FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The World Doesn’t Have a Pakistan Nukes Problem … It Has a David Albright Problem

As AFP tells us, the Institute for Science and International Security just published a report on Pakistan’s nuclear program that seems designed to pour gasoline on the “the Pakistani nuclear program is outta control” story.

And, when you look at the story, there isn’t a whole lot of there there.

The commercial [satellite] images reveal a major expansion of a chemical plant complex near Dera Ghazi Kahn that produces uranium hexalfuoride and uranium metal, materials used to produce nuclear weapons.

Big whoop, I must say. The Pakistanis love their nuclear weapons, and it’s not surprising—as a sovereign state outside the NPT—they might decide to make some more.

The only conceivable takeaway from this report is muddled alarmism, which ISIS obligingly provides.

Given turmoil in Pakistan with the army waging war against Taliban militants in the northwest, the ISIS said the “security of its nuclear assets remains in question.”

“An expansion in nuclear weapons production capabilities needlessly complicates efforts to improve the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets,” it said.

I don’t get it. How are things suddenly more complicated by an expansion in capacity?

Washington, apparently believing that it doesn’t have enough on its plate with al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban, is suddenly awash with dramatic plans to add a self-created problem to the mix: a quixotic effort to wrest Pakistan’s nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Army if the situation deteriorates.

And selling that idea seems to require fomenting an irrational panic concerning Pakistan’s nuclear program, as a metastasizing cancerous problem that’s getting BIGGER and BIGGER if we don’t DO SOMETHING.

You know what it smells like to me?

It smells like an effort by some to put a radical U.S. nuclear counterproliferation doctrine on the table now, so when it’s the end of the year and it’s time to deal with that other Muslim country with the destabilizing nuclear capability—you know, the one on the other side of Afghanistan, the one that the Israelis are so upset about—public opinion has been primed to accept the idea that some combination of air strikes, special ops, and insertion of U.S. forces is needed to save the world from an Islamic nuclear program that’s…outta control!

A crisis in Pakistan—and high-profile U.S. handwringing over those dangerous Muslim nukes—might be the best thing that happens to Benjamin Netanyahu this year.

We’ll see.

Anyway, I don’t think we have a Pakistan nukes problem.

We have a reckless and cynical fearmongering problem that should ring alarm bells for anybody who remembers the Iraq war.

In a small way, I think we also have a David Albright problem.

ISIS is run by David Albright.

Scott Ritter delivered a devastating rip job on Albright in Truthdig last year, entitled The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was.

He characterized Albright as a dilettante wannabe nuclear weapons guy, who has self-promoted himself, his honorary doctorate, and his institute using the flimsiest of pretexts.

More importantly, Ritter identifies Albright’s key credential as a willingness to offer up uninformed and tendentious alarmism when the situation demands it.

Ritter’s conclusion sums up his feelings about Albright’s role in the nuclear non-proliferation debate:

Albright, operating under the guise of his creation, ISIS, has a track record of inserting hype and speculation about matters of great sensitivity in a manner which skews the debate toward the worst-case scenario. Over time Albright often moderates his position, but the original sensationalism still remains, serving the purpose of imprinting a negative image in the psyche of public opinion. This must stop. It is high time the mainstream media began dealing with David Albright for what he is (a third-rate reporter and analyst), and what he isn’t (a former U.N. weapons inspector, doctor, nuclear physicist or nuclear expert). It is time for David Albright, the accidental inspector, to exit stage right. Issues pertaining to nuclear weapons and their potential proliferation are simply too serious to be handled by amateurs and dilettantes.

Amen to that.

PETER LEE is a business man who has spent thirty years observing, analyzing, and writing on Asian affairs. Lee can be reached at peterrlee-2000@yahoo.

More articles by:

Peter Lee edits China Matters and writes about Asia for CounterPunch.  

January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail