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

Featured Profiles

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The Republican Jewish Coalition, the hardline “pro-Israel” lobbying outfit supported by Sheldon Adelson, has vocally promoted efforts by Congress to derail U.S.-led negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. With a view to the next presidential election, RJC’s executive director Matthew Brooks recently attacked Hillary Clinton’s stance on Iran: “For four years Hillary Clinton proved to the world that her foreign policy judgment and skills are clearly lacking. Now, former Secretary Clinton fails to realize that after exhaustive negotiations with Iran, rewarding them with more time is a catalyst to empower and embolden the Iranian regime further.”

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Michael Gerson, the conservative op-ed columnist for the Washington Post and former Bush speechwriter, has pushed for a more aggressive stance from President Obama on foreign policy, lambasting Obama’s purported “lead from behind” doctrine in a recent op-ed. “Recent history yields one interpretation,” wrote Gerson. “If the United States does not lead the global war on terrorism, the war will not be led. But still [Obama] refuses to broaden his conception of the U.S. role in the Middle East.”

 

 

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Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post’s editorial page editor, has a record of promoting hawkish U.S. defense policies and has been described as having a “near-neocon position on foreign policy.” Not surprisingly, the Washington Post editorial page recently come out in support of efforts by the newly sworn in Republican Senate to impose additional sanctions on Iran. In a rebuttal to the Post editorial, one journalist stated: “[T]he editorial board ought to come out and say it if they don’t think the Iranians’ threat to back out of talks is serious—and then lay out all the attendant risks of calling their bluff.”

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A controversial activist group closely connected to anti-Islamic and “pro-Israel” political factions, the Clarion Project has released numerous films and publications that attack “radical Islam” and call into question the trustworthiness of Muslims. Clarion’s latest film, Honor Diaries, purports to depict the “issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies.” The film has been denounced by Muslim organizations, with one commentator describing it as a “reminder that the age of pre-packaged, documentary-style propaganda, meant to influence behavior and opinion against ‘them’, is far from over.”

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Ryan Mauro is a national security analyst with the controversial “pro-Israel” propaganda outfit the Clarion Project. Mauro has become a frequent guest on Fox News, where he pushes sensationalist stories about Muslim groups in the United States. According to Media Matters, Mauro has claimed that “Muslim patrols” are a “growing security concern for the United States,” that refugees from Somalia are “becoming ‘homegrown’ terrorists,” and that Islamist groups are creating “Muslim enclaves” in the United States. Mauro has even argued that the evidence of “Islamist Muslim Brotherhood influence at the highest ranks of the Republican Party’s apparatus is overwhelming.” 

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Steven Emerson, a self-proclaimed terrorism “expert,” has a history of making sensationalist warnings about terrorist threats. Often criticized for his distinctly anti-Islamic agenda, Emerson recently was widely ridiculed for claiming that Birmingham, England, had become a “Muslim-only city” where non-Muslims “don’t go.” A member of Parliament described the comments as “stupid” and British Prime Minister David Cameron labeled Emerson a “complete idiot.” Wrote journalist Dan Murphy: “If Emerson knows this little about Britain, what can he possibly know about Egypt and Iraq and Syria and all the other nations he regularly opines on?” 

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who recently appeared to suggest that he might consider a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is a leading foreign policy hawk in Congress known for his tendency to make alarmist claims about “threats” to the United States. He also loudly bemoaned President Obama’s response to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. "I have no idea why the president of the United States won't call this a religious war,” he told Fox News. "I've never been more worried about being hit at home, because the president's worldview and strategy toward radical Islam is failing." 

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From the Wires

January 21, 2015

As he meets with members of the anti-ISIS coalition in London, Secretary of State John Kerry should act to ensure the spotlight remains on greater action against ISIS by US allies.


January 21, 2015

A new report by the Center for New American Security, a think tank close to the Obama White House, emphasizes any change in the United States’ relationship with Iran will be gradual.


January 21, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he has invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, in a move the White House has called “departure from protocol.”


January 20, 2015

A list of talking points sent by the head of the Israel Project to reporters ahead of the State of the Union address misrepresented Congress’ new Iran sanctions bill.


January 19, 2015

In a recent editorial, the Washington Post tacitly endorsed Congress’ push for additional sanctions on Iran while failing to make clear to its readers all the risks this poses.


January 14, 2015

Terrorism in the name of Islam will remain a menace for Muslims and non-Muslims until political systems in the Arab and Muslim world are replaced and Islam undergoes a reformation.


January 14, 2015

Forget the false frame of the West versus Islam, the real battle is over the soul for Europe, with the far-right increasingly animated by Muslim immigration.


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