Right Web

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

The General Goes to Washington; William Schneider Jr.; Daniel Gouré, and More

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The Surge Scam: Getting Rid of the Goat
Commentary By Leon Hadar

A vague commitment to end the surge in Iraq, coupled with the supposed credibility of General Petraeus, could buy President Bush more time to pursue his military offensive in Iraq and leave the mess there to his successor in the White House. But anti-war critics question Petraeus’ credibility, arguing that he is not only identified with the failed U.S. strategy in Iraq but also that he has become a political ally of Bush and of Republicans. Democrats have failed to mount a serious challenge to Petraeus, allowing him, and by extension the Bush administration, to set the terms of the current debate on Iraq. Read full story.


Daniel Gouré
The conservative vice president of the Lexington Institute maintains close ties with defense contractors while pushing controversial weapons programs in the media.

Richard Pipes
An important early neoconservative and Team B player who pushed flimsy evidence of supposed Soviet threats, Pipes remains a proponent of hardline foreign policies.

William Schneider Jr.
A corporate executive and longtime government insider who has served in a number of advisory posts during the Bush presidency, Schneider has supported the work of the Center for Security policy and other hardline advocacy groups.

John Foster Jr.
A key proponent of new nuclear weapons development within the Bush administration, Foster doubles as a defense contractor exec and advocate of hardline defense policies.


Pushing the Surge
By Eli Clifton

Against a backdrop of dwindling domestic and international support for the ongoing U.S. presence in Iraq, neocons are vociferously touting Gen. David Petraeus’ final report to Congress. Read full story.

Surge Expansion?
By Khody Akhavi

The same day that General Petraeus gave Congress his Iraq surge report, neoconservatives took aim at what they hope will be the next military target: Iran. Read full story.

A Different Tack
By Gareth Porter

Israel thought Iran was the better target for the United States, according to one administration official. 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.