Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Behind the Plot to Bomb Iran

Expand Messages
  • World View
    Baluchistan and the Coming Iran War By Luciana Bohne 08/31/06 The Digest -- -- Akhbar Khan, a nationalist/independence leader in Baluchistan has been killed
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Baluchistan and the Coming Iran War
      By Luciana Bohne


      08/31/06 "The Digest" -- -- Akhbar Khan, a nationalist/independence
      leader in Baluchistan has been killed by the Pakistani military, in a
      massive operation that is seriously destabilizing military dictator
      Pervez Musharraf's regime.

      This is natural gas country. This is where China is helping to build a
      pipeline, which Bush opposes. This is from where commandos are
      penetrating Iran (according to Hersh). This is where the "west" has
      been stoking up separatist fires, probably to get Musharraf's army to
      intervene. Need boots on the ground to encircle Iran. Quetta is
      capital and in `Taleban' control. Nevertheless, the killing of Akhbar
      Khan is really upsetting the country–the whole of Pakistan. Meanwhile,
      Waziristan is off limits to Paki army, though the locals keep being
      aerially bombed–mostly by US.

      Why should the news from Baluchistan interest us? I'll let you connect
      the dots by presenting a bit of context and concluding with an article
      from the Carnegie Endowement, which, I think, will underline the
      significance of the event for the prospected US attack on Iran.

      Pakistani military dictator's regime is very unpopular in Pakistan.
      Musharraf, as Bush's ally on the "war on terror," has had to do
      unpopular things, like deploying 70,000 troops to the North-West
      autonomous tribal regions (among them Waziristan) to hunt down
      "terrorists" and such.

      He hasn't been successful, but American aerial attacks from nearby
      Afghanistan have killed alleged "leaders" and sundry civilians,
      causing a flood of refuges and displacements. Serious Pakistani
      military casualties have not increased his popularity and neither has
      the charge that he's allowing American forces to violate Pakistani
      sovereignty. Musharraf's campaign in Waziristan has failed so
      thoroughly that the region is now virtually off limits to governmental
      forces.

      Baluchistan is continuous with the Waziristan region. Baluchistan is a
      western province of Pakistan, constituting about 40% of Pakistan's
      national surface. Its capital is Quetta, accused byAfghanistan's
      Karzai (which really means Washington) of being a Taliban stronghold
      supplying and fueling the Taliban armed resurgence in southern
      Afghanistan. Musharraf's regime denies it. Nevertheless, Musharraf has
      re-opened hostility in Baluchistan against the decades-long
      independists forces, which he's accused of provoking into taking up
      arms again. Musharraf, throughout the spring of 2006, has come under
      intense criticism by British, American, and Afghan officials for not
      doing enough for the "war on terror." The trouble is that if he
      complies with his allies in the "war on terror," he comes under attack
      from domestic critics, of which he has legions, including the majority
      of the people.

      The latest developments in the murder of the Baluch leader, Bugti, is
      a case in point: Pakistan is in an uproar and calling for his resignation.

      Why would the axis-of-evil crusaders want to destabilize a crucial
      ally? They don't "want" to, but they have bigger plans.

      The US has three military bases in Baluchistan. They say they are
      fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region. Perhaps. But,
      Baluchistan borders with Iran to the west. Baluchistan, too, is rich
      in natural gas and minerals. China is helping the Pakistani government
      to build a natural gas pipeline from Baluchistan's port of Gwadar to
      China, a project the Bush administration opposes. The port of Gwadar
      just happens to be geographically located to overlook the Straits of
      Hormuz, which the Iranians intend to block if they are attacked.
      Hormuz is the crucial sea route for international oil distribution.

      Coincidence that the US should be interested in "terrorism"in
      Baluchistan and urging Musharraf to be more zealous at the same time
      that it is planning an attack on Iran?

      An article by the Carnegie Endowment entertains the same thought,
      albeit to deny it: "The Baluch and the Pakistani think that Washington
      would like to use Baluchistan as a rear-guard base for an attack on
      Iran, and Iran is suspected of supporting Baluch [independence]
      activists in order to counter such a Pakistani-US plot. . . . Some
      Pakistanis perceive the US using its Greater Middle East initiative to
      dismantle the major Muslim states and redefine the borders of the
      region. Some Baluch nationalists charge the US with conspiring with
      the Pakistani government to put an end to Baluch claims. So far nobody
      has been able to prove any of these accusations."

      No? No matter, the Iranians have been mining their side of the Baluch
      borders, just in case, and Bugti, Baluch independence leader, has been
      killed by the diplomatically besieged Musharraf, catapulting the
      country into a political crisis.

      Coincidence? Or are plans for an Iranian attack well on the way?

      I remind you that Seymour Hersh, in The New Yorker, has confirmed that
      US commandos have launched penetration initiatives across Pakistani
      Baluchistan into Iran.

      You can read more here:
      http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/08/27/asia/AS_GEN_Pakistan_Tribal
      http://www.newkerala.com/news4.php?action=fullnews&id=13371
      http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200608291840.htm
      http://www.dawn.com/2006/08/29/ed.htm
      Here's the Carnegie Endowment's complete article:
      http://www.carnegieendowment.org/events/index.cfm?fa=eventDetail&id=848&&prog=zgp&proj=zdrl,zsa


      Luciana Bohne teaches film and literature at Edinboro University of
      Pennsylvania. She can be reached at lbohne @ edinboro.edu.

      ===

      Israeli general plots war with Iran
      By Harry de Quetteville
      LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
      August 27, 2006
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20060827-122213-1606r.htm


      JERUSALEM -- Israel has appointed a top general to oversee a war
      against Iran, prompting speculation that it is preparing for possible
      military action against Tehran's nuclear program.

      Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, Israel's air force chief, will be overall
      commander for the "Iran front," military sources told the London
      Sunday Telegraph.

      News of the appointment comes just days before a United Nations
      deadline expires for Iran to give up its nuclear program, which
      Western governments fear will be used to produce atomic weapons.
      Despite Iran's offer last week to engage in "serious talks" on the
      matter, Israel fears even more than other Western nations that the
      offer is simply to buy time for Tehran to secure all the technology
      it needs to build the bomb.

