Right Web

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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Right Web is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

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.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

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.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

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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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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