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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

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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Featured Profiles

Update was slow, but still no lag in the editor window, and footnotes are intact.     This has been updated – Bernard Lewis, who passed away in May 2018, was a renowned British-American historian of Islam and the Middle East. A former British intelligence officer, Foreign Office staffer, and Princeton University professor, Lewis was…


Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


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.


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.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


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From the Wires

Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


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