Right Web

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

The Dems’ 6-Month Appraisal; Freedom House; Office of Iranian Affairs; The Israel Project

FEATURED ARTICLE

Democrats Controlling Congress: A Six-Month Assessment
By John Isaacs

The Democrats took over both houses of Congress six months ago with ambitious foreign policy and defense agendas aimed at turning back many of the perceived mistakes of the Bush administration and reining in some of its more ambitious and controversial weapons programs. The Dems have had mixed results thus far, but it seems likely that nuclear weapons production, the Iraq War, missile defense, and the breadth of the "war on terrorism" will remain on the congressional agenda for the duration of President Bush’s time in office. Read full story.

SEE ALSO

Bombs Away?
By Ellen Massey

Cluster munitions, which have left a deadly legacy of unexploded ordinance from Vietnam to Afghanistan, are being targeted for export limits by the Democrat-led Congress. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Freedom House
Originally created to help push the United States into World War II, Freedom House today receives U.S. funding to undertake clandestine democracy initiatives in Iran, among other things.

The Israel Project
The young, pro-Israel organization has garnered much attention and support and is gaining clout—more than a dozen U.S. reps and senators serve on its board of advisers.

Office of Iranian Affairs
The obscure office within the State Department purportedly devoted to supporting human rights and democracy in Iran appears to be creating divisions among civil society groups, many of whom fear being associated with the United States.

Ruth Wedgwood
A specialist in international human rights law closely aligned with the neocon faction, Wedgwood defends the Bush administration’s "war on terror," both at home and abroad.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

"This Is Our Munich"?
By Khody Akhavi

Growing bipartisan support for sanctions against Iran is being spearheaded by a passel of hardline pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC, the Center for Security Policy, and The Israel Project. Read full story.

LETTERS

Re: Right Web

It is nice to be able to quickly drill down your list of profiles to see the back-bench powers that are providing policymakers with their "options" (if that is the right word for their work). In my humble opinion, it is at the level of these more obscure staffers where many of the current problems seem to have gotten started.

This would be an interesting and worthwhile topic to get an analysis of—a sort of chicken and egg assessment of the deeper genesis of current policy that gets at the underlying systemic problem, and possibly the hint of a solution.

Not withstanding the overarching influences of a guy like Leo Strauss, has the current leadership independently found and promoted these staffers to develop and execute their vision, or have these smart guys deliberately wormed their way into the confidences of the public faces in some sort of informally organized fashion knowing that this is the real route to running the world?

—H. Smith

Re: Right Web Profile: National Endowment for Democracy

Your profile of the National Endowment for Democracy is very good, and useful, but I’m rather surprised to see that on your source list you’ve left out what I regard as the very best description and analysis of NED, by author William Blum.Have a look at http://members.aol.com/superogue/ned.htm.

—Phillip Tammerman

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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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