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

Whither the Obama peace plan? Profiles on Chalabi, Kyl, Kirk, Santorum, and Brownback

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To Peace Plan or Not to Peace Plan?
By Jim Lobe

Reports earlier this month that President Barack Obama may present a comprehensive U.S. peace plan for resolving the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict have spurred a growing public debate over its wisdom and timing. Read full article.



Ahmad Chalabi
A long-standing favorite of the neocon crowd, Chalabi has recently been accused of unjustly marginalizing political opponents in Iraq while at the same time courting Iran.

Mark Kirk
Criticized by his Democratic opponent for accepting donations from Goldman Sachs employees, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a key “pro-Israel” hardliner in the House, remains the favorite to win the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Jon Kyl
One of the Senate’s key foreign policy hawks and a frequent critic of President Obama, Kyl has lambasted the administration’s arms control initiatives while championing its military escalation in Afghanistan.

Rick Santorum
The former senator from Pennsylvania turned rightwing pundit at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center appears to be gearing up for a 2012 presidential bid.

Sam Brownback
A frontrunner to replace Katherine Sibelius as governor of Kansas, Brownback has been one of the Senate’s leading domestic conservatives and foreign policy hawks.



Israel and the U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran
Although the Obama administration has carefully avoided drawing a connection between Israel and its decision to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran, the new Nuclear Posture Review broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.

Alleged Weapons Transfer Threatens U.S. Mideast Efforts
Recent Israeli allegations that Syria is providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles is jeopardizing U.S. efforts to woo Damascus away from its alliance with Iran.



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Featured Profiles

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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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.