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

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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

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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