Right Web

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

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

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

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


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From the Wires

The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


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.


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.”


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