Right Web

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

Amitai Etzioni and War with Iran; the Emergency Committee for Israel; and more

Print Friendly

Right Web is now on Facebook. Become a fan!


Muscular Nonrationality: Amitai Etzioni and War with Iran

By Marsha B. Cohen

Once described as the “Everything Expert” by Time magazine, Amitai Etzioni, the renowned social scientist and public intellectual based at George Washington University, has in recent years turned his attention to U.S. foreign affairs, offering at times contradictory views on how to handle perceived threats from North Korean, Russia, and elsewhere. Etzioni’s latest concern is Iran, which he claims will be impervious to nuclear deterrence, and thus must be bombed. Mixing his controversial views on “nonrational” state behavior, Israeli security, and “muscular morality,” Etzioni’s discourse has found favor among Israel’s right-wing. But does it make any sense? Read full article.

SPECIAL PROFILE SECTION: The Emergency Committee for Israel

Launched in July 2010 by a familiar passel of neoconservatives and militarist “pro-Israel” activists, the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) has the potential to push the state of the debate over U.S.-Israel relations far to the right. It’s opening salvo: a TV ad accusing Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) of supporting terrorists. Here’s a closer look at the ECI team:

Emergency Committee for Israel
The latest neocon pressure group aimed at pushing the Likud Party line in U.S. Middle East policy, ECI claims to “provide citizens with the facts they need to be sure that their public officials are supporting a strong US-Israel relationship.”

Rachel Abrams
Rachel Abrams, the scion of a tight-knit neoconservative clan and outspoken supporter of militarist “pro-Israel” policies, recently drew attention when she became a director of the new inside-the-beltway advocacy group called the Emergency Committee for Israel.

Gary Bauer
The Christian Zionist leader and former presidential candidate has been busy founding militarist pressure groups that attack President Obama and other Democrats for allegedly being soft on terrorism and not sufficiently supportive of Israel.

William Kristol
Perhaps inspired by his success using pressure groups to help push the country to war in Iraq, Kristol has been involved in the establishment of a passel of new neocon groups in the past year, including Keep America Safe, the Emergency Committee for Israel, and the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Noah Pollak
Apparently a rising star in the neocon firmament, Pollak serves as ECI’s executive director and has written for Commentary magazine and reportedly served as an adviser to the Israeli Defense Forces.

Michael Goldfarb
The former Weekly Standard editor recently added to his lengthy resume of support for militarist “pro-Israel” groups when he became “advisor” to the Emergency Committee for Israel.


Israel’s Next War Could Be Lebanon: Analyst
One high-profile U.S. observer thinks Israel might initiate hostilities with Hezbollah as a possible catalyst to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“Spy” Told CIA Iran Has No Nuclear Bomb Program
Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who recently “redefected” to Iran after claiming to have been abducted by the United States, allegedly told the CIA that Tehran does not have an active nuclear weapons program.

At War with Iran by Early 2011?
A typical clutch of war hawks appears to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against Iran.

CNN’s Mideast problem
CNN’s firing last week of its Mideast editor because of a Twitter post in which she expressed sadness over the death of a Lebanese cleric has set off a firestorm of debate about CNN’s fairness in reporting on the region.

Whither Netanyahu-Obama?
Last week’s diplomatic dance between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama did little more than to give the Israeli government more time to avoid making the hard decisions needed to achieve peace with the Palestinians.


Right Web encourages feedback and comments. Send letters to rightweb.ips@gmail.com
 or call at 202-234-9382. We reserve the right to edit comments for clarity and brevity. Be sure to include your full name. Thank you.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, is now a leading advocate for regime change in both Iran and Syria based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dennis Ross, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Obama administration, is a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy casino magnate known for his large, influential political contributions, his efforts to impact U.S. foreign policy discourse particularly among Republicans, and his ownership and ideological direction of media outlets.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

Print Friendly

Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

Print Friendly

Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

Print Friendly

Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

Print Friendly

Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

Print Friendly

It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.

Print Friendly

President Trump and his advisers ought to ask themselves whether it is in the U.S. interest to run the risk of Iranian withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, running that risk looks dumb.