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

Featured Profiles:

Clare Lopez

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Former CIA officer and vocal anti-Islam conspiracy theorist Clare Lopez has proved a reliable ally of the new president. After Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Lopez said in an interview with Secure Freedom Radio that although Trump had failed to aggressively challenge Islam and jihad he did well in emphasizing the Iran threat to the “collective mob leaders” of the Sunni world. In an earlier 2017 article for the right-wing Accuracy in Media, Lopez urged Trump to “make good on campaign promises” to “rip up” the Iran nuclear agreement. A vice president at a Center for Security Policy, Lopez is known for her notorious claims that members of the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated the U.S. government and that President Obama “switched sides” in the war on terror.

 

Michael Ledeen

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Michael Ledeen, a neoconservative activist known for his diatribes about “Islamofascists,” claimed in a recent interview that Michael Flynn never wanted to be National Security Adviser but was pressured by President Tump to take the post. Ledeen has also argued that during his speech in Saudi Arabia, a country that Ledeen has long argued is at the heart of a “terror network,” President Trump made progress toward establishing “a realistic approach to the jihad threat.” Gushed Ledeen: “If (Trump) can follow through on these words with a realistic adjustment of our counterterror stance so as to meet the actual threat we face, Sunday’s speech could go down in history as a turning point in the free world’s struggle against jihad.”

 

Michael Flynn

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Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser who was forced out only weeks after starting has refused a Senate subpoena to testify about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 elections and the Trump campaign. Flynn stepped down in mid-February after reports that he spoke about Obama-imposed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before Trump’s inauguration.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Cheney

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Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is an outspoken proponent of hawkish U.S. foreign policies who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, winning the congressional seat in Wyoming formerly held by her father. She has been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, particularly with respect to his apparent intention to reinstate the use of torture. Although she has opposed some of Trump’s comments on Russia and Vladimir Putin, Cheney nevertheless backed the president’s controversial decision to fire FBI director James Comey. In a tweet about the firing, which she later deleted after reports emerged alleging that Trump had pressured Comey to end the investigation into disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Cheney childishly wrote: “Best. Termination. Letter. Ever.”

Bret Stephens

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The decision by the New York Times to hire Bret Stephens, a neoconservative columnist previously based at the Wall Street Journal, has been panned on the left and right. Stephens has been widely criticized for questioning climate change, denouncing the nuclear deal with Iran, expressing ideologically one-sided support for Israel, and supporting hawkish U.S. foreign policies in the Middle East. He has also been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, in part because of the “enormity of his stupidity.”

Joe Lieberman

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Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is a leading candidate to replace James Comey as FBI director. An outspoken opponent of the Iran nuclear deal and longstanding neoconservative activitst, Lieberman has been both critical and supportive of the Trump administration. While he has ridiculed Trump’s call to force Mexico to pay for the construction of a border wall, Lieberman has lauded his “sea change” on Iran policy. He recently urged Trump not to “tear up” the Iran agreement but to closely monitor Iran to see if they are not complying with the deal, “then we can break out of the agreement.”

 

Edwin Meese III

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Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, regarded as one of President Ronald Reagan’s closest advisers despite persistent allegations of influence peddling and bribery during his tenure, has been an outspoke backer of Donald Trump. Although during the GOP primary Meese criticized Trump’s campaign for “dividing and and discouraging” Republican Party supporters, after Trump’s primary victory Meese joined the transition team, saying: “Many of us remember 1980, a time when, as today, America suffered from high unemployment and even higher interest rates, a military that needed to be strengthened and rebuilt, and diminished stature in the world of nations. Ronald Reagan turned that around. … We need a Trump-Pence administration to change the direction of our country. We all know that Hillary Clinton will continue Obama’s failed policies, growing the size, scope and cost of the federal government, and endangering our national security.”

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From the Wires

The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


Trump’s reorganization of the foreign policy bureaucracy is an ideologically driven agenda for undermining the power and effectiveness of government institutions that could lead to the State Department’s destruction.


Spurred by anti-internationalist sentiment among conservative Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration, the US is headed for a new confrontation with the UN over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping.


Decent developments in the Trump administration indicate that the neoconservatives, at one point on the margins of Washington’s new power alignments, are now on the ascendent?


As the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president approaches, it seems that his version of an “America-first” foreign policy is in effect a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it’s a potential doomsday machine.


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