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.  

SEE ALSO:

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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Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


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Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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