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

A Silver Lining for Palestine? AND The GOP Candidates Want More War

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Edited by Michael Flynn

 

FEATURED ARTICLE

A Silver Lining for Palestine?

By Samer Araabi

Since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s call for an independent Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly in September, the mood in Washington towards the Palestinians has turned increasingly hostile. Led by the likes of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), hawkish “pro-Israel” policymakers and pundits have been pushing for an end to U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority in an effort to punish it. But the steady erosion of Israel’s international legitimacy, combined with diminishing U.S. influence in the region, could well lead to an eventual solution, particularly if this situation forces Israel to loosen its iron grip on the Palestinian territories and participate in meaningful dialogue. Read article.

 

MILITARIST MONITOR

One War Is Not Enough for GOP Candidates

The GOP presidential candidates, almost without exception, have displayed remarkably tone-deaf attitudes regarding the imminent U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, while revealing a near-unanimous desire to make Iran the next target of U.S. military intervention, doubtless making their myriad neoconservative Machiavellis proud. Read article

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Rachel Abrams

Vitriolic right-wing blogger Rachel Abrams, who comes from a well-established neoconservative family, is notorious for her vindictive, inflated, and sometimes childish rhetoric.

Roberta Bonazzi

Bonazzi is the executive director of the neoconservative-aligned European Foundation for Democracy, based in Brussels.

Toby Dershowitz

A neoconservative media consultant and former AIPAC spokesperson, Toby Dershowitz is vice president of the Likud-linked Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Devon Gaffney Cross

Devon Gaffney Cross, a longstanding neoconservative activist, has reemerged as a supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign and member of the heavily criticized advocacy group Secure America Now.

Walid Phares

A self-styled terrorism “expert” who lends his name to hawkish U.S. policies in the Middle East, former right-wing Lebanese militia member Walid Phares is now advising Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

Curt Weldon

Since losing his bid for reelection while under investigation for his ties to an arms contractor, former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) has been able to lobby more openly for defense industry interests, including in Libya.

Chris Carney

The conservative Democrat from Pennsylvania who served two terms in Congress now works for the same defense contractor—BAE Systems—that he assisted in gaining Pentagon contracts while in office.

Tom Tancredo

Tom Tancredo, the former House Republican notorious for his anti-immigrant activism, has become a leading promoter of Islamophobic rhetoric in the United States.

John Bolton

When he is not busy down playing President Obama’s military successes, the former ambassador to the UN and neoconservative wonk endorses Israeli use of nuclear weapons against Iran.

 

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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