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

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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen


Uber-hawk Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has been a reliable Republican Party hardliner for years. However, since the election of Donald Trump, she has been one of the few Republicans pushing the investigation into Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election. She has also opposed several Trump priorities, including his expanded deportation rules, refugee restrictions, budget proposals, and health care reform efforts. Regarding Trump’s harsh immigration moves, which are expected to significantly boost immigration detention levels,  Ros-Lehtinen said she worries that “when you cast a wide net, you’re going to catch some criminals — but you’re going to catch a lot of good people.”


Brigitte Gabriel


Brigitte Gabriel, a vitriolic anti-Muslim activist who thinks that Donald Trump will save western civilization, claims to have been invited to meetings at the White House. Her group Act! for America has been characterized as a hate group by civil rights organizations. “No White House official should be meeting with the leader of a hate group that is one of the main sources of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation,” said the Council on American-Islamic Relations in a recent statement.




American Israel Public Affairs Committee


The election of Donald Trump has driven expectations that AIPAC will deliver “messianic outcomes for Israel.” But AIPAC’s financial connections with hard-right neoconservative groups like the Center for Security Policy that have been key backers of controversial Trump policies like the Muslim travel ban have raised questions about AIPAC’s commitment to fighting discrimination.


Frank Gaffney


Frank Gaffney, an anti-Islam ideologue who heads the neoconservative Center for Security Policy (CSP), argues that Donald Trump is “Reaganesque” in his foreign policy vision. After Trump’s executive orders banning immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, many observers drew the connection between Gaffney/CSP and these policies. According to one report, “In 2015, Gaffney commissioned [Trump aide Kellyanne] Conway’s firm to produce” the poll that Trump cited on the campaign trail when he demanded “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”



Shmuley Boteach


Shmuley Boteach is a celebrity Rabbi who is an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump and an ally of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Known for his extreme “pro-Israel” advocacy, Boteach has argued that liberals favor “death cults” and that the Iran nuclear deal is “a pact with an apocalyptic regime.” Boteach admits that Trump “was late to condemn the rising tide of antisemitism in America” but bizarrely counters that “President Obama never once criticized Iran’s threats of annihilation against the Jewish people.”


United Against Nuclear Iran


UANI enthusiastically welcomed the election Donald Trump, claiming that the new president would be “positioned to swiftly pull the U.S. out of the Obama administration’s landmark nuclear agreement with Iran.” The group has also lauded reports that Trump’s victory is forcing companies to reconsider doing business in Iran and has pushed the Trump administration to put pressure on businesses seeking to re-enter the Iran market, including notably Fiat Chrylser.

Jon Huntsman


Donald Trump’s appointee as ambassador to Russia, Jon Hunstman is a millionaire scion of the Huntsman chemical empire who was governor of Utah and served as Barack Obama’s first ambassador to China. In contrast to the protectionist rhetoric of President Trump, Hunstman has been a vocal proponent of free trade deals. On the other hand, like Trump, Hunstman has heavily criticized the Iran nuclear deal and pushed a one-sided pro-Israel view of Middle East peace.



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From the Wires

AIPAC has done more than just tolerate the U.S. tilt toward extreme and often xenophobic views. Newly released tax filings show that the country’s biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration’s efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.

It would have been hard for Trump to find someone with more extreme positions than David Friedman for U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Just as the “bogeyman” of the Mexican rapist and drug dealer is used to justify the Wall and mass immigration detention, the specter of Muslim terrorists is being used to validate gutting the refugee program and limiting admission from North Africa, and Southwest and South Asia.

Although the mainstream media narrative about Trump’s Russia ties has been fairly linear, in reality the situation appears to be anything but.

Reagan’s military buildup had little justification, though the military was rebuilding after the Vietnam disaster. Today, there is almost no case at all for a defense budget increase as big as the $54 billion that the Trump administration wants.

The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest is sufficient reason for the public to be outraged. That such a conflict of interest may affect real U.S. foreign policy decisions is an outrage.

The new US administration is continuing a state of war that has existed for 16 years.

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