      "Israel is becoming extremely concerned now with what they see as
      Iran's delaying tactics," said Israeli Iran analyst Meir Javedanfar.
      "[The planners] think negotiations are going nowhere, and Iran is
      becoming a major danger for Israel. Now they are getting ready for
      living with a nuclear Iran or letting the military take care of it."

      The prospect of Israel "living with" a nuclear Iran appears
      remote. Last week, Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security
      adviser, told reporters that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
      would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel."

      Mr. Ahmadinejad "has a religious conviction that Israel's demise
      is essential to the restoration of Muslim glory, that the Zionist
      thorn in the heart of the Islamic nations must be removed," Mr.
      Eiland said.

      Gen. Shkedy, who was appointed to the role two months ago, will
      coordinate intelligence gathered by Israel's foreign spy agency
      Mossad and military sources, in order to draw up battle plans. Then,
      during any war with Iran, he will command the campaign from a "hot
      seat" in the Israeli army's headquarters in Tel Aviv.

      "It's natural that Shkedy is nominated to this role, because the
      air force is Israel's only force that can reach and sustain a
      military operation against Iran," said Uri Dromi, a former air force
      colonel and military analyst.

      "Everyone is playing with dates and time frames, but the list of
      options is becoming shorter," he added. "I think we have one year
      open [to launch military action]. Israel will have to decide."

      Officially, Israel stresses that it does not want to take the lead
      in tackling Iran and that a massive campaign of air strikes would be
      best led by the United States, which has forces in Iraq that are much
      closer to Iranian targets.

      Gen. Shkedy's appointment to the Iran command role was made by
      Israel's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, in the run-up to this
      summer's Lebanon war but emerged only last week.

      Gen. Shkedy, 49, is the son of Holocaust survivors and has a
      picture in his office of an Israeli F-15 flying over Auschwitz.

      The father of three makes no bones about the Iranian threat to
      Israel.

      "Ahmadinejad is trying with all his might to reach a nuclear
      capability. There's no argument about his intentions," he said in an
      interview two months ago, about the time of his appointment.

      "This ... nuclear weaponry can come to constitute an existential
      threat to Israel and the rest of the world. My job is to maximize our
      capabilities in every respect. Beyond that, in this case, the less
      said the better."

      ===

      Iran satisfied with IAEA report
      By Samar Kadi
      September 1, 2006
      http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=MTI4NTQ4


      Iran has welcomed the report by the International Atomic Energy
      Agency as evidence of its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear
      watchdog.

      Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asafi was quoted by the Iranian
      news agency IRNA Friday as saying "a large part of the report shows
      Iran's large cooperation with the IAEA and its inspectors."

      IAEA chief Mohammed el-Baradei issued a report Thursday in which he
      said Iran is still enriching uranium, but there is no tangible proof
      that its nuclear program has a military aspect.

      "The report clearly indicated that Iran honored its commitments
      within the framework of international resolution and the Nuclear
      Non-Proliferation Treaty and is ready to continue on that path
      regarding the remaining few points still pending," Asafi said.

      He stressed that Iran's nuclear activities are "transparent, open,
      peaceful and far from any ambiguity, which makes settling Iran's
      nuclear issue easy through negotiations."

      Asafi noted that the IAEA report stressed the need to follow reason
      and avoid unjust action "despite the pressures exerted by the United
      States and the uproar provoked in international circles."

      Iran ignored a United Nations Security Council deadline, which
      expired at midnight Thursday, to suspend uranium enrichment or face
      international sanctions.

      Asafi reiterated Iran's readiness to continue negotiations with the
      five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany; the group
      offered Tehran a package of economic incentives in return for stopping
      uranium enrichment.

      "Iran believes that holding negotiations and respecting Iran's
      legitimate rights will lead to achieving a just solution that suits
      all parties," Asafi added.

      ===

      Iran's time to talk is over
      By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
      Aug 31, 2006
      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH31Ak02.html


      With the United Nations deadline for Iran to comply with its demand to
      halt the nuclear fuel cycle or face punitive measures due to expire on
      Thursday, Iran's nuclear row has reached a critical threshold, given
      Tehran's comprehensive and conciliatory response to the package of
      incentives by the UN's five permanent members of the Security Council
      plus Germany.

      Calling Iran's right to produce nuclear fuel one of the country's

      "strategic objectives", chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has at
      the same time gone out of his way to reassure the international
      community that his country's willingness to negotiate is serious and
      nothing, not even the issue of suspension of nuclear activities, is
      off the table.

      Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has challenged US
      President George W Bush to a televised debate on world issues, at the
      same time signaling that Iran would ignore the UN deadline.

      Iran's response has so far elicited diametrically opposed receptions,
      with China and Russia embracing Iran's invitation for a meaningful
      negotiation, in rather sharp contrast to the United States, whose UN
      ambassador, John Bolton, has castigated Iran for failing to heed the
      Security Council's demands and has called for swift sanctions by the UN.

      But at present, Bolton cannot even count on sound support by the
      European Union, whose foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana, has evinced
      a more studied reaction to Iran's proposal, implicitly warning not to
      dismiss it out of hand, but rather to "carefully study its details".

      Solana and high officials from the so-called EU-3 (Germany, France and
      Britain) are trying to embark on a historic trip to Iran in a
      last-minute diplomatic effort to persuade Tehran's leadership to abide
      by the dictates of Security Council and to halt enrichment-related
      activities by Thursday.

      It is unclear whether the US sanctions such a trip or, on the other
      hand, is gearing up for a showdown at the Security Council in September.

      Amid reports of an inter-governmental rift over Iran, principally
      between the State Department and the Pentagon, a number of US
      lawmakers, such as ranking Senator Richard Lugar, have gone on record
      advising the necessity of taking up Iran's offer for talks instead of
      a straightforward march toward sanctions.

