Right Web

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

Neocon Redux: Blame Iran, Back Israel

Neocon Redux: Blame Iran, Back Israel

Jim Lobe, Right Web contributing writer

Israel’s military offensives in Gaza and Lebanon have reenergized neoconservatives who see an opportunity to regain influence lost as a result of setbacks in Iraq. While insisting on unconditional U.S. support for Israel, the neoconservatives are also pushing for U.S. attacks on Tehran’s nuclear facilities in retaliation for its support of Hezbollah. Read article.

Midterm Elections: Lieberman in the Hot Seat

Michael Flynn, Right Web program director

As the battles over the November mid-term elections heat up, few campaigns are receiving as much attention in the nation’s press and blogosphere as that of Sen. Joe Lieberman, the three-term Democrat from Connecticut who is facing a stiff challenge from upstart Democrat Ned Lamont. Lamont is a so-called Netroot candidate, one of a handful of election hopefuls whose blogger-driven campaigns are raising eyebrows of Democrats and Republicans alike. As Matthew Continetti of the neoconservative Weekly Standard put it recently, “What increasingly seems to be the case … is that one’s status as a member of the Democratic establishment is entirely dependent on how much attention one pays to the progressive bloggers.” He adds: “The furious assault against Lieberman … has little to do with Lieberman. Its real target is George W. Bush. Each of Lieberman’s alleged errors comes from siding with positions that the Bush administration also has taken. Since the Iraq war is the major project of the Bush administration, and since Lieberman supports that project, it stands to reason that the Iraq war would dominate the primary. For the progressive bloggers, the actual content of Lamont’s positions on the issues is mostly irrelevant. What is most relevant is his willingness to oppose Bush and conservatives in general.”

Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large for the left-leaning American Prospect, poses a different argument, writing in a recent op-ed for the Washington Post: “Lieberman’s ultimate problem isn’t fanatical bloggers, any more than Lyndon Johnson’s was crazy, antiwar Democrats. His problem is that Bush, and the war that both he and Bush have championed, is speeding the ongoing realignment of the Northeast. His problem, dear colleagues, is Connecticut.”

But Lieberman’s position on Iraq is not the only issue jeopardizing his reelection. He has consistently supported rightist foreign policy causes for over a decade, championing everything from discredited national missile defense systems to wider U.S. military intervention in the Middle East—most recently, in Iran. Also absent from much of the debate is Lieberman’s steady support for a long line of neoconservative-led advocacy campaigns; for example, he is serving as co-chair to the recently revived Committee on the Present Danger and as distinguished adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. His record raises an intriguing question: If Lieberman loses in November, will he resurface as a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute?

For more details, see the new Right Web Profile:

Bush’s “Favorite Democrat”
/profile/3357

See also:

Right Web Profile: Committee on the Present Danger
/profile/3301

Right Web Profile: Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
/profile/1458

Right Web Profile: Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
/profile/1475

Also new on Right Web

A Perfect Fit
Michael Doran, appointed Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs in the National Security Council late last year, doesn’t fit the neoconservative profile. But his ideas about the Middle East certainly do.
/profile/3358

Attack of the “Security Moms”
Family Security Matters, a group established by the hardline Center for Security Policy, features smiling soccer mom-types who argue the benefits of targeted assassination. The group is a case study in the modus operandi of right-wing advocacy efforts in the war on terror.
/profile/3368

Letters & Comments

Re: Iran Policy Committee (May 22, 2006)
/profile/3280

Your assessment of the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK) needs work. If someone like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) supports them, saying simply that MEK supporters are “to the right” of the Bush administration isn’t adequate. The array of MEK supporters you list is complex and contradictory, as is the fact that you and David Horowitz seem to agree to an unusual degree—how often does that happen?

I am not a supporter of MEK. I do not know anything about their history or activities since the 1980s. But I do know that an anti-Shah Iranian exile co-worker of mine in 1979 went back to Iran to join what was then a left-wing “People’s Mujahideen,” only to turn up on the front page of an exile newspaper as one of the first victims executed by the Khomeini government in its murderous purge of thousands of leftists. At that time, that array of forces was seen as a potential source for a progressive outcome to the Iranian revolution. Maybe MEK is now a terrorist group and not a legitimate liberation movement—that is a question for analysis, not assertion.

It is not news that the hard right is willing to support terrorist groups for its ends. But surely it is a mistake to think that such support ipso facto makes them cat’s paws for the right—just ask Osama bin Laden. That too is a question for analysis, not assumption or assertion.

It would be useful to have an analysis from IRC of left-progressive dilemmas when faced with the problem of trying to oppose U.S. bellicosity and aggression, while at the same time being in solidarity with democratic and popular desires for change in countries whose repressive and reactionary governments also happen to be targeted by U.S. reactionaries for their own reasons.

—Chris Lowe

IRC encourages feedback and comments. Send letters via: /form_feedback.html. IRC reserves the right to edit comments for clarity and brevity. Be sure to include your full name. Thank you.

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Featured Profiles

Update was slow, but still no lag in the editor window, and footnotes are intact.     This has been updated – Bernard Lewis, who passed away in May 2018, was a renowned British-American historian of Islam and the Middle East. A former British intelligence officer, Foreign Office staffer, and Princeton University professor, Lewis was…


Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


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.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


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From the Wires

Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


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