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

Obama’s Foreign Policy; Farewell to Cheney; The AEI Breakup; Profiles on Weyrich, Neuhaus, and

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FEATURED ARTICLES

President Obama: A Realist Interventionist?

By Leon Hadar

President Obama might turn out to be a foreign policy pragmatist, eschewing the grand strategies and big-label crusades that inspire the minds of Washington’s cognoscenti. After eight years of the Bush administration’s foreign policy fantasies, the notion of an Obama administration muddling through foreign policy choices should be welcomed, even by those who will inevitably be disappointed when Obama fails to live up to their high expectations. Read full story.

Neoconservatism in a New Era

By Nick Rogers

With a new president taking office who campaigned against George W. Bush’s foreign policy agenda, a burning question among many pundits is, “Whither the neocons?” Out of power and out of fashion, what exactly will be their post-Bush agenda? Prominent thinkers Joshua Muravchik and Michael Ledeen weigh in on how neocons should move forward and what some of their priorities might be in the future. Read full story.

Cheney: Master Bureaucrat

By Daniel Luban

From his first day in office, former Vice President Dick Cheney served as the most aggressive hawk among the top administration leadership. As Barton Gellman documents in his recent biography, Angler, Cheney used the Vice President’s office with secrecy and skill to unite the administration around shared goals of an aggressively nationalist foreign policy, a disdain for diplomacy, and an utterly unfettered executive power in time of war. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

American Enterprise Institute
The departure of key neoconservative writers from AEI leaves in question the think tank’s commitment to the militarist foreign policies it helped promote during the Bush presidency.

Dennis Ross
George Mitchell’s appointment as Middle East envoy may have stymied Ross’ lofty ambitions, but recent reports claim that the Clinton-era advisor who maintains strong ties to neocons may win a high-level post in the Obama administration advising on Mideast policy, possibly focusing on Iran.

Elliott Abrams
The Iran-Contra veteran and champion of Likud-aligned U.S. Mideast policies in the Bush administration has landed at the Council on Foreign Relations.

William Kristol
The editor of the Weekly Standard and founder of the Project for the New American Century, Kristol’s stint as an op-ed writer for the New York Times lasted all of one year.

Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)
Called “a Roman Catholic beacon of the neoconservative movement of today,” the influential Neuhaus, who was frequently found at the crossroads of politics and religion, died in early January 2009.

Paul Weyrich (1942-2008)
A fervent Cold Warrior and longtime conservative leader, Weyrich opposed many of the foreign policies of the Bush administration, including the Iraq War. He passed away in December.

Reuel Marc Gerecht
Like fellow neocon Michael Ledeen, Gerecht, a former CIA officer, found a perch at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies after getting ousted from AEI.

Joshua Muravchik
A former scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Muravchik was one of several scholars whose recent departure from AEI has spurred talk of a “purge” at the neoconservative-led think tank.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Bush Foreign Policy Legacy Widely Seen as Disastrous
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 20, 2009

Few historians would apparently disagree with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal’s comment that "the Bush administration has left you [the United States] a disgusting legacy.” Read story.

Bush Plan Eliminated Obstacle to Gaza Assault
By Gareth Porter | Posted on January 20, 2009

Bush administration efforts to undermine Hamas appear to have paved the way for the recent Israeli assault on Gaza. Read story.

Israeli Attack Seen as Complicating Obama’s Plans
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 7, 2009

The president-elect’s stated goal of improving the Israeli-Palestinian situation has been complicated before he even starts his job. Read story.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Clare Lopez is a former CIA officer and rightwing activist who has argued that the Muslim Brotherhood and a shadowy “Iran Lobby” are working to shape Obama administration policy.


Michael Ledeen, a “Freedom Scholar” at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has long been obsessed with getting the U.S. to force regime change in Tehran.


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.


The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney has emerged as the most visible advocate of hardline security policies in the Cheney family.


Bret Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times who previously worked at the Wall Street Journal and the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary.


Joe Lieberman, the neoconservative Democrat from Connecticut who retired from the Senate in 2013, co-chairs a foreign policy project at the American Enterprise Institute.


Former attorney general Edwin Meese, regarded as one of President Ronald Reagan’s closest advisers despite persistent allegations of influence peddling and bribery during his tenure, has been a consummate campaigner on behalf of rightist U.S. foreign and domestic policies. He currently serves as a distinguished visiting fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.


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From the Wires

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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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Trump’s reorganization of the foreign policy bureaucracy is an ideologically driven agenda for undermining the power and effectiveness of government institutions that could lead to the State Department’s destruction.


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Spurred by anti-internationalist sentiment among conservative Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration, the US is headed for a new confrontation with the UN over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping.


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Decent developments in the Trump administration indicate that the neoconservatives, at one point on the margins of Washington’s new power alignments, are now on the ascendent?


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As the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president approaches, it seems that his version of an “America-first” foreign policy is in effect a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it’s a potential doomsday machine.


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