      What is universally missed by the US media and political pundits,
      however, is that Security Council Resolution 1696 tacitly obligates
      such talk by virtue of endorsing the package of incentives by the
      permanent five (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China
      and Russia) and Germany.

      The resolution "endorses" their proposal "for a long-term
      comprehensive agreement". Thus, given Iran's serious consideration of
      this proposal and its submission of a detailed response, the US and
      its allies would be in disregard, if not outright violation, of 1696
      if they rejected Iran's offer for serious negotiation without any
      precondition. Iran's response, in part, seeks clarification on some
      specifics, such as whether or not the US is willing to lift its
      27-year-old sanctions against Iran to allow the sale of modern nuclear
      technology, as promised in the package.

      This is not a far-fetched interpretation, but rather a realistic one
      borne by the recognition that Resolution 1696 embodies a double
      obligation, one explicit, the other implicit - the explicit from Iran
      to stop enrichment and the construction of a heavy-water reactor, and
      to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
      among other things, and the implicit obligation from the authors of
      the incentive package to live up to their promises and deal directly
      with Iran on the implementation of the package's content.

      Indeed, a close reading of Resolution 1696 shows that while the two
      types of obligations are not predicated on one another, they are
      internally related, and it would be a theoretical and conceptual
      mistake to ignore the latent aspect or dimension pertaining to the
      international incentive package. A US failure to heed this latent
      demand, ramified by the Security Council's endorsement of the
      incentive package, would then partially justify Iran's non-compliance
      with the rest of the resolution's demands from Iran.

      Meanwhile, Iran's line of reasoning, that the Security Council's
      action is "illegal", cannot be easily defended from the prism of
      international law, in light of the primacy of the UN Charter and the
      powers vested in the Security Council.

      At the heart of the nuclear standoff with Iran is a conflict touching
      on the rights and obligations of a state with respect to both the UN,
      subsidiary UN organizations such as the IAEA, and other international
      regimes.

      It is ironic that a number of nuclear experts who previously accused
      Iran of skirting its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation
      Treaty (NPT) are now putting the emphasis on the UN's priority over
      those obligations, which Iran insists it has respected.

      Yet no matter how justified Iran feels with respect to its grievances
      against the Security Council, it must be careful not put itself in
      direct violation of the UN resolution come Thursday, whereby it would
      be labeled as a "rogue state" primed for a gradually intensifying
      regime of sanctions.

      The central principle of international law, expressed in the maxim
      pacta sunt servand ("pacts must be respected"), applies first and
      foremost to the UN. And as a member state, the Islamic Republic should
      not slight the importance of the legal consequences of being found in
      violation of a UN Security Council request. Obligation is, after all,
      a legal duty whose bearer - in this case Iran - is answerable before
      the international community, should there be no multilateral agreement
      to abstain from sanctions after Thursday by pursuing the path of
      negotiation.

      In conclusion, Iran has two distinct choices, of an interim suspension
      and the standby option. It could resort to the latter to give a
      time-specific negotiation a decent chance to protect its NPT right to
      peaceful nuclear technology.

      The mere legal consequences of rejecting the Security Council's
      demands, let alone subsequent graduated sanctions, are potentially so
      severe as to prompt preemptive damage control by Iran.

      This is precisely what Iran has put on the table in the name of its
      response to the incentive package, and it is hoped that the other side
      does not ignore its own obligations and the need for a negotiated
      solution to this dangerous crisis.


      Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New
      Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) and co-author of
      "Negotiating Iran's Nuclear Populism", Brown Journal of World Affairs,
      Volume XII, Issue 2, Summer 2005, with Mustafa Kibaroglu. He also
      wrote "Keeping Iran's nuclear potential latent", Harvard International
      Review, and is author of Iran's Nuclear Program: Debating Facts Versus
      Fiction.

      ===

      A double standard at the UN
      Brahma Chellaney
      International Herald Tribune
      August 30, 2006
      http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/30/opinion/edchell.php


      NEW DELHI Nothing better illustrates the way global efforts to halt
      nuclear proliferation are at the mercy of international politics than
      the contrasting responses of the United Nations Security Council to
      the two latest proliferation cases. Iran was handed an excessively
      harsh diktat to cease doing what it insists is its lawful right, while
      Pakistan has received exceptionally lenient treatment, despite the
      discovery of a major nuclear black-market ring run by Pakistani
      scientists and intelligence and military officials.

      The uncovering of the illicit Pakistani supply network, which has been
      operating for at least 16 years, exposed the worst proliferation
      scandal in history. Yet in response the Security Council passed a
      resolution that made no reference to Pakistan, or even to the nuclear
      smuggling ring, but instead urged the entire world to share the
      responsibility. Resolution 1540 obligates all states to legislate and
      implement tight domestic controls on materials related to weapons of
      mass destruction so as to ensure that non-state actors do not get hold
      of them.

      In contrast, the Security Council's tough line on Iran was expressed
      in a strongly worded resolution passed a month ago that sets a Aug. 31
      deadline. To "make mandatory" Iran's cessation of all nuclear
      fuel-cycle activity, Resolution 1696 states that the Security Council
      "demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all
      enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and
      development, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

      The difference between these approaches is all the more startling
      given that the Security Council is acting against Tehran on reasonable
      suspicion but not clinching evidence, while Islamabad has admitted
      that the Pakistani ring covertly transferred nuclear secrets
      (including enrichment equipment and nuclear-bomb designs) to Iran,
      Libya and North Korea. The exporting state has been allowed to escape
      international scrutiny and censure while the importing state is being
      put in the doghouse.

      The latest resolution on Iran acknowledges that the Security Council
      is acting not on conclusive proof but because there are "a number of
      outstanding issues and concerns on Iran's nuclear program, including
      topics which could have a military nuclear dimension." But the council
      has refrained from doing the obvious to settle the outstanding issues
      relating to Iran's past unlawful imports - empower the International
      Atomic Energy Agency to investigate the supply chain in Pakistan.

