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

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Before there was a campaign to attack Iran there was the campaign to attack Iraq, and one of the leaders of that effort was the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), a short-lived yet apparently influential group supported by many of the same ideological actors who are today pushing a hardline on Tehran. According to CLI founder Bruce Jackson, the group was formed at the behest of Bush administration officials who asked him to replicate his earlier success pushing for NATO expansion through his U.S. Committee on NATO.


Charles “Chuck” Wald is a retired U.S. Air Force general and board member of the hawkish Bipartisan Policy Center. He also holds a number of positions at the hardline “pro-Israel” Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, where he recently chaired a report on the 2014 Gaza conflict that echoed right-wing Israeli talking points about the conflict. Wald has also lashed out against a recent U.N. report that found Israeli officials responsible for war crimes during the conflict, calling it “unbalanced” and saying it failed to “accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict.”


Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign is receiving rave reviews in the right-wing Israeli press, in particular from Sheldon Adelson’s free Israeli paper, Israel Hayom. According to Bloomberg, Hayom has “all but anointed” Rubio and given him “singular treatment” while featuring “derogatory stories from U.S. newspapers about Hillary Clinton.”





Mike Huckabee, a former Republican governor of Arkansas and an evangelical pastor, has brought attention to his 2016 GOP presidential campaign by making a series of outlandish claims. He argues that President Obama was “raised in Kenya,” holds that the United States was founded by God, and says that he doesn’t want to live in a United States that “does not fear God because if we don't fear God, nobody will fear us." Huckabee has also urged young Americans not to serve in the military until Obama leaves office. 



During his speech officially announcing his candidacy for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination, Jeb Bush appeared to distance himself from his family name. “His presidential campaign logo, introduced over the weekend, is a simple exclamation: ‘Jeb!’ His brother, the 43rd president, and his father, the 41st president, were not in attendance for his presidential announcement speech in Miami on Monday,” pointed out one Washington Post writer.


Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who ran a gaffe-riddled presidential bid in 2012, has officially joined the crowded list of candidates seeking the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. He has reportedly entered the race as a “national-security stalwart,” a label that nearly all the GOP candidates appear to aspire to. He has advocated the use of torture, has called for “providing lethal aid” to Ukraine to use against Russian-backed separatists, and has argued that U.S. ground forces may have to be deployed against ISIS in Iraq.


Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, notorious for reigning in the rights of workers in his home state, has staked out hawkish positions on foreign policy in advance of his expected run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He has called for the United States to have a “strong presence” in the Middle East, has said he would not rule out U.S. “boots on the ground” in the fight against ISIS, and has said he would “absolutely” reject any nuclear deal with Iran if he becomes president. Walker has also spurred ridicule for saying the “most significant foreign policy decision” of his lifetime was Ronald Reagan’s decision to fire striking air traffic controllers in 1981.

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From the Wires

June 22, 2015

Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., has released a new book vilifying President Obama and his supposed treatment of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

June 20, 2015

Neocon stalwart Elliott Abrams prides himself on having a passion for democracy and human rights even as he has brazenly praised the tightening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

June 18, 2015

Critics of the Iran nuclear negotiations fail to see that any potential agreement was always going to be a compromise and that what they claim are “concessions” are really the compromises necessary for a successful deal.

June 13, 2015

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Clifford May conveniently criticizes China for creating “facts on the ground” in the South China Sea while ignoring similar Israeli moves in the Occupied West Bank.

June 08, 2015

The neoconservative claim that George W. Bush “won” the Iraq War is ridiculous.

June 04, 2015

A tight-knit network of think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits have peddled a plethora of alarmist narratives aimed at scuttling the Iran nuclear negotiations.

June 04, 2015

While Congress regularly denounces Iran for its human rights situation and its imprisonment of several American citizens, it ignores the appalling human rights situation in Egypt, where numerous American citizens have also been held.

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