Right Web

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

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

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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

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and two-time failed presidential candidate, is a foreign policy hawk with neoconservative leanings who appears set to become the next senator from Utah.


Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and longtime “superlobbyist” who has supported numerous neoconservative advocacy campaigns, has become embroiled in the special prosecutor’s investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.


Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


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.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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