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

Protecting the Bush Legacy; The U.S.-Likud Right Connection; and Fred Thompson for Prez?

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Last Days of the Bush Administration: Protecting the Legacy
By Leon Hadar

What seems to have survived from the neoconservative project of Democratic Empire in the Middle East is merely the Empire. Drained of its Wilsonian idealism, the project has been transformed into a hasty Realpolitik-based program of sustaining the U.S. hegemonic position in the region—and salvaging President George W. Bush’s legacy. But the chances of success seem slim. Read entire article.

FEATURED PROFILE

Ariel Center for Policy Research
An Israel-based policy institute that unites Likud Party officials and the pro-Israel right-wing in the United States behind an agenda that includes making sure peace efforts do not include Israel giving up territory to its "totalitarian enemies," the Ariel Center was founded in 1998 with the help of a grant from Arison Foundation, a philanthropic organization set up by deceased Israeli billionaire and Carnival Cruise line founder Ted Arison.

See also: Ariel Center Experts and Advisers

Right Web Profile: Anne Bayefsky
A Canadian human rights scholar and fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, Bayefsky writes on the "moral depravity" of the UN and the need to take a hardline stance on Mideast "enemies" like Iran.

Right Web Profile: Ilan Berman
A rising star among the ranks of hawkish pro-Israel wonks, Berman, VP of the American Foreign Policy Council, frequently testifies before Congress on issues related to U.S. Mideast policy.

Right Web Profile: Rachel Ehrenfeld
Despite criticism of her research techniques and her conclusions, Ehrenfeld, a prominent voice in the rightist discourse connecting terrorism and transnational crime, is heralded by neoconservatives and other rightist factions.

Right Web Profile: Meyrav Wursmer
Part of a core group of neoconservative elites who helped formulate policies that were adopted by the Bush administration after 9/11, Wurmser is a fellow at the Hudson Institute and founder of MEMRI.

Right Web Profile: Frank Gaffney
A proponent of the "peace through strength" credo, Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy promote controversial weapons programs, a Likudnik line on Mideast issues, and an expansive "war on terror" targeting "Islamofascists" throughout the Middle East.

Right Web Profile: William Van Cleave
A Reagan-era defense official closely associated with an enduring clique of hawkish elites who first banded together in the late 1970s to form the Committee on the Present Danger, Van Cleave is the founder and former chair of the Defense and Strategic Studies Department at Missouri State University, a bastion of veteran conservative policy elites.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Resolving Israeli-Syrian Tensions
By Khody Akhavi April 30, 2007

A recent report by the International Crisis Group outlines steps Israel should take to ease tensions with Syria and encourage broader stabilization in the Middle East. Read entire article.

Right Web Profile: Fred Thompson
Hardliners love the idea that the former senator, well-known actor, and AEI fellow might run for president because, as one right-wing blog puts it (in a tongue-in-cheek reference to Dune), "The Fremen consider ‘Fred Thompson’ a killing word."

Right Web Profile: John Bolton
The controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN has returned to his old stomping grounds at neocon central, the American Enterprise Institute, where he continues to harangue about the UN, Islamofascists, and curtailing diplomacy.

LETTERS

RE: Richard Perle et al.

As a military veteran and former Infantry Rifle Company Commander, I am sickened by Richard Perle and people like him who are affiliated with our government, many of whom never served in the military but are the first to commit our greatest asset—young Americans—to fight for their hawkish causes. Simply put, Mr. Perle (with assistance from Mr. Paul Wolfowitz) was the key champion of the Iraq War—which is the wrong war, at the wrong time, and for all the wrong reasons. I am a registered Republican who despises right-wing policies from well-educated neoclassical "REMFs."

—David Kaercher

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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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