Right Web

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

Whither Syria and Lebanon? AND: Profiles on Ellen Bork, Foreign Policy Initiative, and more

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Case for Syria

By Samer Araabi

The continuing influence of Syria, which has been reflected in the recent power struggles in Lebanon, clearly demonstrates that U.S. attempts to isolate Damascus have failed. Syria occupies an important strategic position in the Levant, and it sits at the crossroads of a number of U.S. interests. Despite efforts by rightwing “pro-Israel” groups in the United States to prevent rapprochement with Syria, direct and honest engagement is the only way to satisfy U.S. foreign policy goals, rein in violent extremism, and encourage political reforms. Read full article.  

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Lebanese Government Collapse Adds to Obama Problems

By Jim Lobe

The collapse of the Hariri-led government in Lebanon adds to the list of policy challenges the U.S. faces across the Middle East. Read full article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Ellen Bork

Bork, a project director at the Foreign Policy Initiative and the daughter of former Supreme Court justice nominee Robert Bork, has helped foster the time-honored neoconservative tactic of organizing elite public sign-on letters to pressure public figures.

Bruce Jackson

A former military intelligence officer and defense industry executive with a track record of advancing hawkish U.S. defense policies and supporting neoconservative campaigns, Jackson now advocates reevaluating the former Soviet republics’ integration into NATO.

Jamie Fly

Jamie Fly, a former adviser to the George W. Bush administration, is the executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and a blogger for the Weekly Standard.

Jeffrey Goldberg

Goldberg, often accused of bolstering efforts to push the United States into conflict in the Middle East, is now calling for restraint on Iran, arguing that a military attack on the country would prove counterproductive.

Eric Edelman

The former Cheney advisor helps direct the Foreign Policy Initiative and is a fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Foreign Policy Initiative

The Foreign Policy Initiative, a premier neoconservative pressure group in Washington, has had surprising success in getting credible human rights groups to collaborate with them on advocacy campaigns, repeating a tactic that was used to great effect by war hawks during the lead up to the 2002 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Progressive Policy Institute

The Progressive Policy Institute, the associated think tank of the Democratic Leadership Council, has promoted a militarist foreign policy agenda, including a hardline on Iran.

Philanthropy Roundtable

The Philanthropy Roundtable aims to foster rightist causes and assist the “war on terror” by helping shape conservative charitable giving.

Project on Transitional Democracies

The Project on Transitional Democracies, a successor group to the U.S. Committee on NATO, promotes reforms in post-Soviet states and has pressed a get-tough approach to Russia.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Pressure Mounts on Security Council to Rein in Israel

As Israel continues to build new settlements in Palestinian territories, there’s growing international pressure for the UN and the U.S. to take action.

Defense Contractors Insulated from Budget Cuts

Defense contractors will not feel the pinch in the recently announced military spending reductions.

Wikileak Cables Reveal China’s Modernizing Military Might

In the days leading up to the highly anticipated summit between China and the United States, much attention was given to leaked cables that discuss China’s trajectory as a sophisticated military power.

Sanctions Forced Iran to Slash Bloated Energy Subsidies

Economic sanctions may have slowed Iran’s nuclear development, but the country’s decision to cut subsidies on basic commodities appears to have mostly cut consumption and not ignited popular protest.

Disappointment May Yield to Distrust in Latin America

Two years into the Obama administration, Latin Americans have seen little change in inter-hemispheric relations with the U.S., and expect more disappointment with the new Republican-led Congress.

Weekly Standard, Rove Make The Case For Israel-Al Qaeda Linkage

The Weekly Standard and former Bush advisor Karl Rove have been pushing the argument that Guantanamo is not motivating terrorist groups, and in the process bolstering the case that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most important recruitment tool of Al Qaeda and presumably other violent Islamist groups.

How Afghanistan Became a War for NATO

The war in Afghanistan has been touted as a vital to countries across the globe, but NATO seems to have taken on the lead role in the campaign there mainly in order to help justify its own existence.

 

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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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