"They Control the Hill, But We've Got a Lot of Positions Around the Hill"

An Interview with Jim Zogby

by Joe Stork
published in MER146

Jim Zogby is the director of the Arab American Institute in Washington. He was a founder of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Joe Stork spoke with him on March 18, 1987.

How did you get engaged in Middle East organizing?

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AWACS in the Gulf

by Joe Stork
published in MER148

The Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft that Pakistan wants to get from Washington has played an important part in the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf region. In 1978, the Carter administration sold seven of the planes to the Shah of Iran. One motivation was to reduce the unit cost for the 34 planes ordered by the US Air Force. Iran canceled its order after the revolution, and Washington then pressed NATO to order 18 of them.

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Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf

by Ahmed Rashid
published in MER148

After the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark in mid-May 1987, senior State Department officials scurried around the Gulf to drum up political support. Pakistan received a more significant visit. In late June, Gen. George Crist, commander-in-chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) arrived in Islamabad with 15 military experts for a five-day visit. It was Crist’s second visit to Pakistan in eight months, and it underlined the growing importance of Pakistan in Washington’s military plans for the Gulf.

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Interventions

Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

Do We Know Enough?

by Stephen R. Shalom | published February 2013

In January 2007, amid the furor over Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, former President Jimmy Carter made his first major public appearance about the book at Brandeis University, which defines itself as “the only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university” in the United States. He received a standing ovation, going on to say that he had chosen the word “apartheid” for his book’s title “knowing that it would be provocative” and to deliver a speech describing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands as “cruel oppression.” Carter then departed, and Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel, rose to offer a response. Half the audience walked out. A year later, the Brandeis student senate voted not to congratulate Israel on its sixtieth anniversary.

The Reagan Doctrine and the Secret State

by Christopher Hitchens
published in MER148

The Tower Commission has been taken as evidence for very many things. It’s been taken as evidence for President Reagan’s lack of attention to foreign policy; it’s been taken as evidence of a glitch in the chain of command and control in the White House. It can as easily be taken as evidence of the view, held by some people, that this planet Earth is used as a penal colony and lunatic asylum by more advanced civilizations around the solar system. And that view would certainly be as difficult to prove wrong as the one that is offered, which is that it shows a president who is not in control! What the Report shows in bold contours, with ferocious clarity, is the operation in detail of the Reagan Doctrine.

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Reagan Reflags the Gulf

by Joe Stork
published in MER148

As the Iran-Iraq war moves into its eighth year, it threatens to explode into a shooting war between Iran and the United States, a war that could involve the Soviet Union as well. Escalation of the US military presence in the Gulf involves more than the 11 Kuwaiti tankers now flying the stars and stripes. What the Reagan administration wants to do is “reflag” the Gulf itself, using the US Navy’s protective service to draw the Arab states there into open and explicit military alliances with Washington against Tehran and Moscow.

Young, Missed Opportunities for Peace

by Joe Stork
published in MER152

Ronald J. Young, Missed Opportunities for Peace (Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1987).

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Pakistan After Zia

by
published in MER155

Just a few weeks before he died in the plane crash with Zia ul-Haq, even General Akhtar Abd ul-Rahman Khan was anxious over the possibility of a shift in US policy under a new administration. General Khan had engineered and administered the secret war in Afghanistan, first as director of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and then as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. “The outcome of the war in Afghanistan may not be decided by November,” he told us. “We can only hope that the US will continue to see the great benefits of the mujahidin’s victory.”

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Pakistan After Reagan

by Ahmed Rashid
published in MER155

Before they died in a suspicious plane crash on August 16, President/General Zia ul-Haq and his officer cohorts were looking with dismay at the prospect of a new administration in Washington. Pakistan forged the closest ties ever with the United States during the eight years of Ronald Reagan’s administration. The Soviet military presence in Afghanistan virtually guaranteed Reagan’s blind eye to Islamabad’s nuclear program. Increased military aid and closer intelligence ties boosted the Pakistani military’s dominant political role in the country.

US-Arab Economic Trends in the Reagan Period

by Fred H. Lawson
published in MER155

US economic relations with the Arab states have entered a new phase in the last two years, one that reproduces many of the features that characterized the end of the Carter administration. US exports to the region rose by about 13 percent from 1986 to 1987 with shipments to Iraq, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates accounting for most of the increase. But this was more than offset as US imports from the region jumped some 35 percent, largely due to greater imports of crude petroleum. As a result, by the end of 1987 the US trade deficit, which had stood at $179 million the previous year, totalled more than $2.1 billion. Only a doubling in the value of American military sales to the region prevented this figure from ending up even higher.