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

Dick Cheney Is Back

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Dick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has re-emerged to boost the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney and promote spending to prepare the U.S. military for its “next war,” which presumably means Iran.

Daniel Loeb

An erstwhile Obama supporter, hedge-fund multimillionaire Daniel Loeb has donated large sums to the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel and thrown high-dollar fundraisers in the Hamptons for the Romney campaign.

Norman Augustine

Former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine embodies the connections among the defense industry, hardline pressure groups, and hawkish think tanks.

Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin, a veteran of the Bush-era Office of Special Plans, has relentlessly criticized the Obama administration for attempting to engage Iran and condemned the rise of democratically elected Islamist parties in the Middle East.

Anne Applebaum

Applebaum, a program director at the London-based Legatum Institute and a former American Enterprise Institute fellow, writes a column for the Washington Post in which she has revealed an on-again-off-again affinity for U.S. military interventions, including pushing the idea that President Obama must be prepared to go to war with Iran.

Emergency Committee for Israel

ECI is a U.S.-based pressure group aligned with the Israeli right wing that has pushed the United States to attack Iran and smeared critics of hawkish Israeli policies.


Obama Pressed on Syrian End-Game

As neoconservatives apply pressure on the Obama administration to militarily intervene in Syria, regional leaders in the Middle East are urging the U.S. president to resist military intervention to avoid an escalation in violence and bloodshed in the country.

Right-Wing Hawks, Arms Industry Rally Against Pentagon Cuts

Neoconservative think tanks have joined the U.S. defense industry to lobby against defense cuts by sequestration.

Netanyahu – Unlike Olmert – Refuses Explicit Iran Attack Threat

The government of Benjamin Netanyahu enjoys a hawkish reputation, but both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been careful to avoid publicly making explicit threats to Iran.

Israel Divestment Campaigns Gain Momentum in U.S.

The U.S. Presbyterian Church’s debate over divesting from Caterpillar, a construction supply corporation that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine, shows considerable momentum for the BDS movement, opening up rifts between some Church members and pro-Israel allies.


RE: The Mitt Romney Foreign Policy Team

Thanks for the info on some of these crazy advisers, although I'm sure Mitt Romney has many more. You also forgot to mention his buddy, war criminal Dick Cheney. I would never vote for Barack Obama, not because of economics, but because of what I consider to be his own war crimes. But Romney has made it very clear that he will greatly expand all aspects of our “wars.”

—Stan Benton

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken proponent of militarist U.S. foreign polices and the use of torture, aping the views of her father, Dick Cheney.

United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the controversial former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been considered for a variety of positions in the Trump administration, including most recently as national security adviser.

Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.

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.

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From the Wires

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Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.

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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.