Right Web

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

Whither Torture; Fred Thompson; Misinterpreting the Militias in Iraq; and More

FEATURED ARTICLE

Condoning Torture?
By Abra Pollock

Recent media reports about secret government attempts to justify possible torture techniques have thrown a spotlight on the nomination of the next U.S. attorney general. The revelations have also energized rights advocates, who hope to eliminate torture from the repertoire of weapons used in the Bush administration’s "war on terror." Read full story.

SEE ALSO

Right Web Profile: John Yoo

A visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and author of the infamous "torture memos," Yoo once purportedly argued that the legality of torturing a child, including by crushing his testicles, depends on "why the president thinks he needs to do that."

FEATURED PROFILES

Sen. Jon Kyl
Kyl, a dependable Republican supporter of the Bush administration’s "war on terror," is one of the Senate’s most vocal backers of aggressive action with Iran.

Fred Thompson
Thompson, the well-known actor and former AEI fellow, made his debut as a presidential candidate in early October, highlighting in his first campaign debate his get-tough creds on the Iraq War in arguing that the country must not "leave with our tail between our legs" in the face of Islamic fascism in the Middle East.

Mark Gerson
The author of a 1996 hagiography of neoconservatism, Mark Gerson,CEO of the Gerson Lehrman Group consulting firm, is a director of the largely defunct Project for the New American Century.

Family Security Matters
Targeting so-called security moms, the right-wing group Family Security Matters portrays its radical ideas about the "war on terror" as merely a nonpartisan effort to provide Americans with tools to defend themselves against terrorism.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Soft Partition or Hard Politics?
By Khody Akhavi

Would a senate proposal to decentralize Iraq along ethnic and religious lines create a stable federal system, or lead to violent balkanization? Read full story.

Misinterpreting the Militias
By Gareth Porter

Iran may be the "enemy" of the moment in U.S. discourse regarding the Iraq War, but it is Shiite cleric Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army that is proving to be the main source of difficulties. Read full story.

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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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