Radix Malorum est Cupiditas

by James Spencer | published April 3, 2018

The last three years have been a time of outright misery for most Yemenis as War, Pestilence, Famine and Death have stalked what used to be known as Arabia Felix. Thousands are recorded as having been killed; tens of thousands more are known to have died.

Black, Garrison Guatemala

by Martha Wenger
published in MER141

George Black with Milton Jamail and Norma Stoltz Chincilla, Garrison Guatemala (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984).

 

A Chicana from California on a recent political study trip to Guatemala elicited a special tour from guards at Guatemala’s seat of government, the National Palace, by putting on a convincing “I'm just a curious tourist” act. Inside an assembly hall she was startled to find an Israeli flag prominently displayed next to those of Guatemala and the US. Why that Israeli flag should be there is explained in a short section, “The Israeli Connection—Not Just Guns” in this excellent book on Guatemala.

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Letters

published in MER147

Israeli Arms Merchants

I am writing in response to the article by Bishara Bahbah, “Israel’s Private Arms Network,” in your January-February 1987 issue. First, as Bahbah himself indicates, there is no Israeli private arms network, because arms exports from Israel are controlled by the government, which also owns most of the arms manufacturers. Most of the individuals involved earn their commissions as middlemen, because of personal contacts in some region, or as convenient covers for official involvement. The only individual in the group who may be considered a real arms dealer, on an international scale, is Shlomo Zablodovitz (and not as spelled by Mr. Bahbah).

Editor's Bookshelf

by Joel Beinin
published in MER151

Although the Congressional investigating committee did everything in its power to minimize Israel’s role in the Iran-Contra scandal, the hearings and their fallout did suggest that Israel played a major, and very likely initiating, role in the sordid affair. This and other matters skirted by both the Tower Commission and the Congressional committee are examined by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter in The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era (Boston: South End Press, 1987).

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Cover-up and Blowback

What Congress Left Out of the Iran-Contra Report

by Jonathan Marshall
published in MER151

The House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran and Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition. Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair. (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1987.)

Of the millions of Americans who watched some or all of the televised hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal during the summer of 1987, only a handful will slog through the 690 pages of fine print that make up the final report of the congressional investigating committees. That’s a shame, because the report succeeds in many areas where the hearings failed dismally.

Nuclear Summits and the Middle East

by Mohamed Sid-Ahmed
published in MER151

To what extent can agreements on nuclear disarmament between the superpowers contribute to the reduction of tensions in regional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East?

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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.

Saudi Arabia and the Reagan Doctrine

by Jonathan Marshall
published in MER155

President Reagan came to office with a bold commitment to roll back Soviet gains in the Third World without risking the trauma or cost of another Vietnam-style intervention. The “Reagan Doctrine,” as his policy came to be known, ironically took its cue from Soviet support in the 1970s for leftist insurgencies in Africa and Central America. But the beneficiaries of the Reagan Doctrine were anti-communist resistance and counterrevolutionary insurgencies in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua.

Up in Arms

by Ian Urbina | published November 12, 2002

JERUSALEM — Unemployment and inflation are skyrocketing in Israel, but fear and paranoia are also soaring, and so business is booming for gun dealers and security companies. Israeli society is becoming so militarized that hosts of weddings and bar mitzvahs sometimes can’t attract guests unless they reveal the number of armed guards that will be on hand and even what firm they’re from.

Bush Misled Public About Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction

by Chris Toensing | published June 1, 2003

At long last, many are realizing that President Bush misled the public about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But unlike the vigorous questioning of Prime Minister Tony Blair in Britain on the same issue, our long overdue debate about Saddam Hussein’s presumed illicit arsenal is missing the point.

Before the war, the question was not primarily about whether Iraq retained proscribed weapons from its old stockpiles. Many at the United Nations, and many American anti-war commentators, assumed that it did. Remnants of the stockpiles may still be found.