      Iran has to shoulder much of the blame for the rising concerns over
      its nuclear program. It was not until an Iranian dissident group blew
      the whistle in 2002 that Tehran admitted it had built undeclared
      facilities in Natanz and Arak. To this day, however, technical
      assessments by the IAEA still affirm there is no "evidence of
      diversion" of nuclear materials for nonpeaceful purposes by Iran.

      The Security Council has to act wisely and ensure that it does not
      follow double standards that undermine its credibility and
      effectiveness. After allowing Pakistan to get off scot-free, despite
      having been caught red-handed running the world's biggest nuclear
      proliferation ring, the council should not seek to make amends by
      prematurely penalizing Iran.

      A certain balance is necessary, or else Iran may emulate Pakistan and
      go overtly nuclear. In fact, by implicitly condoning Pakistani
      proliferation while taking a tough line on Iran, the Security Council
      has already sent a message to Tehran that it pays to be a
      nuclear-weapons state.

      In the case of the far-reaching Pakistani network, a single
      individual, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was conveniently made the scapegoat in
      a charade that saw Pakistan's military leader, General Pervez
      Musharraf, pardon him and then shield him from international
      investigators by placing him under indefinite house arrest.

      While Iran is being demonized for certain suspect activities, the
      world has been made to believe that Khan set up and ran a nuclear
      Wal-Mart largely on his own.

      The Security Council needs to rethink the wisdom of a resolution that
      commands Iran to accept a standard applicable to no other country. The
      attempt to single out Iran and enforce a discriminatory standard could
      well prove counterproductive, if it provoked Tehran to withdraw from
      the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and kick out IAEA inspectors.

      What is needed is a new global consensus on standards governing
      fissile-material production, not an arbitrary regime that divides the
      nonnuclear world into fuel-cycle possessors and a single fuel-cycle
      abstainer. It is not helpful when the Security Council acts as if the
      military regime in Islamabad is on the right side of international
      politics but the clerical regime in Tehran is detestable and thus
      presumed guilty.

      At present, Iran is years away from acquiring a nuclear- weapons
      capability. Through prudent diplomacy backed by stringent IAEA
      inspections, the Security Council can still ensure that Iran will
      remain free of nuclear weapons.

      Brahma Chellaney is a professor of strategic studies at the privately
      funded Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.
      NEW DELHI Nothing better illustrates the way global efforts to halt
      nuclear proliferation are at the mercy of international politics than
      the contrasting responses of the United Nations Security Council to
      the two latest proliferation cases. Iran was handed an excessively
      harsh diktat to cease doing what it insists is its lawful right, while
      Pakistan has received exceptionally lenient treatment, despite the
      discovery of a major nuclear black-market ring run by Pakistani
      scientists and intelligence and military officials.

      The uncovering of the illicit Pakistani supply network, which has been
      operating for at least 16 years, exposed the worst proliferation
      scandal in history. Yet in response the Security Council passed a
      resolution that made no reference to Pakistan, or even to the nuclear
      smuggling ring, but instead urged the entire world to share the
      responsibility. Resolution 1540 obligates all states to legislate and
      implement tight domestic controls on materials related to weapons of
      mass destruction so as to ensure that non-state actors do not get hold
      of them.

      In contrast, the Security Council's tough line on Iran was expressed
      in a strongly worded resolution passed a month ago that sets a Aug. 31
      deadline. To "make mandatory" Iran's cessation of all nuclear
      fuel-cycle activity, Resolution 1696 states that the Security Council
      "demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all
      enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and
      development, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

      The difference between these approaches is all the more startling
      given that the Security Council is acting against Tehran on reasonable
      suspicion but not clinching evidence, while Islamabad has admitted
      that the Pakistani ring covertly transferred nuclear secrets
      (including enrichment equipment and nuclear-bomb designs) to Iran,
      Libya and North Korea. The exporting state has been allowed to escape
      international scrutiny and censure while the importing state is being
      put in the doghouse.

      The latest resolution on Iran acknowledges that the Security Council
      is acting not on conclusive proof but because there are "a number of
      outstanding issues and concerns on Iran's nuclear program, including
      topics which could have a military nuclear dimension." But the council
      has refrained from doing the obvious to settle the outstanding issues
      relating to Iran's past unlawful imports - empower the International
      Atomic Energy Agency to investigate the supply chain in Pakistan.

      Iran has to shoulder much of the blame for the rising concerns over
      its nuclear program. It was not until an Iranian dissident group blew
      the whistle in 2002 that Tehran admitted it had built undeclared
      facilities in Natanz and Arak. To this day, however, technical
      assessments by the IAEA still affirm there is no "evidence of
      diversion" of nuclear materials for nonpeaceful purposes by Iran.

      The Security Council has to act wisely and ensure that it does not
      follow double standards that undermine its credibility and
      effectiveness. After allowing Pakistan to get off scot-free, despite
      having been caught red-handed running the world's biggest nuclear
      proliferation ring, the council should not seek to make amends by
      prematurely penalizing Iran.

      A certain balance is necessary, or else Iran may emulate Pakistan and
      go overtly nuclear. In fact, by implicitly condoning Pakistani
      proliferation while taking a tough line on Iran, the Security Council
      has already sent a message to Tehran that it pays to be a
      nuclear-weapons state.

      In the case of the far-reaching Pakistani network, a single
      individual, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was conveniently made the scapegoat in
      a charade that saw Pakistan's military leader, General Pervez
      Musharraf, pardon him and then shield him from international
      investigators by placing him under indefinite house arrest.

      While Iran is being demonized for certain suspect activities, the
      world has been made to believe that Khan set up and ran a nuclear
      Wal-Mart largely on his own.

      The Security Council needs to rethink the wisdom of a resolution that
      commands Iran to accept a standard applicable to no other country. The
      attempt to single out Iran and enforce a discriminatory standard could
      well prove counterproductive, if it provoked Tehran to withdraw from
      the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and kick out IAEA inspectors.

