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

Embedding the Analysts: Modern-Day Propaganda?; Plus, Profile on Paul Vallely, Steve Forbes, Bret St

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Embedding the Analysts: Modern-Day Propaganda?
By Bill Berkowitz

An investigative exposé by the New York Times has revealed part of the Pentagon’s “information dominance” apparatus, through which it manipulated perceptions about the conflict in Iraq. Throughout the Iraq War, the Bush administration gave private briefings to selected military retirees, who then made public appearances as independent military experts. The brains behind this program belong to former Pentagon public affairs officer Victoria Clarke, who now works for one of the same TV networks that had been hoodwinked by her program. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Paul Vallely
A right-wing radio talk show host and retired general who supports a number of militarist policy groups, Vallely is also one of nearly 75 retired military men who were given Pentagon talking points before making media appearances as supposedly independent analysts.

Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes, the former “flat tax” presidential candidate, heads the Forbes publishing empire and supports the work of a number of militarist policy groups, including the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Bret Stephens
A rising media star who oversees the Wall Street Journal’s foreign policy editorials, Stephens argues that people who criticize the influence of the “Israel lobby” contribute to growing antisemitism.

Charles Kupperman
A defense industry executive and missile defense proponent, Kupperman is associated with a number militarist think tanks and policy forums.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Feith’s Unsurprising Revelations
By Gareth Porter

A new memoir by neoconservative Douglas Feith, the controversial former undersecretary of defense, shows that soon after 9/11, the administration was intent on using the crisis to reshape the Middle East. Read full story.

No Help from Washington
By Khody Akhavi

With tensions running high, Israel and Syria are using Turkey as a mediator and edging toward a peaceful resolution—with little help from Washington. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

Although sometimes characterized as a Republican “maverick” for his bipartisan forays into domestic policy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks.


Former CIA director Michael Hayden, a stalwart advocate of the Bush-era policies on torture and warrantless wiretapping, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump


The former GOP presidential candidate and Speaker of the House has been a vociferous proponent of the idea that the America faces an existential threat from “Islamofascists.”


David Albright is the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank whose influential analyses of nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East have been the source of intense disagreement and debate.


A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy.


Steve Forbes, head of the Forbes magazine empire, is an active supporter of a number of militarist policy organizations that have pushed for aggressive U.S. foreign policies.


Stephen Hadley, an Iraq War hawk and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, now chairs the U.S. Institute for Peace.


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From the Wires

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The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.


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A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.


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The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”


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Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.


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The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


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Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


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Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


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