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

Quitting the Mideast?; Daniel Pipes; the Al-Qaida Gambit

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Time to Ignore the Middle East?
By Leon Hadar

If a Democrat wins the 2008 presidency, one should not be surprised to discover that the major element in the neoconservative agenda—maintaining U.S. military and diplomatic hegemony in the Middle East—will likely remain alive and well, producing the never-ending vicious circle: more U.S. military interventions, leading to more anti-U.S. terrorism, resulting in more regime changes. It’s time for "constructive disengagement" from the Middle East. U.S. policymakers need to recognize that U.S. military intervention there only ignites anti-Americanism in the form of international terrorism . Read full story.


Middle East Forum
The Middle East Forum, a creation of hardline neocon Daniel Pipes, champions U.S. intervention in the Middle East and knocks scholars who are critical of Israel.

Daniel Pipes
The scion of a long-standing neoconservative family, Pipes runs the anti-Islamist Middle East Forum and promotes efforts to discredit professors who are critical of Israel.

U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon
The now largely defunct USCFL was part of a network of tightly linked hardline groups that helped champion an expansive war on terror in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Ziad Abdelnour
A private equity banker, Abdelnour has worked closely with neocons like Daniel Pipes to push for U.S. intervention in Syria.


The Al-Qaida Gambit?
By Gareth Porter

Blaming Tehran for al-Qaida attacks could be the gambit used by the United States to justify bombing Iran. Read full story.


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Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, is now a leading advocate for regime change in both Iran and Syria based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dennis Ross, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Obama administration, is a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy casino magnate known for his large, influential political contributions, his efforts to impact U.S. foreign policy discourse particularly among Republicans, and his ownership and ideological direction of media outlets.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.

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From the Wires

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North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

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Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

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Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

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Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

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Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

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It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.

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President Trump and his advisers ought to ask themselves whether it is in the U.S. interest to run the risk of Iranian withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, running that risk looks dumb.