Michael Singh is managing director of a group that calls itself “The Washington Institute.”
According to Michael Singh, “The Washington Institute seeks to advance … understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them.” Michael Singh’s and The Washington Institute’s stated aims are not first-&-foremost the truth or upholding equally administered rules of international law. Rather, Singh and his group explicitly and unequivocally have stated their goals are to “promote American interests.” America has had a lot of interests: Until the late 1800s “American interests” were promoting the ownership of a human being and of his/her descendants (slavery); Then they included racial segregation (‘separate but equal’); American interests later transformed into carpet bombing Vietnam and more recently America developed an interest in starving 500,000 Iraqi children through blockades and sanctions and then going to war with Iraq over what everyone now knows was the pretense that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “American interests” have included a multitude of objectives that not everyone values or thinks is fair. Promoting “American interests” does not necessarily mean that you are working towards world peace, regional stability, truth, justice, or other goals that are important to most people.
We could look further to try to ascertain whether Michael Singh’s mantra of working to serve “American interests” is really a cover for something else, for example promoting the interests of the Likud lobby to cause American blood and resources to be expended for Israeli interests, but even that is not necessary. An individual or group that peddles bias as news while masking their objectives in typeface that practically requires a microscope to read, and while omitting that same information from the articles s/he writes and distributes, is not an impartial source of information. I.e., Singh nuked his own trustworthiness by proliferating bias as news. These days it is very common to see the self-immolation of individuals and groups like Michael Singh and “The Washington Institute” who proclaim they are experts in complicated and technical subjects as far reaching as uranium enrichment, war policy, and the all-inclusive, “America’s interests.”
Singh’s ‘scholarship’ is basically the repetition of talking-points that has its conclusion the claim that Iran cannot do much that will be sufficient to avoid further confrontation and that further aggressive steps should be taken against Iran irrespective of the steps Iran takes to compromise on the nuclear issue.
“Any nuclear deal which stops short of … full suspension of uranium enrichment by Iran, among other things, holds the possibility of eroding U.S. influence in the Middle East, undermining U.S. deterrence broadly, strengthening the Iranian regime, and damaging the integrity of the global nonproliferation regime. Washington tends to exaggerate the benefits of a deal with Iran ….” (M. Singh, Washington Inst. website, 2012.)
One might stop to consider if Singh evaluated India’s or Israel’s nuclear arsenals against his goal of securing “the global nonproliferation regime,” which he claims to be motivated by. Perhaps he should because those are two countries that have nuclear arms, whereas those who know, like the U.N. nuclear watchdog, concede that Iran has not even enriched uranium to the point of being able to produce a bomb nor has it taken the decision to build one.
Singh goes on to state:
“Washington should follow the heavy blow of oil sanctions with further unrelenting pressure [such as:] … bolder international efforts to oust the regime of Bashar Assad [that] would considerably weaken Tehran’s position[;] The West should not be shy about cultivating Iranians outside the narrow circle around [Iran’s] Supreme Leader … or providing support to dissidents in Iran[;] [and] Washington should bolster the credibility of its military threat. Recent steps to strengthen [American] force posture in the Persian Gulf are a good start. They should be accompanied by more serious statements about U.S. willingness to employ force and an end to statements exaggerating the downsides of military action.” (M. Singh, Miami Herald, Jul-09-2012.)
Let’s translate Singh’s statements into plain talk: he wants the U.S. government to: (1) severely increase economic sanctions despite the fact that severe sanctions are already in place; (2) participate in a coup to topple Syria’s leader; (3) put people within the Iranian government on the CIA’s payroll; (4) support groups that call themselves dissidents (presumably many that Iranians consider separatists and terrorists); (5) increase US military force in the region; (6) unflinchingly threaten Iran with military action; and (7) not make public statements about the risks or negative dimensions of war.
If Singh’s positions sound similar to the Likud Lobby’s talking points it is because they are. If they sound similar to the drumbeat of war before the invasion of Iraq, it is because they are. Michael Singh is like the schoolyard kid too timid to fight directly, but happy to egg-on others into a punch-out. Singh even refers to the U.S. and Iran as two ‘pugilists’ (boxers) who should became confrontational. Despite U.S. measures to exert pressure on Iran and its people, Singh wants aggressive actions that are basically ‘stronger, faster, harder, without remorse, and with little or no talk of the downsides.’
Michael Singh’s writing hardly can be called scholarship and he certainly lacks technical expertise about the numerous complicated subject matters he writes about, but such is the case of Washington’s rent-a-face industry of spokespersons that constantly run infomercials advocating actions that could quickly cascade into a full-blown war.
There are plenty of experts that know how to start a war, few that know how to end them, and fewer that are willing to give the public a truthful evaluation of the risks and consequences before-hand.