Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

From Al Qaeda to Iran; Plus, Profile on John Hagee, Christians United for Israel, Jeb Bush and more

FEATURED ARTICLE From Al Qaeda to Iran By Carah Ong Iran is the barrier to success in Iraq, according to administration officials and its supporters. But Iranian and U.S. interests actually converge, and it’s the administration that’s putting up many roadblocks. Read full story. FEATURED PROFILES John Hagee The millionaire pastor of a megachurch in…

FEATURED ARTICLE

From Al Qaeda to Iran
By Carah Ong

Iran is the barrier to success in Iraq, according to administration officials and its supporters. But Iranian and U.S. interests actually converge, and it’s the administration that’s putting up many roadblocks.
Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

John Hagee
The millionaire pastor of a megachurch in Texas, Hagee argues that President Bush’s support for Israel will play a “pivotal role in the second coming” of Jesus. Like many other conservatives, Hagee promotes the term “Islamofascism" but goes further, warning that Muslims have a "scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews."

Christians United for Israel
CUFI, a Christian Zionist organization with strong ties to right-wing political figures, promotes a united Jerusalem and uses neoconservative language on “Islamofascism.”

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush, the popular former Republican governor of Florida and brother to the president, seems poised to become a presidential candidate in four years if a Democrat wins the White House in 2008.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Olmert on Iran
By Peter Hirschberg

Sometimes portrayed as imminently inclined to attack Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has lately made commitments to diplomacy. Read full story.

Optimism on Iran
By Trita Parsi

The poisonous relationship between the United States and Iran has prevented the two countries from exploring areas of common interest, yet the risk of war has gone down. Read full story.

Losing the Popularity Contest
By Gareth Porter

A new opinion poll shows that few in the Middle East think the “surge” is working, that many believe Iraq would be better off without a U.S. military presence, and that sympathy for al Qaeda is growing. Read full story.

LETTERS

Re: Najum Mushtaq, “Missing the Point in Pakistan,” March 27, 2008

While most of the arguments made in Najum Mushtaq’s article are valid and help describe how Pakistan has become a threat to itself, the writer fails to make a convincing case for why Pakistan should not remain a nuclear power. In fact, I think he is missing the point.

It is naive to think that Pakistan’s people or its government would even consider such a suggestion. Likewise, for the United States, it wouldbe politically impossible to considerpushing this agenda, especially when it is closing nuclear deals with neighboring India.

Pakistan’s interest is to protect its sovereignty and build a strong defense. Its nuclear weapons infrastructure has also served as an educational tool for the country and its elite, helping it to compete with world-class technical and scientific standards and to prevent it from looking upon India with envy.

Mr. Mushtaq rejects the idea of assisting Pakistanin the technical and political know how that countries like the United States and France havelong experience with.But providing that kind of assistance would help diminish old suspicions and belie fears of unwarranted pressure tactics.

Diplomacy and technical assistance aimed at helping Pakistan become a responsible member of the nuclear club is the only way to handle the situation in that country. Other current examples support this case. In the heated situation over Iran’s nuclear program, have demands that Iran not develop its own nuclear capabilities achieved anything? And in North Korea, have we not learned that even exorbitant amounts of money have failed to buy back or destroy weapons and capabilities that took years to develop?

—Ulrike Siddiqi, Honolulu, Hawaii

Najum Mushtaq responds:

Why shouldn’t Pakistan keep nuclear weapons? Because all the major reasons for keeping them—deterrence, national pride, and low-cost “minimum deterrence”—have proved wrong. During the 1999 Kargil conflict, it became abundantly clear that having nuclear weapons would not deter Indian aggression. Estimates of Pakistani casualties vary from 2,000 to 4,000. The humiliation of an unseemly retreat did little to furbish Pakistan’s image as a “responsible member of the nuclear club.” Nor has it proved cheaper to maintain a minimum nuclear deterrent, as compared to boosting conventional forces. Pakistan’s defense budget has gone up significantly every year since the 1998 nuclear tests.

Similarly, it is flawed to say that maintaining a nuclear weapons infrastructure serves as “an educational tool for the country and its elite, helping it to compete with world-class technical and scientific standards,” to quote Ms. Siddiqi. As one eminent Pakistani physicist has said: "Genuine science in Pakistan has actually shrunk, not grown, over the last three decades.”.Rather than investing in the abysmally under-developed and substandard science education and introducing the use of technology in daily life, Pakistan has spent untold and unaccounted for billions of dollars in making weapons that are of no use in war or peace.

The claim that going nuclear has strengthened Pakistan’s sovereignty and independence also sounds hollow, given the direct involvement of the Pentagon through assistance programs to build the capacity of the Pakistani army to ensure safety of the nuclear weapons.

—Najum Mushtaq, Nairobi, Kenya

Right Web encourages feedback and comments. Send letters to rightwebfeedback@publiceye.org. PRA reserves the right to edit comments for clarity and brevity. Be sure to include your full name. Thank you.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, the Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization formerly chaired by John Bolton that is notorious for spreading misinformation about Muslims and advocating extremely hawkish views on everything from Middle East policy to immigration.


Conrad Black is a former media mogul closely connected to rightist political factions in the United States who was convicted in July 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice and later pardoned by his friend President Trump.


David Friedman is U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Donald Trump. He is known for his extreme views on Israel, which include opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and support for Israeli settlements.


Jason Greenblatt is the Special Representative for International Negotiations for President Donald Trump primarily working on the Israel-Palestine conflict.


The neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has re-established itself as a primary driver of hawkish foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, during the Trump administration.


Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, and a long-time supporter of neoconservative campaigns to influence U.S. foreign policy.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war.


Vladimir Putin excels at taking advantage of mistakes made by Russia’s adversaries to further his country’s interests. Donald Trump’s Iran policy has given Putin plenty of opportunity to do that.


The Trump administration’s claims about purported Iranian threats have been repeated by credulous reporters and TV news programs far and wide.


This is the cartoon that the international edition of the New York Times should have run, at least as regards U.S. policy toward Iran.


The assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s renegade general and leader of the self-anointed Libyan National Army (LNA), has forced an indefinite postponement of key UN peace efforts in the country even as the Trump White House announced that the president recognized Haftar’s “important” role in fighting terrorists.


With all eyes focused these days on Donald Trump and his myriad crimes, John Bolton’s speeches are a reminder that even worse options are waiting in the wings.


Advocates of cutting U.S. aid to Israel rather than using it as leverage must understand how this aid works, how big a challenge it represents for advocacy, and how to make a potentially successful argument against it.


RightWeb
share