Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WINEP's Singh: Make the Iranians crack

Tomorrow's NYT will have an essay from Michael Singh, former senior director for Middle East affairs on the U.S. National Security Council, and a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a major arm of Israeli policy promotion) alleging that Iran's regime is simply too "insecure" to negotiate seriously with the US about its nuclear program. Why? Says he:

It’s worth remembering why the Iranian regime wants the bomb, despite all the trouble involved in getting one: Not primarily for prestige, and not primarily to achieve a balance of power with potential foes. Iran wants a nuclear weapon because the regime is insecure to the point of paranoia. . . .If we cannot alleviate the pressure on the regime as a means to induce them to accept our offer to negotiate, the only path that remains is to add to that pressure.

Singh ascribes that paranoia to the regime itself. His view is that the regime is so afraid of its people that it wants a nuclear weapon.

I don't get it.

Singh makes no mention of the possibility that Iran's distrust and demonization of the US, and its paranoia, might be even more attributable to other, external causes. To wit,

  • Israel's own huge nuclear capability . . . that supposedly invisible two-ton elephant in the room.
  • The US's history of meddling in Iran's affairs, much to the detriment of Iran's people, and its democracy. (Think CIA coup vs. Mossadegh 1953, US support for an autocratic, repressive Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi till 1979.)
  • The US's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, which placed tens of thousands of US troops - and US naval and air power - right next door to Iran, on both sides.
  • The Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980, followed by a disastrous eight-year war that killed or maimed perhaps a million Iranians, many of them by weapons of mass destruction (in the form of poison gas) waged by a ruthless dictator who had the support of the USA.

Singh's piece is WINEP propaganda. "Our" (US and Israeli) intentions are good and pure, but the mad, paranoid mullahs must be done away with . . . in this instance, pressured so hard that they crack. Except, when he cracks, isn't a paranoid person subjected to excess pressure likely to lash out at least as much as he's likely to crumble?

Of course, perhaps Singh and his ilk would like nothing more than that. A provocation? Oh, goody. Bombs away!

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