Right Web

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

Featured Profiles

John Hagee

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According to evangelical pastor John Hagee, founder of the right-wing group Christians United for Israel (CUFI), both Israel and the United States pursue the policies that CUFI advocates “because the favor of God is with this organization.” “Pro-Israel” factions have embraced Hagee despite several notable scandals indicating that he holds anti-Semitic views. In 2018, President Donald Trump invited Hagee to speak at the ceremony for controversial opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. A prominent rabbi critic of Hagee describes the pastor as someone “who is contemptuous of Muslims, dismissive of gays, possesses a triumphalist theology, and opposes a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Michael Gerson

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Michael Gerson, conservative op-ed columnist for the Washington Postand former Bush speechwriter, has been one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics on the right, calling him an “unhinged president” and saying that the United States has become “a superpower run by a simpleton.” Known for his evangelical Christian beliefs, Gerson’s starkly moralistic views—“evil exists and it has to be confronted”—has led him to promote seemingly contradictory foreign policies, including embracing the neoconservative-led campaign to push for the invasion of Iraq after 9/11 while simultaneously advocating humanitarian initiatives like increasing U.S. foreign aid.

 

 

Robert Kagan

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Robert Kagan, neoconservative writer known for his leading role in the effort to push the invasion of Iraq and outspoken criticism of Donald Trump, is skeptical about the United U.S. partnership with Saudi Arabia, saying of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “Today, the Saudi crown prince’s U.S. supporters are asking how he could have been so foolish if he, as it appears, ordered the murder of [Jamal] Khashoggi. But who are the fools here? Dictators do what dictators do. We are the ones living in a self-serving fantasy of our own devising, and one that may ultimately come back to bite us.” Kagan has called Donald Trump “the most successful demagogue-charlatan in the history of U.S. politics.”

Mira Ricardel

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Mira Ricardel’s tenure as John Bolton’s deputy national security adviser ended abruptly after First Lady Melania Trump publicly said that Ricardel “no longer deserves the honor of serving in the White House.” The incident was unprecedented, prompting one journalist to opine that it “shows that bickering has now trumped national security in this administration.”Ricardel is a well-known foreign policy hawk and served in key positions in the administration of George W. Bush. Prior to joining the Trump transition team, she worked for Boeing, marketing advanced weapons and defense systems.

 

 

Frederick Fleitz

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After only five months on the job, Fred Fleitz—a noted conspiracy mongerer who once threatened “legal action” against Right Web—left his post as chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council to replace notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. He immediately made clear that CSP would continue its hardline neoconservative activism while supporting the policy agenda of the Trump administration, saying on Fox News, “America-first nationalism … is a rejection of the failures and excesses of internationalism that’s hurt the American people.”

 

 

Brian Hook

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Brian Hook, head of the Trump administration’s newly launched Iran Action Group, appears eager to demonstrate his zealous militarism, recently accusing the EU of funding the Ayatollah’s ability to “conduct assassinations in those very European countries.” A prominent critic of Trump prior to the 2016 election, Hook has proved a somewhat unexpected rising star in President Trump’s State Department. Hook previously served as an adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and in the George W. Bush administration.

Haim Saban

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Haim Saban, a media mogul and major Democratic Party donor, likes to say that he’s “a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.” Although he’s been critical of Donald Trump, he has also publicly defended him against charges of anti-Semitism and sympathy for white supremacists. Saban donated some $12 million in 2012 to the Brookings Institution to establish the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, which hosts the annual Saban Forum, where major figures from Israel and the United States meet every year.

 

 

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From the Wires

U.S. supporters of Israel are in a bind: public opinion is changing; there are more actors publicly challenging Israel; and the crude, heavy-handed tactics they have successfully used in the past to silence criticism now only aggravate the situation.


As the civilian death toll from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen grows and the backlash against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi’s murder escalates, former Sen. Norm Coleman’s control of Republican Party campaign purse strings positions him as a key influencer of Republican congressional action, or inaction, in curtailing the increasingly aggressive and reckless actions of Saudi Arabia.


Increasingly, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are positioned as rivals, each with pretensions to Middle Eastern influence or even hegemony. It’s not clear whether they can continue to coexist without one or the other—or both—backing down. This has made it more difficult for the United States to maintain its ties with both countries.


What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot.


The Donald Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge.


Eminent U.S. foreign policy expert Stephen Walt’s new book critique’s the “liberal hegemony” grand strategy that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.


(Lobelog)  Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told LobeLog he will remain on the board of the Gatestone Institute, a right-wing think tank that receives money from Trump megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer and disseminates anti-Muslim and anti-refugee conspiracy theories. Last week, LobeLog reported that Dershowitz received $120,000 from the Gatestone Institute in 2017 and…


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