Right Web

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

An Immigration-Terrorism Link?; Conrad Black on Trial; and Fukuyama’s Revelation

AN IMMIGRATION-TERORRISM LINK?

The website of Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), a wing of the Department of Homeland Security that overseas implementation of many U.S. migration policies, sets the tone: " The agency was created after 9/11, by combining the law enforcement arms of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the former U.S. Customs Service, to more effectively enforce our immigration and customs laws and to protect the United States against terrorist attacks. ICE does this by targeting illegal immigrants: the people, money, and materials that support terrorism and other criminal activities."

In one fell swoop, ICE says that "targeting illegal immigrants" is all about protecting America from terrorists—illegal immigrants, after all, says ICE, are "the people" who "support terrorism." It is a breathtaking assertion. But do undocumented immigrants have anything to do with terrorism? Most migration experts say no, arguing that trying to enter the country illegally is the least likely avenue that a terrorist would take, and that there is little or no evidence that terrorists have done so. Yet this argument seems to have little sway in the Bush administration or on Capitol Hill, where a growing number of congressional figures have used the war on terror as a platform from which to spout anti-immigrant rhetoric.

This issue of Right Web News features an analysis and profiles of some of the key congressional proponents of the immigration-terrorism connection, including the congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, a group that includes some 100 rightist House members, three of whom have set their sights on winning the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Pushing the Anti-Immigration Agenda Further Right
By Tom Barry | March 13, 2007

Connecting immigration restrictionism to the "global war on terror" and the "clash of civilizations," Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo is helping to forge a new unity among social conservatives on a far-right agenda, even as other presidential candidates endeavor to steer clear of the immigration debate . Read full story.

Right Web Profile: Immigration Reform Caucus
Using the war on terror to push for severely strict immigration policies, the congressional Immigration Reform Caucus has grown into a formidable force on Capitol Hill, one that includes nearly 100 House members.

Right Web Profile: Tom Tancredo
The Republican rep has rallied a populist right-wing revolt that bands together anti-immigration activists, the religious right, cultural supremacists, and the militia movement into a new anti-immigration wing of the Republican Party.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Right Web Profile: Conrad Black
A onetime powerful media mogul and favorite of the Richard Perle crowd, Black’s trial on racketeering and other federal charges began this week in Chicago.

Right Web Profile: Francis Fukuyama
One of the most well-known U.S. academics and an erstwhile neocon, Francis Fukuyama turned his back on neoconservatism, arguing that it was "strangely disconnected from reality." Now he calls for a more aggressive diplomatic strategy in global hotspots like the Middle East than the one gaining steam of late in the offices of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

A Real Realist Takeover?
By Jim Lobe | March 12, 2007

The realists seem to have seized the initiative in directing U.S. foreign policy, but "cowboy diplomacy" dies hard, especially in the Middle East. Read full story.

LETTERS

RE: Leon Hadar, "Is Washington Being Sidelined on the Middle East," Right Web, February 20, 2007

Leon Hadar’s article outlines a number of important and interesting political dynamics, such as the growing Saudi role in Middle East issues and the implications of this for the United States. However, I think it is important to also consider Bush administration policy from a personal/psychological perspective. The persistent U.S. expressions of concern about not appearing weak, not "rewarding" objectionable conduct, and insisting that adversaries surrender their positions before negotiations, often seem to constitute the bullying behavior of fundamentally insecure egos.

The recent agreement to talk with Syria and Iran has been greeted as a welcome concession to rationality, but it’s accompanied by an insistence that the United States will not talk about anything but stability in Iraq. Reasonable people tend to see that as a front and to believe the talks must inevitably open the door on broader issues. But it’s just as likely that the brittle egos involved are quite serious, and may even plan to use the talks as cover for further aggression: the United States could appear to engage in negotiations the breakdown of which would be used to justify military action that is already planned. While the United States has been obsessed with hegemony for decades, and perhaps throughout much of its history, the apparently psychopathic personalities in charge of the Bush administration lend an additional element of irrationality that is downright scary, and that it may be important to take into account in analyzing and attempting to predict U.S. actions.

—Robert Roth

RE: Suggested Profiles

First, thanks for all of the well-researched information you have up on your site. I have used it frequently. I wonder, however, why you do not have O.R. Anderson, Maurice Strong, or others who have been behind efforts to increase oil-company influence in the United Nations. Also, many neoconservative political operatives are not profiled on your site, including John Fund, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, or David Horowitz, although you have some of the people in their networks, such as Michael Novak. Fund was placed at the Wall Street Journal in the early 1980s by Novak. He identified the potential that Drudge had and most probably brought Horowitz onboard in the 1990s. You might look into the work of Howie Rich, too. That connects to Koch Industries (also something to be covered) through the Cato Institute and Ed Crane.

Great work on the site. Thanks.

—Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

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Featured Profiles

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and has deep connections to the Republican Party and the neoconservative movement.


The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute is a rightist think tank with a broad mandate covering a range of foreign and domestic policy issues that is known for its strong connections to neoconservatism and overseas debacles like the Iraq War.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and an evangelical pastor, is a far-right pundit known for his hawkish policies and opposition to an Israeli peace deal with the Palestinians.


Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and considered by some to be a future presidential candidate.


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From the Wires

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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