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

Apostate Muslims & US Militarism; Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Fallout from Wikileaks, and

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Apostate Politics: How Some Recanted Muslims Have Bolstered Militarist U.S. Policies  

By Samer Araabi

Militarist advocacy organizations often employ exiles from Muslim countries to bolster their promotion of hardline U.S. policies. Individuals such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, and Nonie Darwish have used their perches at neoconservative think tanks to rise to prominence as “apostates” of Islam, speaking out against the religion for its purported backwardness and tendency to violence. Though making generalizations about the cultural predispositions of more than a billion people may be patently absurd, these individuals have provided considerable ammunition to efforts to justify military intervention and other hawkish U.S. policies in the region. Read full article.



Foundation for Defense of Democracies

The neoconservative FDD claims to be waging a war to save democratic countries from “radical Islamism” and other “anti-democratic forces.”

Jennifer Rubin

The Washington Post’s new in-house neocon, Jennifer Rubin has become a leading voice among hardline “pro-Israel” pundits.

Rick Santorum

A presumptive GOP presidential candidate, former Senator Rick Santorum uses his perches at Fox News and at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center to hype fears that the United States is under dire threat from a heady assortment of enemies.

Randy Scheunemann

A well-connected lobbyist and political insider who advised the McCain-Palin campaign, Scheunemann’s clients have also included Tea Party politicos, defense contractors, and George Soros’ Open Society.

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi is a Brussels-based neocon and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Claremont Institute

A bastion of conservative scholarship and advocacy, the Claremont Institute hosts a number of programs that push hawkish foreign policies.

Michael Doran

A former Bush administration foreign policy adviser, Doran is a promoter of “soft power” strategies for overthrowing the Iranian government.

Transatlantic Institute

This Brussels-based organization, founded by the American Jewish Committee, has served as an outlet for neoconservative advocacy in Europe.



US Pakistani Ambassador Unknowingly Hosted Neocon Fundraiser

A neoconservative think tank appears to have held a fundraiser at the residence of Pakistan's ambassador without telling the hosts that the dinner was billed as part of conference on "Countering the Iranian Threat.”

US to Transfer Nuclear Material to Israel

The Obama administration’s decision to transfer nuclear fuel to Israel represents an end run around the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the same treaty the United States and other countries accuse Iran of violating in developing its nuclear program.

US Readies New Sanctions on Iran Ahead of Talks

The Obama administration is preparing a new batch of sanctions against Iran to be announced in advance of upcoming nuclear talks in Turkey.

Mideast Peace Key to Countering Iran, Arabs Told US Diplomats

Although U.S. neoconservatives and their right-wing Israeli counterparts have touted the Wikileaks dump as showing that Arab governments no longer think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to regional peace, the documents themselves tell a very different story.

Cables Belie Gulf States’ Backing for Strikes on Iran

A careful reading of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables reveals that, contrary to the mainstream media’s portrayal of the documents, most Gulf Arab regimes are seriously concerned about the consequences of a strike against Iran.

Time Runs Short for Progress on Iran Nuke Talks

The first meeting between Iran and the world's major powers in more than a year ended with little to show apart from a vague promise to meet again next month in Turkey.

Obama Pushes START Treaty to Top of Legislative Agenda

With time running out before he faces a much more hostile and Republican Congress, President Obama seems to have made ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia his top legislative priority, despite considerable push back from hardline neoconservatives and far-right Republicans.

Report Urges Enhanced Maritime Security in West Africa

Despite Washington's Mideast focused “war on terror” and renewed interest in East Asia, there is increasing pressure to move West Africa up the ladder of foreign policy priorities.

No Top Secrets, but Damaging Nonetheless

The dump of U.S. diplomatic cables reveals few deep secrets but may bury diplomatic trust in the short run.

Hawks, Doves Aflutter Over Pyongyang’s Latest Moves

North Korea has propelled itself to the top of an already over-crowded U.S. overseas agenda with news that is has built a state-of-the-art facility capable of enriching uranium to weapons grade, followed by its bombardment of a South Korean island.



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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.

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From the Wires

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.