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

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Retired Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely is a former military analyst for Fox News who is notorious for having received talking points from the Donald Rumsfeld-led Pentagon before making media appearances as a supposedly independent analyst. More recently, he has become an unhinged anti-Obama activist wildly proclaiming that he is willing to lead a coup against the U.S. government. Quipped one observer: “Obviously a man willing to lead the military in a sort of coup d'état against a duly elected president cannot be reasoned with, about any matter.”




The Heritage Foundation, one of America’s largest and most influential conservative think tanks, has ceaselessly advocated for more militaristic U.S. foreign policies. Its scholars and experts have denounced the Iran deal and called for the next president to “abrogate the agreement.” They have also pushed for more “U.S. commitment and forces” in the fight against ISIS. A trove of Heritage emails leaked in 2015 revealed that the organization accepts donations from a litany of anti-Muslim and anti-Obama conspiracy theorists. 


Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) is a staunch foreign policy hawk who is regarded by some on the right as a “model of the modern major foreign policy leader.” An opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, he said earlier this year that it would be a “good idea” for Congress to pass an Authorization for the Use of Force resolution on Iran, which would allow the president to launch military strikes against the country. During the recent fight over the Iran deal in Congress, Royce introduced legislation in the House aimed at preventing the agreement from being implemented.



Since the defeat of the Romney-Ryan ticket in the 2012 presidential election, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has taken to regularly criticizing the Obama administration’s foreign policy, deriding it as “weak and indecisive” and arguing that Obama should take more “action” abroad. He has also opposed the Iran deal and called for Congress to “strengthen sanctions regimes” on Iran, a move most experts believe would derail the agreement and put the United States on a dangerous path of escalation with Iran.



Uber-hawk Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has used characteristically hyperbolic rhetoric to denounce the Iran deal, calling it “madness” and saying it “simply defies logic.” She has teamed up with neoconservative and Islamophobic figures like Frank Gaffney to lambast the deal, telling Gaffney in a recent interview that she hopes his Center for Security Policy can “communicate clearly and in an articulate manner to your listeners what this deal means to them.”


Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer has spurred controversy for his hyper-partisan approach to diplomacy and deep ties to rightwing factions in the United States. After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected in March 2015, prominent voices in the United States and Israel called for Dermer to be replaced. One member of the Israeli Knesset exclaimed that Dermer “risks the state of Israel.” Dermer recently called the Iran deal a “disaster of historic proportions.”





David Brog, the executive director of Christians United for Israel’s (CUFI) new lobbying arm, the CUFI Action Fund, has exclaimed that “the days of taking evangelical support for Israel for granted are over.” Brog worries that “anti-Israel Christians … are penetrating the evangelical world at its soft underbelly: the millennial generation.”

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From the Wires

October 07, 2015

The makers of a new anti-Argentine government documentary on the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman have ties to notorious holders of Argentina’s debt.

October 06, 2015

The lesson of the “pro-Israel” lobby’s attempted scuttling of the Iran deal is that it is necessary to construct a policy toward Israel that would not reward it for this type of behavior towards the United States.

October 02, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hostile speech before the UN General Assembly will only increase Israel’s isolation on the world stage.

September 30, 2015

AIPAC spent at least $14.5 million on TV ads from mid-July to mid-September in its failed attempt to convince members of Congress to derail the Iran nuclear deal.

September 30, 2015

The real danger of propaganda, whether in the United States or elsewhere, comes when you start believing your own spin.

September 30, 2015

On-going crises in the Middle East, ranging from the Israel-Palestinian conflict to the war in Syria and Iraq, are resulting in the remapping of the entire region.

September 29, 2015

Now that overwhelming majority of countries in the Middle East have come out in support of the Iran deal, it is necessary for these countries to cooperate more broadly to resolve regional issues.

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