      What is needed is a new global consensus on standards governing
      fissile-material production, not an arbitrary regime that divides the
      nonnuclear world into fuel-cycle possessors and a single fuel-cycle
      abstainer. It is not helpful when the Security Council acts as if the
      military regime in Islamabad is on the right side of international
      politics but the clerical regime in Tehran is detestable and thus
      presumed guilty.

      At present, Iran is years away from acquiring a nuclear- weapons
      capability. Through prudent diplomacy backed by stringent IAEA
      inspections, the Security Council can still ensure that Iran will
      remain free of nuclear weapons.

      Brahma Chellaney is a professor of strategic studies at the privately
      funded Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.
      NEW DELHI Nothing better illustrates the way global efforts to halt
      nuclear proliferation are at the mercy of international politics than
      the contrasting responses of the United Nations Security Council to
      the two latest proliferation cases. Iran was handed an excessively
      harsh diktat to cease doing what it insists is its lawful right, while
      Pakistan has received exceptionally lenient treatment, despite the
      discovery of a major nuclear black-market ring run by Pakistani
      scientists and intelligence and military officials.

      The uncovering of the illicit Pakistani supply network, which has been
      operating for at least 16 years, exposed the worst proliferation
      scandal in history. Yet in response the Security Council passed a
      resolution that made no reference to Pakistan, or even to the nuclear
      smuggling ring, but instead urged the entire world to share the
      responsibility. Resolution 1540 obligates all states to legislate and
      implement tight domestic controls on materials related to weapons of
      mass destruction so as to ensure that non-state actors do not get hold
      of them.

      In contrast, the Security Council's tough line on Iran was expressed
      in a strongly worded resolution passed a month ago that sets a Aug. 31
      deadline. To "make mandatory" Iran's cessation of all nuclear
      fuel-cycle activity, Resolution 1696 states that the Security Council
      "demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all
      enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and
      development, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

      The difference between these approaches is all the more startling
      given that the Security Council is acting against Tehran on reasonable
      suspicion but not clinching evidence, while Islamabad has admitted
      that the Pakistani ring covertly transferred nuclear secrets
      (including enrichment equipment and nuclear-bomb designs) to Iran,
      Libya and North Korea. The exporting state has been allowed to escape
      international scrutiny and censure while the importing state is being
      put in the doghouse.

      The latest resolution on Iran acknowledges that the Security Council
      is acting not on conclusive proof but because there are "a number of
      outstanding issues and concerns on Iran's nuclear program, including
      topics which could have a military nuclear dimension." But the council
      has refrained from doing the obvious to settle the outstanding issues
      relating to Iran's past unlawful imports - empower the International
      Atomic Energy Agency to investigate the supply chain in Pakistan.

      Iran has to shoulder much of the blame for the rising concerns over
      its nuclear program. It was not until an Iranian dissident group blew
      the whistle in 2002 that Tehran admitted it had built undeclared
      facilities in Natanz and Arak. To this day, however, technical
      assessments by the IAEA still affirm there is no "evidence of
      diversion" of nuclear materials for nonpeaceful purposes by Iran.

      The Security Council has to act wisely and ensure that it does not
      follow double standards that undermine its credibility and
      effectiveness. After allowing Pakistan to get off scot-free, despite
      having been caught red-handed running the world's biggest nuclear
      proliferation ring, the council should not seek to make amends by
      prematurely penalizing Iran.

      A certain balance is necessary, or else Iran may emulate Pakistan and
      go overtly nuclear. In fact, by implicitly condoning Pakistani
      proliferation while taking a tough line on Iran, the Security Council
      has already sent a message to Tehran that it pays to be a
      nuclear-weapons state.

      In the case of the far-reaching Pakistani network, a single
      individual, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was conveniently made the scapegoat in
      a charade that saw Pakistan's military leader, General Pervez
      Musharraf, pardon him and then shield him from international
      investigators by placing him under indefinite house arrest.

      While Iran is being demonized for certain suspect activities, the
      world has been made to believe that Khan set up and ran a nuclear
      Wal-Mart largely on his own.

      The Security Council needs to rethink the wisdom of a resolution that
      commands Iran to accept a standard applicable to no other country. The
      attempt to single out Iran and enforce a discriminatory standard could
      well prove counterproductive, if it provoked Tehran to withdraw from
      the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and kick out IAEA inspectors.

      What is needed is a new global consensus on standards governing
      fissile-material production, not an arbitrary regime that divides the
      nonnuclear world into fuel-cycle possessors and a single fuel-cycle
      abstainer. It is not helpful when the Security Council acts as if the
      military regime in Islamabad is on the right side of international
      politics but the clerical regime in Tehran is detestable and thus
      presumed guilty.

      At present, Iran is years away from acquiring a nuclear- weapons
      capability. Through prudent diplomacy backed by stringent IAEA
      inspections, the Security Council can still ensure that Iran will
      remain free of nuclear weapons.

      Brahma Chellaney is a professor of strategic studies at the privately
      funded Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.
      NEW DELHI Nothing better illustrates the way global efforts to halt
      nuclear proliferation are at the mercy of international politics than
      the contrasting responses of the United Nations Security Council to
      the two latest proliferation cases. Iran was handed an excessively
      harsh diktat to cease doing what it insists is its lawful right, while
      Pakistan has received exceptionally lenient treatment, despite the
      discovery of a major nuclear black-market ring run by Pakistani
      scientists and intelligence and military officials.

      The uncovering of the illicit Pakistani supply network, which has been
      operating for at least 16 years, exposed the worst proliferation
      scandal in history. Yet in response the Security Council passed a
      resolution that made no reference to Pakistan, or even to the nuclear
      smuggling ring, but instead urged the entire world to share the
      responsibility. Resolution 1540 obligates all states to legislate and
      implement tight domestic controls on materials related to weapons of
      mass destruction so as to ensure that non-state actors do not get hold
      of them.

