Right Web

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

Disappearing Diplomacy, Paul Vallely, Michael Gerson, and more

FEATURED ARTICLE

Disappearing Diplomacy
By Jim Lobe

Support for an aggressive military stance toward Iran appears to be spreading across party lines, a fact highlighted by the bipartisan backing in the Senate for a non-binding amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization bill that called for the administration of President George W. Bush to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps "a foreign terrorist organization." Among those supporting the amendment, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), was Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Michael Gerson
A former speechwriter for President Bush, Gerson, an outspoken evangelical and newspaper columnist, says that the "war on terror" is really a war against evil.

Paul Vallely
The retired general and Fox News analyst, who once coauthored a military paper on "MindWar," likens the war on terror to a football game.

Freedom’s Watch
Initially devoted to supporting the "surge" in Iraq, Freedom’s Watch, the neocon-linked pro-war group headed by Ari Fleischer and other high-profile conservatives, is now spending its energy highlighting the Iranian "threat."

Randy Scheunemann
Called John McCain’s "bulldog," Scheunemann, a former board member of the Project for the New American Century, serves as the senator’s point person on the Iraq War for his presidential campaign.

Lynne Cheney
Lynne Cheney, wife of the VP and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a longtime rightist activist based at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Michael Rubin
Rubin, a scholar at AEI and former Bush administration adviser, is one of the loudest neoconservative voices calling for intervention in Iran.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Ahmadinejad as Hitler
By Khody Akhavi

If Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is Hitler, who in his or her right mind wants to play the part of Neville Chamberlain? Read full story.

"Escalation Dominance"
By Gareth Porter

As part of its efforts to blame Iran for the problems in Iraq—and to justify expanding the war into Iran—the Bush administration says Tehran is escalating the conflict in Iraq. Read full story.

Few Hearts or Minds for Bush Strategy
By Ali Gharib

The United States may need to evaluate its tough standards for partnerships in the Middle East; it may be time to engage some of the more conservative elements there. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and has deep connections to the Republican Party and the neoconservative movement.


The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute is a rightist think tank with a broad mandate covering a range of foreign and domestic policy issues that is known for its strong connections to neoconservatism and overseas debacles like the Iraq War.


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.”


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and an evangelical pastor, is a far-right pundit known for his hawkish policies and opposition to an Israeli peace deal with the Palestinians.


Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and considered by some to be a future presidential candidate.


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From the Wires

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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