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

The myth of Mideast dominance; profiles on Steve Rosen, Dennis Ross, John Yoo, Peter Wehner, Blackwa

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FEATURED ARTICLES

U.S.-Iranian Engagement: When and How?
By Ahmad Sadri

On Norouz, the day when Iranians celebrate the coming of spring and the new Iranian calendar year, President Barack Obama put the United States on a path to a fresh relationship with Iran. But given the upcoming Iranian presidential elections in June, the real question for the U.S. administration is when and how to further engage Iran. One thing is clear, the two countries have a number of shared concerns, which could provide them with a new basis for relations. Read full story.

Military Dominance in Mideast a Costly Myth?
By Gareth Porter

The United States might not be the dominant power in the Middle East that the Obama administration seems to presume, which could have far reaching consequences on its actions in the region. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Steve Rosen
One of the key pundits involved in the effort to overturn the nomination of Charles Freeman to a top intelligence post, Rosen recently sued his former employer, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, for defamation in connection to his federal indictment for allegedly passing U.S. secrets to Israel.

Dennis Ross
A career diplomat with close ties to neoconservatives, Ross was recently given an appointment in the Obama administration, which includes advising on Iran policy.

John Yoo
Newly released Justice Department memos shed light on the controversial opinions issued by Yoo regarding the use of the military on U.S. soil to fight the war on terror.

Peter Wehner
The former head of strategic initiatives in the Bush White House, Wehner has used his perch at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center to defend the Bush record and issue warnings about the direction of the new president.

XE (Blackwater Worldwide)
Recently rechristened as Xe, the Blackwater private security company—notorious for its work in Iraq—claims to be shifting its focus to training and logistics, including training pro athletes in self-defense.

Erik Prince
After six of his company’s contractors were indicted last December for killing civilians in Iraq, Prince argued that Blackwater was a company driven by patriotic duty and woefully misunderstood.

Christopher DeMuth
DeMuth served as director of the American Enterprise Institute for more than 20 years before stepping down early this year.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

From "Axis of Evil" to "Happy New Year"
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

President Obama issued well wishes to Iran on that country’s New Year’s celebration last Friday, striking a dramatically different tone to that adopted by his predecessor. Read article.

Bipartisan Experts Urge "Partnership" with Russia
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A recent report suggests how the new administration can find common ground with Russia, after the U.S.-Russia relationship reached a new post-Cold War low last summer. Read article.

Vetting Nominees, Hampering Policy?
Analysis by Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

Will the lengthy and intrusive vetting process for nominees hamper the Obama’s administration ability to confront a number of foreign policy issues? Read article.

Islamist Governments Not the Enemy, Say Mideast Experts
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

U.S. policy must end its misguided fear of Islamist parties and concentrate on human rights, experts assert in open letter to Obama. Read article.

Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for “Israel Lobby”
By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A vitriolic battle waged by Republican lawmakers and Israel-centric hardliners spurred Charles “Chas” Freeman to withdraw from consideration to chair the National Intelligence Council. Read article.

"Resist and Deter" Iran
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A recent report by a hawkish U.S. think tank urges the administration to exert increasing pressure on Tehran to abandon its enrichment program and be prepared to launch military strikes. Read article.

Dutch Foe of Islam Goes to Washington
By Daniel Luban and Eli Clifton (Inter Press Service)

Dutch MP Geert Wilders tours the United States, soliciting conservatives for financial and ideological support. Read article.

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Featured Profiles

Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), former chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is a leading ”pro-Israel” hawk in Congress.


Brigette Gabriel, an anti-Islamic author and activist, is the founder of the right-wing group ACT! for America.


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Frank Gaffney, director of the hardline neoconservative Center for Security Policy, is a longtime advocate of aggressive U.S. foreign policies, bloated military budgets, and confrontation with the Islamic world.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.


Huntsman, the millionaire scion of the Huntsman chemical empire, is a former Utah governor who served as President Obama’s first ambassador to China and was a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


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From the Wires

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AIPAC has done more than just tolerate the U.S. tilt toward extreme and often xenophobic views. Newly released tax filings show that the country’s biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration’s efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.


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It would have been hard for Trump to find someone with more extreme positions than David Friedman for U.S. ambassador to Israel.


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Just as the “bogeyman” of the Mexican rapist and drug dealer is used to justify the Wall and mass immigration detention, the specter of Muslim terrorists is being used to validate gutting the refugee program and limiting admission from North Africa, and Southwest and South Asia.


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Although the mainstream media narrative about Trump’s Russia ties has been fairly linear, in reality the situation appears to be anything but.


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Reagan’s military buildup had little justification, though the military was rebuilding after the Vietnam disaster. Today, there is almost no case at all for a defense budget increase as big as the $54 billion that the Trump administration wants.


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The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest is sufficient reason for the public to be outraged. That such a conflict of interest may affect real U.S. foreign policy decisions is an outrage.


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The new US administration is continuing a state of war that has existed for 16 years.


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