      In contrast, the Security Council's tough line on Iran was expressed
      in a strongly worded resolution passed a month ago that sets a Aug. 31
      deadline. To "make mandatory" Iran's cessation of all nuclear
      fuel-cycle activity, Resolution 1696 states that the Security Council
      "demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all
      enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and
      development, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

      The difference between these approaches is all the more startling
      given that the Security Council is acting against Tehran on reasonable
      suspicion but not clinching evidence, while Islamabad has admitted
      that the Pakistani ring covertly transferred nuclear secrets
      (including enrichment equipment and nuclear-bomb designs) to Iran,
      Libya and North Korea. The exporting state has been allowed to escape
      international scrutiny and censure while the importing state is being
      put in the doghouse.

      The latest resolution on Iran acknowledges that the Security Council
      is acting not on conclusive proof but because there are "a number of
      outstanding issues and concerns on Iran's nuclear program, including
      topics which could have a military nuclear dimension." But the council
      has refrained from doing the obvious to settle the outstanding issues
      relating to Iran's past unlawful imports - empower the International
      Atomic Energy Agency to investigate the supply chain in Pakistan.

      Iran has to shoulder much of the blame for the rising concerns over
      its nuclear program. It was not until an Iranian dissident group blew
      the whistle in 2002 that Tehran admitted it had built undeclared
      facilities in Natanz and Arak. To this day, however, technical
      assessments by the IAEA still affirm there is no "evidence of
      diversion" of nuclear materials for nonpeaceful purposes by Iran.

      The Security Council has to act wisely and ensure that it does not
      follow double standards that undermine its credibility and
      effectiveness. After allowing Pakistan to get off scot-free, despite
      having been caught red-handed running the world's biggest nuclear
      proliferation ring, the council should not seek to make amends by
      prematurely penalizing Iran.

      A certain balance is necessary, or else Iran may emulate Pakistan and
      go overtly nuclear. In fact, by implicitly condoning Pakistani
      proliferation while taking a tough line on Iran, the Security Council
      has already sent a message to Tehran that it pays to be a
      nuclear-weapons state.

      In the case of the far-reaching Pakistani network, a single
      individual, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was conveniently made the scapegoat in
      a charade that saw Pakistan's military leader, General Pervez
      Musharraf, pardon him and then shield him from international
      investigators by placing him under indefinite house arrest.

      While Iran is being demonized for certain suspect activities, the
      world has been made to believe that Khan set up and ran a nuclear
      Wal-Mart largely on his own.

      The Security Council needs to rethink the wisdom of a resolution that
      commands Iran to accept a standard applicable to no other country. The
      attempt to single out Iran and enforce a discriminatory standard could
      well prove counterproductive, if it provoked Tehran to withdraw from
      the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and kick out IAEA inspectors.

      What is needed is a new global consensus on standards governing
      fissile-material production, not an arbitrary regime that divides the
      nonnuclear world into fuel-cycle possessors and a single fuel-cycle
      abstainer. It is not helpful when the Security Council acts as if the
      military regime in Islamabad is on the right side of international
      politics but the clerical regime in Tehran is detestable and thus
      presumed guilty.

      At present, Iran is years away from acquiring a nuclear- weapons
      capability. Through prudent diplomacy backed by stringent IAEA
      inspections, the Security Council can still ensure that Iran will
      remain free of nuclear weapons.

      Brahma Chellaney is a professor of strategic studies at the privately
      funded Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.

      ===

      Behind the plan to bomb Iran
      By Ismael Hossein-zadeh
      Aug 31, 2006
      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH31Ak01.html


      It is no longer a secret that the administration of US President
      George W Bush has been methodically paving the way toward a bombing
      strike against Iran. The administration's plans of an aerial China
      Business Big Picture military attack against that country have
      recently been exposed by a number of reliable sources. [1]

      There is strong evidence that the US administration's recent public
      statements that it is now willing to negotiate with Iran are highly
      disingenuous: they are designed not to reach a diplomatic solution to
      the so-called "Iran crisis", but to remove diplomatic hurdles toward a
      military "solution".

      The administration's public gestures of a willingness to negotiate
      with Iran are rendered utterly meaningless because such alleged
      negotiations are premised on the condition that Iran suspends its
      uranium-enrichment program.

      Considering the fact that suspension of uranium enrichment, which is
      altogether within Iran's legitimate rights under the nuclear
      Non-Proliferation Treaty, is supposed to be the main point of
      negotiations, Iran is asked, in effect, "to concede the main point of
      the negotiations before they started". [2]

      The Bush administration's case against Iran is eerily reminiscent of
      its case against Iraq in the run-up to the invasion of that country.
      Accordingly, the case against Iran is based not on any hard evidence
      provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but on dubious
      allegations that are based on even more dubious sources of
      intelligence. Iran is asked, in effect, to prove a negative, which is
      of course mission impossible - hence grounds for "non-compliance" and
      the rationale for "punishment".

      The US administration's case against Iran is so weak, its objectives
      of a military strike against that country are so fuzzy, and the odds
      against achieving any kind of meaningful victory are so strong that
      even professional military experts are speaking up against the plans
      of a bombing campaign against Iran. [3] Furthermore, predominant
      expert views of such a bombing campaign maintain that it would more
      likely hurt than help the geopolitical and economic interests of the
      United States.

      So if the Bush administration's "national interests" argument as
      grounds for a military strike against Iran is suspect, why then is it
      so adamantly pushing for such a potentially calamitous confrontation?
      What are the driving forces behind a military confrontation with
      Iran?

      Critics would almost unanimously point to neo-conservative
      militarists in and around the Bush administration. While this is
      obviously not false, as it is the neo-conservative forces that are
      beating the drums of war with Iran, it falls short of showing the
      whole picture. In a real sense, it raises the question: Who are the
      neo-conservatives to begin with? And what or whom do they represent?

      The neo-conservative ideologues often claim that their aggressive
      foreign policy is inspired primarily by democratic ideals and a
      desire to spread democracy and freedom worldwide - a claim that is
      far too readily accepted as genuine by corporate media and many
      foreign-policy circles. This is obviously little more than a
      masquerade designed to hide some real powerful special interests that
      lie behind the facade of neo-conservative figures and their
      ideological rhetoric.

