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

The National Intelligence Estimate, Annapolis, and the Mideast Strategic-Consensus Fantasy; Clifford

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The Mideast Strategic-Consensus Fantasy
By Leon Hadar

Despite the pending release of an intelligence report that would paint a much less menacing Iran,the United States used the Annapolis talks to push an old and discredited idea: that a perceived commonthreat—Shiite Iran—could bring together Arabs and Jews under an American umbrella and help create theconditions for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The staying power of this strategic fantasy, sharedby the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, attests to the influence of pro-Likud neoconservativeideologues on these two conservative Republican presidents. Readfull story.


The NIE Bombshell
By Gareth Porter

The new national intelligence estimate on Iran throws into turmoil the campaign by the Bush administrationto take aggressive action against Iran. It also validates European arguments on the efficacy of negotiationsand the power of diplomacy. Read full story.


Clifford May
After the release of the new intelligence estimate discounting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, May,head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was one of the first to try to discredit it.

David Steinmann
A New York-based investment banker and chairman of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,Steinmann is a longtime supporter of hardline pro-Israel policies who has served in leading roles forneoconservative organizations.

Foundation for Democracy in Iran
FDI, founded with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy, serves as a vehicle for itshead, Kenneth Timmerman, to promote his anti-Tehran views.

Coalition for Democracy in Iran
The now-defunct coalition, founded in 2002 by the former head of the American Israel Public AffairsCommittee, helped spearhead efforts to turn attention to Iran after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Norman Hascoe
Hascoe, the former head of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a powerful Likudnikorganization based in Washington, passed away in late October.


Annapolis: Aimed at Iran?
By Khody Akhavi

The Annapolis talks may have been aimed at convincing Mideast states that their most dangerous threatcomes from the ascendance of Iran and its brand of Islamic radicalism. Readfull story.


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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken proponent of militarist U.S. foreign polices and the use of torture, aping the views of her father, Dick Cheney.

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.

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the controversial former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been considered for a variety of positions in the Trump administration, including most recently as national security adviser.

Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.

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.

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From the Wires

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Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.

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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.