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

The Nowhere Debate; Profiles on Blackwater, Julie Finley, Michael Evans; And More.

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FEATURED ARTICLE

A Nowhere Foreign Policy Debate
By Leon Hadar

The next occupant of the White House will inherit a number of sensitive international situations left over from the Bush presidency, all of which will require fresh insight and new approaches. But with a financial crisis looming and foreign policy slipping downward on the public’s list of priorities, any significant change to the course of U.S. foreign policy in any new administration seems unlikely—a fact made sorely obvious during the recent McCain-Obama debate, during which the candidates made clear that they share a similar vision of America’s position in the world. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Blackwater
For some observers, Erik Prince’s controversial private security firm Blackwater Worldwide serves as a potential model for how countries can fight unpopular wars.

Michael Evans
A prominent Christian Zionist writer who claims that “Islamofascists” pose the “greatest threat America has faced since the Civil War,” Evans has also been a strident proponent of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Julie Finley
After raising millions for her political party and supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Julie Finley, a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, was appointed ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Pushing Islamophobia
By Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton (Inter Press Service)

A network of hardline neoconservatives in the United States who support right-wing settler groups in Israel is funding the mass distribution of a controversial DVD that critics have denounced as Islamophobic. Read full story.

The Most Secretive Government Ever?
By William Fisher (Inter Press Service)

Government secrecy and surveillance have increased dramatically during the George W. Bush administration, and billions in no-bid contracts have been awarded to contractors in the Iraq War, according to a new report. Read full story.

EU Takes the Diplomatic Lead on Georgia
Analysis by Zoltán Dujisin (Inter Press Service)

The European Union, driven by pragmatic concerns over energy supplies and a desire to avoid a new Cold War, has split dramatically with the United States over the best way to encourage peace between Georgia and Russia. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

John Yoo is a former deputy assistant attorney general known for his extreme views on executive wartime powers and for helping author the George W. Bush administration’s infamous “torture memos.”


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.


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From the Wires

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Contrary to some wishful thinking following the Trump administration’s decision to “put Iran on notice” and seemingly restore U.S.-Saudi ties, there are little signs of apprehension in Tehran.


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“The fundamental conflict at the heart of Israeli-Russian views on Syria is that Israel’s redline is the establishment of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria and Russia’s redline is the elimination of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria.”


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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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