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

Bush’s Confusing Foreign Policy—the Middle East and North Korea; Plus Profiles on Global

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Peace Not Near on Middle East’s “Time Horizon”
By Leon Hadar

The Bush administration’s symbolic concessions on Iran may be a smokescreen for plausible deniability, and recent diplomatic steps taken by various Middle Eastern players should not be confused with a search for peace. The Middle East is a place where nothing is what it seems to be, where yesterday’s enemy is tomorrow’s ally, where commitments are made to be broken, and where “peace” is nothing more than a long cease-fire. Read full story.

North Korea: Hand-Wringing over Success
By John Isaacs

President Bush’s announcement in late June that the United States was taking North Korea off the sponsors of terrorism list thanks to Pyongyang’s progress in dismantling its nuclear weapons program was the culmination of a shift in administration policies that has astonished the world. The shift toward diplomacy has also infuriated many of the administration’s erstwhile supporters who, in John Bolton’s words, have begun to bemoan the “final collapse of Bush’s foreign policy.” Read full story.


Global Governance Watch
A joint initiative of the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society, Global Governance Watch aims to be an "expanded and revamped version of NGOWatch," the much-maligned initiative accused of being a McCarthyite blacklist.

Erik Prince
After reaping millions in government contracts, the CEO of Blackwater claims his private military company is getting out of the security business, in part because he says it has been “unfairly” targeted by those who oppose the Iraq War.


Iran in the Spotlight at Christian Zionist Confab
By Ali Gharib

As demonstrated by panelists at the recent Christians United for Israel conference, neoconservatives are still beating the anti-Iran drums of war. Read full story.

Bush, U.S. Military Pressure Iraqis on Withdrawal
Analysis by Gareth Porter

The change in the Iraqi regime’s behavior over the past six months strongly suggests that the era of Iraqi dependence on the United States has ended. Read full story.

Scowcroft, Brzezinski Urge Bush to Drop Iran Preconditions
By Jim Lobe

Two respected foreign policy authorities urge the administration to engage Iran and avoid creating a “cauldron of conflict, bitterness, and hatred.” Read full story.


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Featured Profiles

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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Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

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Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

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Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

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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.