Right Web

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

The Abrams Redux; Wolfowitz’s Friends; Jeffrey Gedmin at Radio Free Europe, and More

Elliott Abrams’ Repeat Performance
By Jim Lobe

We’ve seen it before—administration officials, alarmed by congressional efforts to support diplomacy over hardline overseas policies, wage a behind-the-scenes battle to discredit the "appeasers." But the current administration, led by its lead Mideast policy adviser, Elliott Abrams, seems determined to not learn the foreign policy lessons of the past. Read full story.

For more information, see:

Right Web Profile: Elliott Abrams
An Iran-Contra veteran, and the current point person for Middle East policy in the National Security Council, Elliott Abrams has made a career of championing confrontational foreign policies.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Right Web Profile: Jeffrey Gedmin
The new head of Radio Free Europe, Gedmin is a longtime supporter of aggressive U.S. overseas policies, including the neoconservative-inspired agenda of reshaping the Middle East.

Right Web Profile: Laurence Silberman
Silberman, a DC federal judge who tried to absolve the administration of having politicized the intel used to justify the invasion of Iraq, has a storied history of involvement in controversial domestic and foreign policies.

Right Web Profile: Elizabeth Cheney
The vice president’s daughter and a former State official, Cheney has proved a formidable public proponent of her father’s policies, most recently echoing in a Post op-ed the VP’s criticism of U.S. officials pushing diplomacy with Syria.

Wolfowitz’s Quid Pro Quo
By Emad Mekay and Jim Lobe

Supporters of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq have been among those who seem to have benefited from Paul Wolfowitz’s tenure at the World Bank. Read full story.

See also:

Right Web Profile: Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz, the former Pentagon official who fervently championed the invasion of Iraq, faces a growing scandal over his work as president of the World Bank for his possible efforts to use the bank to further U.S. interests and improperly help his associates.

LETTERS

Re: Bernard Lewis

Thank you for the well-done presentation regarding Bernard Lewis, whose views have had too great an influence on the public’s understanding of Islam for years.

—J.J. Bodine

Re: Richard John Neuhaus and the Institute on Religion and Public Life

If these people frighten you, you probably never get any sleep. If First Things, the publication of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, is furtive and extremist, it hides itself about as well as the New York Times. The Times, in fact, has the more rigid ideology. The conservative movement is split and yet I’ve never read in First Things a nasty word about Pat Buchanan. Neuhaus does love to do his schtick on the Episcopal Church. I call it a multiple-choice church. You should go to St. Thomas Episcopal in Manhattan if you want to hear jokes about their own bishops.

I subscribe to First Things and yet disagree with their closeness with secular power, if only because it’s so boring. I never heard but the kindest words about the Mennonites and how they are drawing closer to the church as they define a more complex liturgy in this complex world and as the end of Christendom threatens them. One of the Yoders taught theology at Notre Dame.

Who are you? I don’t see any of your names and affiliations.

I am a traditionist. The last thing I want is power; it’s boring, too. In fact, I love to argue with people who differ with me. At my age, it’s about the only strenuous physical activity I can engage in endlessly.

Don’t be so serious. Laughter is the best medicine. You have to admit that Neuhaus gets in some uproarious lines when the Episcopalians are particularly going around in circles.

—Andrew Carlan

Re: Right Web Responds

Regarding the letter writer’s question—who are we and what are our affiliations?—Right Web is a program of the New Mexico-based International Relations Center (IRC), a fact made explicit by the IRC banner at the top of every web page connected to Right Web as well as by Right Web’s "About" page, which also details the reasons why the program focuses its analyses and profiles on individuals and organizations like Richard John Neuhaus and the Institute on Religion and Public Life. See https://rightweb.irc-online.org/about.php. The content of Right Web is produced by IRC staff. Information about IRC, as well as its affiliations and funding, is available on the website: http://www.irc-online.org.

IRC encourages feedback and comments. Send letters to rightweb@irc-online.org. IRC reserves the right to edit comments for clarity and brevity. Be sure to include your full name. Thank you.

IRC Global Good Neighbor Initiative

The initiative to promote a global good neighbor ethic as the guiding vision of U.S. foreign policy was launched by the International Relations Center (IRC) in May 2005 with events in New York City and Washington, DC. Consider adding your voice to the cause. And check out this new GGN video.

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Featured Profiles

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


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From the Wires

The tragic end of Jamal Khashoggi should serve as a reminder that it’s time for the United States to move on and leave the motley crew of undesirable Middle Eastern partners, from Israel to Saudi Arabia, to their collective fate. They deserve each other.


Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


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