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 /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

Update was slow, but still no lag in the editor window, and footnotes are intact.     This has been updated – Bernard Lewis, who passed away in May 2018, was a renowned British-American historian of Islam and the Middle East. A former British intelligence officer, Foreign Office staffer, and Princeton University professor, Lewis was…


Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


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.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


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From the Wires

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.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


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