Right Web

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

Iraq, Middle East

Print Friendly

Contents

This Week on the Right | Tom Barry
What’s New | Middle East Forum, The Evangelical Roots of American Unilateralism: The Christian Right’s Influence and How to Counter It
Letters and Feedback | Architecture of Power, Daniel Pipes, Remembering Team B

This Week on the Right

Baghdad and Beyond
By Tom Barry

(Editor’s Note: Excerpted from the second in a series of investigative reports on the influence of a web of right-wing organizations and individuals–chiefly associated with the Project for the New American Century–in setting radical new directions in U.S. foreign and military policy. For the complete Right Web Analysis, see: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2004/0403anniv.php.)

In defiance of world opinion and the UN Security Council–but with the support of the U.S. Congress–the Bush administration invaded Iraq in March 2003. A year later it’s still too soon to evaluate the success of the mission.

A few quick judgments, though, certainly can be made. The “liberation” was not the cakewalk that Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz had predicted, and the promised liberation has turned into a woeful occupation. Moreover, regime change and preventive war in Iraq cannot be chalked up as victories in the administration’s much-vaunted war on terrorism. Before the invasion there existed no ties between the Hussein government and the al Qaeda terrorist network, but a year of U.S. occupation has sparked a wave of anti-American Islamic militancy in Iraq. Osama bin Laden and his terrorist band were never favored or sheltered by the secular Ba’athist regime in Iraq, and bin Laden remains at large. Meanwhile, the Taliban and their ilk are resurgent in occupied Afghanistan.

What’s less clear is to what degree the regime change in Iraq has furthered the Bush administration’s larger mission of restructuring the Middle East in ways that further U.S. and Israeli national interests, as defined by the hard-liners and ideologues in both nations. An overly narrow focus on the missteps and misadventures in the political quicksand of Iraq misses what administration officials and neoconservative polemicists call “the big picture.”

In speeches at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 2003, President Bush sketched out an interventionist foreign and military policy in the Middle East. This new policy, according to the president, is a “forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East,” which he describes as “the calling of our time, the calling of our country.” The president’s “axis of evil” and “global democratic revolution” formulations of the complexities of international affairs closely reflect the views of neocon ideologues and their institutions. But the details of this ambitious regional agenda together with its ideological and political backdrop come into sharp relief in the operations of such neocon-driven front groups as the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon, the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, and, of course, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

While neocon institutes such as PNAC and AEI were laying out the overall agenda, the specific targets of the neocon transformative strategy have been developed by region- and country-focused front groups created and led by neoconservatives. One of the most successful neocon groups was the U.S. Committee on NATO, directed by Bruce Jackson. Other board members included Randy Scheunemann, Julie Finley, and Gary Schmitt, who like Jackson have been tangled with three other organizations: the Project on Transitional Democracies, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, and the Project for the New American Century. Both the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and the Project on Transitional Democracies were PNAC spin-offs. The U.S. Committee on NATO’s office also became the headquarters for the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and the Project on Transitional Democracies.

Jackson’s success at the U.S. Committee on NATO in corralling bipartisan support to usher Central and East European nations into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Bush administration tapped Jackson to help build bipartisan support for the Iraq invasion.

(Tom Barry is Policy Director of the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), online at: www.irc-online.org.)

Tom Barry, Neocon Philosophy of Intelligence Led to Iraq War,

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Although sometimes characterized as a Republican “maverick” for his bipartisan forays into domestic policy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks.


Former CIA director Michael Hayden, a stalwart advocate of the Bush-era policies on torture and warrantless wiretapping, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump


The former GOP presidential candidate and Speaker of the House has been a vociferous proponent of the idea that the America faces an existential threat from “Islamofascists.”


David Albright is the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank whose influential analyses of nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East have been the source of intense disagreement and debate.


A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy.


Steve Forbes, head of the Forbes magazine empire, is an active supporter of a number of militarist policy organizations that have pushed for aggressive U.S. foreign policies.


Stephen Hadley, an Iraq War hawk and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, now chairs the U.S. Institute for Peace.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.


Print Friendly

A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.


Print Friendly

The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”


Print Friendly

Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.


Print Friendly

The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


Print Friendly

Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


Print Friendly

Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


RightWeb
share