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

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The Washington Institute for Near East Policy recently published a letter signed by former officials from both the Bush and Obama administrations that has been framed as critical of the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran. However, the letter, which was also signed by prominent neoconservatives, has been described by one signatory as “very much in line with current U.S. policy.” 



Gary Samore, a former adviser to the Obama administration who is now the president of the hawkish United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), recently signed onto an open letter published by the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy that several media outlets have framed as a warning from President Obama’s “ex-advisers” about the “Iran nuclear deal.” Samore, however, appears to disagree with this interpretation of the letter, saying in a recent CNN interview: “If you look through the substance of the letter, you'll see that the positions we take on the key unresolved issues are very much in line with current U.S. policy.” 



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.

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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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