Right Web

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

Iran, Latin America, and the Neocons; Commentary Smears Right Web

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Right Web is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

A “Mullah-Caudillo Axis”?

By Charles Davis

Ties between Latin America and the Middle East have drawn renewed attention, in part spurred by the tepid reactions of Latin American leaders to the deteriorating situation in Libya. But the main concern, at least among rightwing observers, is what the American Enterprise Institute unimaginatively terms the “Mullah-Caudillo Axis.” The relationship between Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadenijad is causing extreme handwringing on the right, spurring pundits to conjure fantastical scenarios about Iran exploiting America’s “soft underbelly.” Clearly, neoconservatives haven't given up hope of attacking Iran—even if they have to go through Caracas to do it. Read article.

 

Commentary Smears Right Web

By Right Web

Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog recently published an entry from Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in which he attacked Right Web for employing standards “embraced by conspiracy theorists like the LaRouchies, 9/11 revisionists, and Birthers.” He also criticized Right Web’s director and editor on the basis of a stark mischaracterization of a correspondence between the two from November 2009 and called on Congress to investigate PBS Frontline for publishing stories that provide links to Right Web material. Read article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Supported in part by rightwing donors from the “Israel Lobby,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has used her perch as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to push hawkish policies in the Middle East and Latin America.

Roger Noriega

Noriega, a former Bush administration policymaker now at the American Enterprise Institute, continues to push hardline U.S. security polices and a free market agenda for Latin America.

Jaime Daremblum

The former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, Jaime Daremblum, now works as a rightwing pundit at the Hudson Institute, where he spins alarmist tales about how Iran is using countries like Venezuela to threaten the United States.

Ilan Sharon

Ilan Sharon, executive director of Minnesotans Against Terrorism and a member of the advisory board of the Clarion Fund, frequently lectures on the rise of radical Islam.

Henry S. Rowen

George Bush Senior’s assistant secretary of defense, Rowen is a fellow emeritus at the Hoover Institution, where he focuses on U.S and Asian security and development issues.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Time for Intervention Running Out

With Libyan forces seeming to have the upper hand, time is running out on whether and when the United States, NATO, or the UN should intervene militarily in the conflict.

US Edges Towards Rebel Recognition

While neoconservatives in the U.S. are itching to get into the fight against Gaddafi, the United States and its European allies are first focused on non-military support for the Libyan insurgency.

Critics Condemn Islam Hearings as Witch Hunts

Controversial hearings on extremist Islam in the United States, spearheaded by Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King, are raising red flags among Muslim-Americans, civil rights groups, and within the Obama administration.

Israel Grows Ever-Harsher in Treatment of Migrants

Israel’s growing migrant population has spurred the rightwing Likud government to pursue increasingly harsh detention and deportation policies, which could further complicate the country’s relationships with its neighbors and the international community.

 

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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