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

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

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FEATURED ARTICLE

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.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

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.

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Featured Profiles

Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), former chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is a leading ”pro-Israel” hawk in Congress.


Brigette Gabriel, an anti-Islamic author and activist, is the founder of the right-wing group ACT! for America.


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Frank Gaffney, director of the hardline neoconservative Center for Security Policy, is a longtime advocate of aggressive U.S. foreign policies, bloated military budgets, and confrontation with the Islamic world.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.


Huntsman, the millionaire scion of the Huntsman chemical empire, is a former Utah governor who served as President Obama’s first ambassador to China and was a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


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