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

Chairman Lieberman’s “War on Terror”; Profiles on Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, a

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Chairman Lieberman’s “War on Terror”
By Chip Berlet

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Independent Democrat from Connecticut and vigorous supporter of neoconservative-led advocacy efforts to push an expansive “war on terror” in the Middle East, has used his perch as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to push hardline counterterrorism policies that undermine First Amendment rights for dissidents across the political spectrum—and could have potentially far-reaching implications for how the United States prosecutes the “war on terror.” Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Michael Ledeen
Ledeen left his longtime post as “Freedom Scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute in August for a position at the further-right neoconservative-led Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

James Woolsey
Woolsey, a former CIA director who calls the “war on terror” the “Long War,” is helping lead the effort to attract environmentalists concerned about oil consumption to the neoconservative view of U.S. security.

Peter Wehner
The former head of strategic initiatives in the Bush White House, Wehner has continued to champion the president’s foreign policies from his perch at the neoconservative Ethics and Public Policy Center.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Raid May Herald More Confrontational Policy
By Daniel Luban (Inter Press Service)

The recent U.S. raid into Pakistan targeting Taliban leaders might herald a new and potentially volatile expansion of U.S. military action in the region. Read full story.

Blowback from the “War on Terror” in Somalia
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

U.S. decisions in handling the situation in Somalia have led to a dangerous atmosphere that promotes radicalization, according to a new report. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

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.


A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she has promoted the continuation of U.S. war in Afghanistan.


A “non-partisan” policy institute that purports to defend democracies from “militant Islamism,” the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is an influential base of hawkish advocacy on Middle East policy.


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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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