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

Congress and Iran; Intel Déjà Vu; Hawking Iran in Europe; JPod and Commentary

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Congress and Iran: The New Iraq?
By John Isaacs

If U.S. warplanes fly toward Iran next year, October 2007 may be remembered as the month that the Bush administration began its final push to prepare the public for a new Mideast intervention. Although largely driven by Vice President Dick Cheney and associates in the Bush administration, the push toward military action has been abetted by cheerleaders in Congress, as well as by a heavy dose of rhetoric from the regular suspects in the neoconservative and hardline advocacy communities. Read full story.

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White House Sharpens Its Words
By Jim Lobe

The vice president gives a hostile assessment of Iran and the president links World War III to a nuclear Iran, while the secretary of defense tries to temper the two with a more restrained and robust interpretation of the Iranian threat. Long before it has figured out what to do with Iraq, the White House seems intent on more military action in the Middle East. Read full story.

SPECIAL PROFILE SECTION: Hawking Iran in Europe

Réalité EU
This Europe-based outfit echoes the rhetoric of many pro-Israel hardliners in the United States in its efforts to educate European leaders about supposed threats to the continent from the Middle East.

The Henry Jackson Society
Honoring the controversial hawkish senator from Washington, the British-based Henry Jackson Society serves as the neoconservative analogue in the UK, offering a platform for the likes of Richard Perle to push regime change in Iran and other global hotspots.

The Transatlantic Institute
This Brussels-based outfit, founded by the American Jewish Committee, often serves as a host for U.S. writers and pundits who helped bring about the Iraq War and now aim to extend it to Iran.

SPECIAL PROFILE SECTION: The Intel Déjà Vu

Team B Strategic Objectives Panel
Though the gaming of intelligence has been on full display during the George W. Bush presidency, the phenomenon has a Cold War forerunner in Team B.

Rumsfeld Missile Commission
As the history of this rightist-driven congressional commission from the late 1990s reveals, Iran is just the latest in a long line of trumped up excuses for deploying controversial and costly missile defense systems.

Rumsfeld Space Commission
Supported by hardline and neoconservative-led groups like the Center for Security Policy and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, this congressionally mandated study warned of a “Space Pearl Harbor.” And then 9/11 happened.

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Whose EFPs?
By Gareth Porter

The argument that Iran alone is behind deadly explosives used against U.S. troops in Iraq is the latest in a long line of skewed intel conclusions offered by the Bush administration to justify the "war on terror." Read full story.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Right Web Profile: John Podhoretz
Many conservatives are unhappy that the neocon scion, known more for head-scratching pop culture columns than for intellectual prowess, has been named as future editor of Commentary magazine.

Right Web Profile: Sen. Joe Lieberman
One of the Senate’s most ardent hardliners on Iran and a consistent backer of a neoconservative foreign policy agenda, Lieberman has repeatedly called for sending U.S. troops into Iran to attack purported terrorist training sites.

Right Web Profile: Foundation for Defense of Democracies
A key member of the neoconservative advocacy club, the FDD has proved an effective promoter of the idea that Islamic extremism is the main threat to Mideast peace and Western civilization.

Forgetting the Carrot
By Ali Gharib

The United States says it’s open to diplomacy with Iran, but new U.S. sanctions seem to suggest otherwise. Read full article.

Islamofascist What?
By Khody Akhavi and Ali Gharib

David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, and friends staged a pre-Halloween fete last week aimed at deriding leftist "lynch mobs" and "Islamo-Nazis" that bore all the hallmarks of an extremist rally. Read full article.

Bracing the Brass on Iran
By Gareth Porter

Some politicians appear eager for U.S. military action against Iran, but their military counterparts are more cautious, a divide reflected in the changing military options tabled by the administration. Read full article.

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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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