      The driving force behind the neo-conservatives' war juggernaut must
      be sought not in the alleged defense of democracy or of national
      interests but in the nefarious special interests that are carefully
      camouflaged behind the front of national interests. These special
      interests derive lucrative business gains and high dividends from war
      and militarism. They include both economic interests (famously known
      as the military-industrial complex) and geopolitical interests
      (associated largely with Zionist proponents of "Greater Israel" in
      the Middle East, or the Israeli lobby).

      There is an unspoken, de facto alliance between these two extremely
      powerful interests - an alliance that might be called the
      military-industrial-Zionist alliance. More than anything else, the
      alliance is based on a conjunctural convergence of interests on war
      and international convulsion in the Middle East. Let me elaborate on
      this point.

      The fact that the military-industrial complex, or merchants of arms
      and wars, flourishes on war and militarism is largely self-evident.
      Arms industries and powerful beneficiaries of war dividends need an
      atmosphere of war and international convulsion to maintain continued
      increases in the Pentagon budget and justify their lion's share of
      the public money. Viewed in this light, unilateral or "preemptive"
      wars abroad can easily been seen as reflections of domestic fights
      over national resources and tax dollars.

      In the debate over allocation of public resources between the
      proverbial guns and butter, or between military and non-military
      public spending, powerful beneficiaries of war dividends have proved
      very resourceful in outmaneuvering proponents of limits on military
      spending.

      During the bipolar world of the Cold War era, that was not a
      difficult act to perform as the rationale - the "communist threat" -
      readily lay at hand. Justification of increased military spending in
      the post-Cold War period has prompted these beneficiaries to be even
      more creative in manufacturing "new sources of danger to US
      interests" to justify unilateral wars of aggression. It is not
      surprising, then, that a wide range of "new sources of threat to US
      national interests" has emerged in the wake of the collapse of the
      Soviet Union: "rogue states", "axis of evil", global terrorism,
      Islamic radicalism, "enemies of democracy", and more.

      Just as the powerful beneficiaries of war dividends view
      international peace and stability as inimical to their business
      interests, so too the hardline Zionist proponents of "Greater Israel"
      perceive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors perilous to their
      goal of gaining control over the "Promised Land" of Israel. The reason
      for this fear of peace is that, according to a number of United
      Nations resolutions, peace would mean Israel's return to its pre-1967
      borders; that is, withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

      But because proponents of "Greater Israel" are unwilling to withdraw
      from these territories, they are fearful of peace and genuine
      dialogue with Palestinians - hence their continued disregard of UN
      resolutions and their systematic efforts at sabotaging peace
      negotiations. By the same token, these proponents view war and
      convulsion (or, as David Ben-Gurion, one of the key founders of the
      State of Israel, put it, "revolutionary atmosphere") as opportunities
      that are conducive to the expulsion of Palestinians, to the
      territorial recasting of the region, and to the expansion of Israel's
      territory. [4]

      The military-industrial-Zionist alliance is represented largely by
      the cabal of neo-conservative forces in and around the Bush
      administration. The institutional framework of the alliance consists
      of a web of closely knit think-tanks that are founded and financed
      primarily by the armaments lobby and the Israeli lobby. These
      corporate-backed militaristic think-tanks include the American
      Enterprise Institute, Center for Security Policy, Middle East Media
      Research Institute, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Middle
      East Forum, National Institute for Public Policy and the Jewish
      Institute for National Security Affairs.

      These think-tanks, which might appropriately be called institutes of
      war and militarism, are staffed and directed mainly by the
      neo-conservative champions of the military-industrial-Zionist
      alliance, that is, by the proponents of unilateral wars of
      aggression. There is strong evidence that the major plans of the Bush
      administration's foreign policy have been drawn up largely by these
      think-tanks, often in collaboration, directly or indirectly, with the
      Pentagon, the arms lobby, and the Israeli lobby. These warmongering
      think-tanks and their neo-conservative champions serve as direct
      links, or conveyer belts, between the armaments and Israeli lobbies
      on the one hand, and the Bush administration and its congressional
      allies on the other.

      Take the Center for Security Policy (CSP), for example. It boasts
      that "no fewer than 22 former advisory board members are close
      associates in the Bush administration ... A sixth of the center's
      revenue comes directly from defense corporations." The center's
      alumni in key posts in the Bush administration include its former
      chair of the board, Douglas Feith, who served for more than four
      years as under secretary of defense for policy, Pentagon comptroller
      Dov Zakheim, former Defense Policy Board chair Richard Perle, and
      longtime friend and financial supporter Defense Secretary Donald
      Rumsfeld.

      In its 1998 annual report, the center "listed virtually every
      weapons-maker that had supported it from its founding, from Lockheed,
      Martin Marietta, Northrop, Grumman and Boeing, to the later 'merged'
      incarnations of same - Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and so
      forth". [5]

      Likewise, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a major lobbying
      think-tank for the military-industrial-Zionist alliance, can boast of
      being the metaphorical alma mater of a number of powerful members of
      the Bush administration. For example, Vice President Dick Cheney and
      his wife Lynne Cheney, State Department arms-control official John
      Bolton (now US ambassador to the UN), and the former chair of the
      Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, all have had long-standing ties
      with the institute.

      The AEI played a key role in promoting Ahmad Chalabi's group of Iraqi
      exiles as a major opposition force "that would be welcomed by the
      Iraqi people as an alternative to the regime of Saddam Hussein". The
      group, working closely with the AEI, played an important role in the
      justification of the invasion of Iraq. It served, for example, as a
      major source of (largely fabricated) intelligence for the
      militaristic chicken hawks whenever they found the intelligence
      gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department
      at odds with their plans of invading Iraq. [6]

      Another example of the interlocking network of neo-conservative
      forces in the Bush administration and the militaristic think-tanks
      that are dedicated to the advancement of the
      military-industrial-Zionist agenda is reflected in the affiliation of
      a number of influential members of the administration with the Jewish
      Institute for the National Security Affairs (JINSA).

