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

Palestine, the Arab Spring, and the Middle East Lobby

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Palestine, the Arab Spring, and the Middle East Lobby

By Jack Ross

As the Arab Spring confronts increasing resistance from entrenched interests in the region, the Palestinian cause appears to be at best a fading concern of demonstrators—or so “pro-Israel” ideologues would have us believe. But this myth of a divide between Arab demonstrators and Palestinians does not stand up to the evidence. And just as importantly, it fails to take into account that what we are witnessing across the Arab world is a broad-based movement aimed at asserting democratic rights and undermining the grip of hegemonic forces, and that nowhere is the need for this movement more acute than in Palestine. Read article.

 

Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi “Counter-revolution”

By Jim Lobe

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran. Read article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

James Woolsey

Woolsey, a former CIA director who views the “War on Terror” as the “Long War,” was recently named chairman of the board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Malcolm Wallop

Retired Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-WY) is an old-school Cold Warrior who continues to promote rightwing defense and foreign policy initiatives as chair of Frontiers of Freedom.

Robert H. Bork

Conservative legal scholar and former Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork is a long-time rightwing activist who has supported the work of several advocacy groups, including the Hudson Institute.

Lewis Lehrman

An investment banker who advocates supply-side economics and a return to the gold standard, Lehrman has supported a number of militarist pressure groups since the Cold War, including the Project for the New American Century and the Reagan-era Citizens for America.

Walter Kansteiner III

Kansteiner is a long-standing Republican Party operative active in international business and policy initiatives.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi ‘Counter-revolution’

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran.

U.S. Denies It Is Trying to Undermine Assad

Bashar al-Assad’s government struggles to cope with growing protests as the State Department denies any involvement in the unrest, despite reports of it providing millions of dollars to the Syrian opposition in the last five years.

U.S. ‘Democracy’ Advisors Suddenly in Demand

With the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia toppled and rebellions raging from Libya to Yemen, U.S. officials and NGOs dedicated to democracy promotion in the Middle East face unprecedented opportunities—but also new questions about the U.S. role.

Israel Hits Roadblock Over Dismissal of War Crimes Charges

Israel has gone on the offensive after Richard Goldstone admitted “regret” over parts of the UN-report investigating Israel’s War on Gaza that carried his name—but critics charge that Israel is overplaying Goldstone’s comments.

Libya Splitting Republicans in 1990s Redux

In a replay of the infighting among Republicans over U.S. military interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s, U.S. involvement in the civil war in Libya is exposing serious splits among self-described conservatives.

Maliki’s Doubts Threaten Post-2011 Troop Presence Plan

President Obama’s plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond 2011 is threatened by developments in both Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

Turkey’s ‘neo-Gaullism’

Turkey has endeavored to make itself a central player in the unfolding Middle East upheaval, leading one observer to comment that the country is displaying a “new self-confidence bordering on hubris."

Arab Uprising as a War on Terror

The flame lit by Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation last December 17 has also engulfed some myths about the region and beyond, which will have a profound impact on the domestic and foreign policies of the new governments that emerge from the ongoing upheaval.

 

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


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.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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