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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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.



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.



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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Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, is now a leading advocate for regime change in both Iran and Syria based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dennis Ross, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Obama administration, is a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy casino magnate known for his large, influential political contributions, his efforts to impact U.S. foreign policy discourse particularly among Republicans, and his ownership and ideological direction of media outlets.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.

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From the Wires

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North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

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Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

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Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

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Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

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Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

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It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.

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President Trump and his advisers ought to ask themselves whether it is in the U.S. interest to run the risk of Iranian withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, running that risk looks dumb.