From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER266

“The Iraq war is largely about oil,” wrote Alan Greenspan in his memoir The Age of Turbulence (2007). “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows.” It may indeed be self-evident that the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, as the former Federal Reserve chairman says, because of oil. But what does this proposition mean? The answer is not so obvious.

North-South vs. East-West

The Shifting Focus of US Military Power

by Michael Klare
published in MER151

The new US-Soviet agreement banning intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Europe appears to signal a new period of dialogue and cooperation between the two superpowers. It seems that the intense hostilities of the early Reagan era have given way to a more relaxed and constructive relationship between Washington and Moscow, with leaders of both countries calling for negotiated solutions to a wide range of previously divisive issues.

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From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER151

The adversarial relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two great powers of this era, is key to understanding Washington’s and Moscow’s policies in the Middle East. In the Persian Gulf, for instance, Washington’s secret arms sales to Iran and subsequent naval buildup were both prompted by the Reagan administration’s fear of Soviet political advances in the region. And Washington’s strategic interest in the Middle East goes beyond oil and markets, as successive administrations have used war and turmoil there to construct a base structure capable of supporting US military operations in and around the southern part of the Soviet Union.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER144

The scheme began to unravel last October 7. In Managua, the sole survivor of a downed American C-123 cargo plane full of weapons for the contras told a crowded press conference, “My name is Eugene Hasenfus.” In Washington, businessman Roy Furmark called on his old friend William Casey at CIA director’s hideaway office next to the White House. Furmark had been sent by Adnan Khashoggi; the Saudi tycoon said he had not been repaid more than $10 million he advanced for arms shipped to Iran. When Furmark returned to Washington on November 24, Casey phoned Lt. Col. Oliver North at the White House. “There’s a guy here who says you owe him $10 million on the Iran thing,” Casey said. Casey hung up and turned to Furmark.

Dorman and Farhang, The US Press and Iran

by Ervand Abrahamian
published in MER153

William Dorman and Mansour Farhang, The US Press and Iran: Foreign Policy and the Journalism of Deference (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987).

 

"The Pressure Should Be on the US and Israel to Recognize the PLO"

An Interview with Hilton Obenzinger

by Joel Beinin
published in MER146

Hilton Obenzinger is a member of the executive committee of the November 29 Committee for Palestine, and on the staff of their bimonthly, Palestine Focus. His book of poems, This Passover or the Next I Will Never Be in Jerusalem, was reviewed in our February 1982 issue. Joel Beinin interviewed him in San Francisco in February 1987.

Tell us about the kind of organizing work that you’ve been involved in with the November 29 Committee.

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"The US Must Start Negotiations with the PLO"

An Interview with Gail Pressberg

by Joe Stork
published in MER146

Gail Pressberg is the Middle East coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Joe Stork spoke with her in Washington in late March 1987.

Where is the peace movement at now with regard to Middle East issues?

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"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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