Right Web

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

Our new home; Bibi’s misguided rightwing affair; Profiles on Michael Makovsky and more

April 14, 2010
Editor: Michael Flynn

Note from the Editor:

After three fruitful years under the stewardship of the Political Research Associates (PRA), Right Web has recently moved to a new home at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, DC. We are very thankful for PRA’s support and guidance during this transition, and we look forward to collaborating with our former colleagues in the future. We are also very excited about our new home, confident that IPS’s high standards of progressive analysis and advocacy on foreign affairs will rub off on our work at Right Web.

–Michael Flynn

 

FEATURED ARTICLE

No Tea Parties for Bibi
By Leon Hadar

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to arrive in Washington just in time to witness the dénouement in the showdown over health care reform was no coincidence. An obsessive consumer of Washington news and gossip — much of it filtered through the lens of U.S. rightwing interlocutors — Netanyahu likely thought he would meet the president just as the Age of Obama was coming to an end. Instead, he confronted a recharged leader angry over Israeli intransigence on settlements. While it is unlikely that current U.S.-Israeli tensions will lead to a long-term split, it is clear that “Bibi” will have to reassess his failed strategy of counting on rightwing allies to counterbalance pressure from the administration. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Michael Makovsky
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Makovsky thinks that for President Obama to peacefully resolve the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program he may have to go to war.

Melvin Sembler
A high-powered Republican Party donor and real estate magnate, Sembler has supported a number of hawkish advocacy groups, including most recently Liz Cheney’s Keep America Safe.

Keep America Safe
At the same time this new neocon group was busy condemning lawyers for having represented terrorism suspects, it was circulating a petition pushing to keep “Gitmo” open, claiming it is a “safe, secure, and humane” way to keep “terrorists” locked up.

Dan Senor
The “spinmeister” who painted a rosy picture of the war in Iraq while working as a coalition spokesperson, Senor now doubles as cofounder of both a private equity firm and a neocon pressure group, the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Daniel Pipes
Pipes recently lauded the racist Dutch politician Geert Wilders, calling him “a charismatic, savvy, principled, and outspoken leader.” 

Dennis Ross
The controversial diplomat closely associated with Israel has been criticized for being overly sympathetic to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stance on settlements at the expense of U.S. interests.  

David Frum
Notorious for his argument that failure in the “war on terror” could lead to a new holocaust, Frum was ousted from the American Enterprise Institute after criticizing the Republican Party’s approach to healthcare reform.

Liz Cheney
A standard-bearer for her father’s militarist agenda, Liz Cheney and her group Keep America Safe have resorted to McCarthy-esque tactics in attacking the Obama administration.

Sheldon Adelson
The Casino magnate and key backer of U.S. and Israeli rightwing groups, Sheldon Adelson’s free Israeli daily is at the center of a dispute over the future of the country’s print media.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Obama Mideast Peace Plan in the Works?
President Obama appears to be considering launching a major push later this year to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, much to the displeasure of the Likudniks and neocons.

Congress Complicates Obama’s Sanctions Strategy for Iran
The Obama administration’s efforts to get UN approval for new international sanctions against Iran could be hampered by the “Israel Lobby,” which intends to push Congress to impose unilateral measures.

U.S. Poll Reveals Divide on Middle East
Eighty-one percent of U.S. citizens say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has hurt their country’s interests, according to a new poll, although a sharp partisan divide increasingly frames the issue.

New U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal
The new U.S.-Russia nuclear agreement, hailed as one of President Obama’s most significant foreign policy accomplishments, will continue the gradual reduction of the two countries’ nuclear stockpiles.

Unraveling the Knottiest Issues in Stalled Peace Talks
A recent study published by an institute led by former Republican official James Baker argues that the Obama administration needs to be more aggressive in pushing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

 

LETTERS

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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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