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

Israeli Hawks Downplay Iranian Nukes; the New Arc of Crisis; Stifling Dissent; FreedomWorks; Emanuel

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Look Who’s Downplaying Iran’s Nuclear Threat
By Leon Hadar

In a series of recent statements, high-profile Israeli hawks have argued that an Iranian nuclear weapons program would not pose an existential threat to Israel, in part because they realize that the alternative could be regional war. So why is it that neoconservatives and other pro-Israel hardliners in the United States continue to press for decisive action against Tehran from the safety of their offices in the United States? Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Emanuele Ottolenghi
Ottolenghi, director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute, keeps readers of the National Review, Commentary, and other rightist outlets up to date on whither the "war on terror" in Europe.

Will Marshall
Considered by some a neoconservative in Democrat’s clothing, Marshall helps run two rightist Democratic Party-aligned groups, the Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute.

FreedomWorks (previously Empower America)
FreedomWorks is a rightist advocacy outfit created in 2004 out of the merger of Empower America and Citizens for a Sound Economy.

Marshall Wittmann
Senator Lieberman’s spokesperson, Wittmann has worked to put the Democratic Party on a hardline trail like the one blazed by Sen. "Scoop" Jackson.

Bruce Jackson
Bruce Jackson has founded several influential, hawkish advocacy groups, including the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a pressure group that worked to build public and congressional support for invading Iraq.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

A New "Arc of Crisis"?
By Jim Lobe

The problems in Pakistan and the looming threat of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq have come at an inconvenient moment for the Bush administration, which is trying to convince the public that it has finally turned the corner in the "war on terror." Read full story.

Stifling Dissent
By Gareth Porter

In a replay of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration wants to prevent intelligence agencies from reporting inconvenient messages, in this case regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Read full story.

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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.


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From the Wires

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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.


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


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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.”


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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