraq nameless sources apparently provided top secret information. Pakistan has stated many times that  nuclear weapons are kept “de-mated” where the warhead is kept separate from the delivery system thus placing their weapons in the realm of impossible to steal in any useful form. Pakistan also keeps in place a two-person control system and permissive action links (PALs) coded locks meant to prevent unauthorized arming or detonation of a nuclear weapon. Goldberg states that according to an unnamed ex defense official, it is not clear what the PAL process includes. Is it two people who would unlock the box around the warhead, or is it two people who launch the nuclear weapon once the warhead has been mated to the missile? A question which is ignored within the article is whether it would be wise for Pakistan to make information regarding the safety procedures of its nuclear weapons public. Perhaps this was omitted due to the obvious answer.

Before his career as a journalist in Washington DC, Goldberg served as a prison guard for the Israel armed forces. In his article for the Atlantic, he points out that the US gives Pakistan $2 billion a year. He states “so: the U.S. funds the ISI; the ISI funds the Haqqani network; and the Haqqani network kills American soldiers.” If claims like this get under Goldberg’s skin, he must get furious when he thinks about the annual $3 billion US aid to Israel. The US funds Israel, Israel occupies Palestine and kills Palestinians as well as US and Turkish civilians on a flotilla to deliver aid to Palestinians.

Goldberg’s article has a familiar whiff of the doomsday scenario presented by award winning journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker where he claimed that joint US-Israeli teams are in place to dismantle Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. He wrote that in the summer of 2001 a nuclear component had gone missing in Pakistan. A team from the US was deployed but by the time they reached Dubai they learnt that the report was a false alarm. Another false claim made in the article was that India supposedly conducted raids in Pakistan to target terrorist cells! Seymour Hersh has been criticized for using unnamed sources in his articles; with some even suggesting that these sources are unreliable or just made up. It’s a shame when such prestigious magazines like the New Yorker and the Atlantic publish such fantasies. The readers rely on these magazines to provide them with factual based well researched insights about situations around the globe and not some dreamt up end of the world high stakes drama. Perhaps these magazines are trying to seem nonpartisan by printing articles from extreme ends of the spectrum. That is a dangerous precedent to set because it promotes ignorance and feeds off people’s paranoia.




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