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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

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Founded in 2008 as a joint initiative of two influential right-wing groups, the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society, Global Governance Watch (GGW) monitors international organizations, reflecting the anxiety often expressed by neoconservatives and other right-wingers regarding efforts to constrain U.S. sovereignty. As one observer points out, GGW uses the term “global governance” in a “pejorative fashion,” connoting a “general feeling of lost control over new sources of power, often located beyond nation-states.”

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The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) is U.S.-based pressure group that has pushed for the United States to attack Iran and has smeared critics of hawkish Israeli policies. ECI has stridently opposed the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran and has characterized the recent framework nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 as a “litany of concessions to Iran.” ECI has called on members of Congress to do their “duty” and “kill this proposed deal.”

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has been harshly criticized for claiming that an attack on Iran would be a cakewalk—or, as he put it, “something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior.” One observer remarked that Cotton’s notion of a war with Iran “smacks of the prediction neoconservative hawks made about the Iraq war.”

 

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George Weigel, a theologian often referred to as a “neoconservative Catholic” by his critics, has a long track record calling for more aggressive U.S. foreign policies. In a recent fear-mongering op-ed, he claimed that President Obama was destroying the “world order,” writing:  “[T]he United States itself is not going to come apart at the seams in the wake of the Obama administration. But very little of the world order of which the United States was the linchpin and guarantor will be left on January 21, 2017.” Weigel has also contended that Obama is “complementing appeasement” of U.S. adversaries “by dismantling the U.S. military in all its component parts.”

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During a recent panel discussion at the neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative, David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security argued that Iran “continues to dissemble and stonewall the [nuclear] inspectors” and that “without a fundamental shift in Iran’s views on safeguards and verification, the prospect of obtaining adequate verification measures fades.” Albright’s remarks were delivered shortly after a widely lauded framework agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 and despite the Obama administration’s insistence that Iran has lived up to its commitments under the November 2013 Geneva interim nuclear deal.

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The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), the hardline “pro-Israel” lobbying outfit supported by Sheldon Adelson, has seen its fundraising efforts achieve “record sums.” RJC executive director Matthew Brooks has attributed the surge in contributions to the Obama administration’s recent spat with Israel over Iran, stating: “There are a lot of folks who are deeply troubled by the actions of this administration and the undermining of the relationship with Israel and with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and as a result, I think, they are engaged and energized in a way I have never seen before.”

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Ali Alfoneh is a senior fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies who claims the Obama administration failed to reach a “good deal” on Iran’s nuclear program because it didn’t pursue additional “financial pressure” during negotiations—even though most observers agree such pressure would have effectively ended talks. In a recent interview, he said: “What I think the U.S. voters should be concerned about and disappointed about is that the U.S. government has done such a poor job of bargaining in the Middle Eastern market.”

 

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From the Wires

April 20, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently spoke bluntly about his aim to rely on “pro-Israel” funding to support his potential run for president.


April 18, 2015

Prominent neoconservatives like Bill Kristol are upset over the watered-down Corker-Menendez bill on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, which President Obama has said he will not veto.


April 14, 2015

United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), the secretive neoconservative group, is apparently intent on distancing itself from the comments of its own president, Gary Samore, who has spoken favorably of the framework agreement reached with Iran.


April 08, 2015

Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican donor and “pro-Israel” hawk, has recently been sounding the alarm about the alleged threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack.


April 07, 2015

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has stated that critics of a nuclear deal do not want a war with Iran, even as a long list of individuals associated with AIPAC have explicitly called for war with Iran.


April 07, 2015

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is a major recipient of funding from prominent hawkish donors and AIPAC-aligned political action committees.


April 03, 2015

Now that a final nuclear deal with Iran is on the horizon, Republicans in Congress will have a harder time convincing their Democratic counterparts to sign on to potentially damaging bills.


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