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

On the Warpath to Regime Change; AEI, WINEP, and Hudson; UN Watch; Reuel Marc Gerecht; and more

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The Warpath to Regime Change
By Gareth Porter

An assessment of neoconservative thinking on how to effect regime change in Iran reveals a path leading from 9/11 to the belief that only war will work. Driven in part by the failed intervention in Iraq, which helped increase rather than dampen Iranian influence in the region, neoconservatives with the ear of the vice president abandoned the idea that the U.S. invasion would force change in Iran and other nearby countries, arguing by 2007 that all options must be on the table. Read full story.


UN Watch
The fervently pro-Israel UN Watch is a Geneva-based NGO known for its belligerent and hostile attitude toward the UN Human Rights Council.

Hudson Institute
Home to a passel of hardline supporters of the "war on terror," Hudson was founded by Cold Warriors like Herman Kahn, the nuclear strategist famous for his efforts to develop "winnable" nuclear war strategies.

American Enterprise Institute
A key component of the neoconservative advocacy community and a home away from home for many Bush administration figures, many AEI writers have argued for "regime change" in Iran on both sides of the Atlantic.

Washington Institute for Near East Policy
A think tank closely aligned with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, WINEP recently served as a venue for the vice president to threaten action against Iran.

Reuel Marc Gerecht
The AEI fellow has insisted that by liberating Iraqi Shiites, the regime in neighboring Iran would be weakened, resulting in the emergence of a stable Middle East order.


Distant Diplomacy
By Khody Akhavi

On Iran, a Republican congressman summed it up best this week: "It’s time for old men to talk, before they send young men to die." Read full article.


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Featured Profiles

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken proponent of militarist U.S. foreign polices and the use of torture, aping the views of her father, Dick Cheney.

United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the controversial former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been considered for a variety of positions in the Trump administration, including most recently as national security adviser.

Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.

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.

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From the Wires

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Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.

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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.