      These include, for example, Douglas Feith, assistant secretary of
      defense during the first term of the Bush administration; General Jay
      Garner, the initial head of the US occupation authority in Iraq; and
      Michael Ladeen, who unofficially advises the Bush administration on
      Middle Eastern issues.

      JINSA "is on record in its support of the Israeli occupation of the
      West Bank and against the Oslo Accord ... In its fervent support for
      the hardline, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian Likud-style policies
      in Israel, JINSA has essentially recommended that 'regime change' in
      Iraq should be just the beginning of a cascade of toppling dominoes
      in the Middle East." [7]

      The fact that neo-conservative militarists of the Bush administration
      are organically rooted in the military-industrial-Zionist alliance is
      even more clearly reflected in their incestuous relationship with the
      warmongering think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
      Like most of its lobbying counterparts within the extensive network
      of neo-conservative think-tanks, PNAC was founded by a circle of
      powerful political figures, a number of whom later ascended to key
      positions in the Bush administration.

      The list of signatories of PNAC's founding statement of principles
      include Elliot Abrams, Jeb Bush, Elliot Cohen, Frank Gaffney, Zalmay
      Khalilzad, I Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul
      Wolfowitz. Add the signature of Cheney to the list of PNAC founders,
      "and you have the bulwarks of the neo-con network that is currently
      in the driver's seat of the Bush administration's war-without-end
      policies all represented in PNAC's founding document". [8]

      A closer look at the professional records of the neo-conservative
      players in the Bush administration indicates that "32 major
      administration appointees ... are former executives with, consultants
      for, or significant shareholders of, top defense contractors".

      For example, Rumsfeld is an ex-director of a General Dynamics
      subsidiary, and his deputy during the first term of the Bush
      administration, Paul Wolfowitz, acted as a paid consultant to
      Northrop Grumman. Today the armaments lobby "is exerting more
      influence over policymaking than at any time since president Dwight D
      Eisenhower first warned of the dangers of the military-industrial
      complex over 40 years ago". [9]

      This sample evidence indicates that the view that the
      neo-conservative militarists' tendency to war and aggression is
      inspired by an ideological passion to spread American ideals of
      democracy is clearly false. Their successful militarization of US
      foreign policy stems largely from the fact that they in essence
      operate on behalf of two immensely powerful special interests, the
      military-industrial complex and the influential Israeli lobby.
      Neo-conservative architects of war and militarism derive their
      political clout and policy effectiveness primarily from the political
      machine and institutional infrastructure of the
      military-industrial-Zionist alliance.

      It is necessary to note at this point that despite its immense
      political influence, the Zionist lobby is ultimately a junior, not
      equal, partner in this unspoken, de de facto alliance. Without
      discounting the extremely important role of the Zionist lobby in the
      configuration of US foreign policy in the Middle East, I would
      caution against simplifications and exaggerations of its power and
      influence over the US policy in the region.

      It is true that most of the neo-conservative militarists who have
      been behind the recent US military aggressions in the Middle East
      have long been active supporters of Israel's right-wing politicians
      and/or leaders. It is also no secret that there is a close
      collaboration over issues of war and militarism among militant
      Zionism, neo-conservative forces in and around the Bush
      administration, and jingoistic think-tanks such as AEI, PNAC, CSP and
      JINSA.

      It does not follow, however, that, as some critics argue, the
      US-Israeli relationship represents a case of "tail wagging the dog",
      that is, US foreign policy in the Middle East is shaped by the
      Israeli/Zionist leaders. While no doubt the powerful Zionist lobby
      exerts considerable influence over US foreign policy in the Middle
      East, the efficacy and the extent of that influence depend,
      ultimately, on the real economic and geopolitical interests of US
      foreign-policy makers.

      In other words, US policymakers on the Middle East would go along
      with the desires and demands of the radical Zionist lobby only if
      such demands also tended to serve the special interests that those
      policymakers represented or served, that is, if there were a
      convergence of interests over those demands. [10]

      Aggressive existential tendencies of the US military-industrial
      empire to war and militarism are shaped by its own internal or
      intrinsic dynamics: continued need for arms production as a lucrative
      business whose fortunes depend on permanent war and international
      convulsion.

      Conjunctural or reinforcing factors such as the horrors of the
      attacks on the US of September 11, 2001, or the Zionist lobby, or the
      party in power, or the resident of the White House will, no doubt,
      exert significant influences. But such supporting influences remain
      in essence contributory, not defining or determining. The decisive or
      central role is played, ultimately, by the military-industrial complex
      itself - that is, by the merchants of arms or wars.


      Notes

      1. See, for example, Seymour M Hersh, The military's problem with the
      president's Iran policy, The New Yorker (July 10, 2006); Evan Eland,
      Military action against Iran? Antiwar.com (January 24, 2006).
      2. Hersh, "The military's problem with the president's Iran policy".
      3. Ibid; see also Ismael Hossein-zadeh, US Iran policy irks senior
      commanders: The military vs militaristic civilian leadership,
      OpEdNews.com (July 24, 2006).
      4. A detailed discussion of this issue, and of the de facto alliance
      between militant Zionism and the powerful beneficiaries of war
      dividends, can be found, among other places, in Chapter 6 of my
      recently released book, The Political Economy of US Militarism
      (Palgrave-Macmillan 2006).
      5. William D Hartung, How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy? (New
      York: Nation Books, 2003), page 101; William Hartung and Michelle
      Ciarrocca, The military-industrial-think tank complex, Multinational
      Monitor 24, No 1 and 2 (January/February 2003).
      6. Hartung, How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy? pp 103-106. 7.
      Ibid pp 109-11.
      8. Ibid p 113.
      9. William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, "The
      military-industrial-think tank complex".
      10. I have provided a longer discussion of the role of the Zionist
      lobby in the configuration of the US policy in the Middle East in
      Chapter 6 of The Political Economy of US Militarism.


      Ismael Hossein-zadeh is an economics professor at Drake University,
      Des Moines, Iowa. This article draws upon his newly released book,
      The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan
      Publishers).

      *********************************************************************

      WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

      To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
      wvns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
      http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.