It is indefensible that this incident has been neglected by the US press and government, and more broadly, that Israel's war crimes and terrorism in Lebanon have been almost completely ignored in America. I hope this history will be readdressed soon.
I trust Ambassador Dean's re-telling of the attempt against his life in Lebanon, and his analysis of who was to blame is logical. His theory concerning Zia-ul-Haq's death, on the other hand, is a bit far fetched. By the time Zia-ul-Haq died Pakistan's nuclear programme had probably achieved significant success and killing him wouldn't have affected that. The American ambassador to Pakistan and other US officials were on the plane with Zia-ul-Haq and died with him. It seems hard to believe that Israel, America or any other Western player would have sacrificed Americans for no reason, for neither Pakistan's nuclear weapons nor it's foreign policy was a threat to Israel, America or Western Europe.
It is possible - but not very likely - that the crash that led to Zia-ul-Haq's death was an accident. If it was a planned assassination, as many believe, the most likely perpetrators would have been the Pakistani president's domestic enemies. The second, slightly less probable explanation would be that foreign players caused the accident. The most likely foreign powers would be the Soviet Union, Iran, India or Afghan elements opposed to Pakistan. It is very unlikely that Israel plotted Zia-ul-Haq's demise with India, as Dean seems to suggest. In 1988 India and Israel did not have diplomatic relations, let a lone strategic goals in common.
The NYT is notorious (psychopathic really) on Israel and Palestine. Recently there was an article about the Nation State Law (by Halbfinger maybe?) and it was explaining the politics behind the law and its passage. The article mentioned the embattled "Israeli Left", the great "Rightward shift', the holy Basic law, the valiant Israeli Supreme Court which protects it, the "Arab Israeli" minority and the interactions between them all. If you knew nothing true about Israel and Palestine - as many Americans do not - it would seem like a decent, well-written, nuanced piece, but if you knew ANYTHING about how Israel actually does operate it read like a surreal Kafkaesque fiction.
The whole mission of the article was to portray Israel as a regular old decent Western liberal democracy, with its very own respectable democratic squabbles and process, to superimpose America onto Israel in a way that would make what's going on in Israel seem normal and comprehensible to moral readers. To accomplish this, the occupation and history were barely mentioned and buried deep inside the article: Palestinians were erased and quotes chosen strategically.
I used to think this sort of style of writing must be some sort of unconscious blunder by the NYT but I can no longer believe it. NYTimes writers are too intelligent and knowledgeable to mistakenly propagandize. Instead, it must be that they believe the propaganda and willingly partake in making it. Evidence for this is that there is almost no other topic on which the Times take the above approach (except US imperialism maybe).
Recently there was a NYT article about a right-wing fascistic Hindu-nationalist who had gone to Harvard and worked at McKinsey in the US, but went back to India to become a member of Parliament for the BJP, the ruling right-wing party. This man recently met with and garlanded Hindu men accused of lynching innocent Muslims. He did this to get political credibility as a Hindu Nationalist. The article - which I liked - very deftly exposed this man's hypocrisy of being respectable and even progressive in America but a fascist back home. It was implied that this compartmentalized politics is a common problem among Indians in the US, and it is. This was good and revealing reporting and the Times is able to do this when they want (when it concerns Indians, Russians and some Americans etc.). So it struck me, why can't the NYT openly report on equivalent things concerning Israel? There are so many Israeli politicians with links to the US and so many American Jews who have compartmentalized political philosophies: progressive in America fascistic in Israel. The reason that the Times doesn't go after these characters is because it has consciously decided to turn a blind eye to them, to pretend as if this phenomenon does not exist!