Right Web

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

Mideast Hegemony Blowback; the “Theocons”; and Santorum is Back

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Is Washington Being Sidelined in the Mideast?
By Leon Hadar | February 20, 2007

When U.S. officials warn of the chaos that would follow a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, they are actually expressing their anxiety over their real nightmare scenario—a Middle East in which the United States is marginalized to a position of little power. But they seem to have found a solution: Attacking Iran. Read full story.

America’s Crusaders
By Tom Barry | February 23, 2007

A fervent blend of ideology and faith is spurring various factions of the American right to champion an imperial foreign policy that envisions the United States forever at war. Read full story.


Michael Novak
Novak, a so-called theocon who champions the idea that unrestrained capitalism aids social justice, has been a vocal proponent of the Iraq War and a critic of U.S. editors, whom he accuses of spreading enemy propaganda.

Richard John Neuhaus
The former activist pastor, who has the ear of the president, argues for a new containment strategy to deter radical Islam.

George Weigel
A senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and an early neocon trailblazer, Weigel argues that some Pentagon planners reflect Christian just-war principles better than U.S. bishops.

Institute on Religion and Democracy
One of a number of so-called Christian Reconstructionist groups, the neocon-aligned IRD fights the culture wars at home while supporting U.S. wars abroad.

Institute on Religion and Public Life
Established in 1989 by hardline “theocon” Richard Neuhaus, the IRPL bridges the divide between the neoconservatives and the Christian Right. It also publishes the religious journal First Things.

Ethics and Public Policy Center
Part of a web of religious-oriented policy institutes supporting neoconservative social and foreign policies, the EPPC’s newest program aims to warn the public of America’s growing list of enemies, with one of America’s leading far-right conservatives at the helm.

Rick Santorum
Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania and a champion of right-wing social policies while in office, is the latest addition to the Ethics and Pubic Policy Center’s slate of conservative scholars and fellows, heading the center’s newly created “America’s Enemies” program.


Right Web Profile: Elliott Abrams
A former president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Abrams abetted the illegal effort to aid the Nicaraguan Contras during the Reagan presidency and today serves as a key member of the George W. Bush administration’s plank of Mideast ideologues intent on reshaping the region.


A Tale of Two Interventions
By Jim Lobe | February 20, 2007

The neocons beat the drums loudly for invading Iraq; their approach on Iran is far quieter and unfocused, yet should not be disregarded. Read full story.


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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.