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

Why Iraq? Plus New Profiles on the Clarion Fund, Michael Chertoff, Condoleezza Rice, and More

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Why Iraq!

Why Iraq? The State of Debate on the Motives for the War
By Daniel Luban

Even as the Obama administration ramps up military engagement in Afghanistan, the motives for why the country went to war in Iraq remain clouded in debate. The Bush administration’s discredited public rationale, that the country was threatened by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, was at best only the tip of the iceberg, at worst a cynical attempt to cover up the actual motives for the war. A close inspection of the various arguments suggests that above all, the Iraq war was an extreme manifestation of a recent ideological tendency in U.S. foreign policy, and that the thinking that engendered it may not be fully in the rearview mirror. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Clarion Fund
A little-known group connected to the Israeli right-wing, the Clarion Fund recently released a new documentary called the The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America.

John Negroponte
A controversial Reagan-era official who was involved in implementing counterinsurgency policies in Central America, Negroponte served as the first national intelligence director during the George W. Bush administration. Yale recently hired Negroponte to teach a “grand strategy” course.

Condoleezza Rice
The former secretary of state has returned to Stanford, where she was provost before joining the Bush administration, to teach political science and work as a fellow at the hawkish Hoover Institution.

Michael Chertoff
The former head of DHS and a key advocate of the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” Chertoff recently founded a risk management firm and joined the law firm of Covington & Burling.

Jack Kemp (1935-2009)
A former congressman and standout NFL quarterback who was associated with the hawkish wing of the Republican Party, Jack Kemp passed away in early May 2009.

Steven J. Rosen
In early May, the U.S. government dropped its espionage charges against Rosen, a high-profile advocate of hardline U.S. policies in support of Israel who had been accused of passing sensitive U.S. information while working for the high-powered “Israel lobby” group, AIPAC.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Af-Pak: McChrystal Choice Suggests Special Ops Strikes to Continue
Analysis by Gareth Porter

The man Defense Secretary Robert Gates has selected as the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan is likely to be more interested in targeted killings than in the politically sensitive counterinsurgency tactics that the Obama administration has says it wants to carry out.

AIPAC Conference Pushes for Sanctions on Iran
By Daniel Luban

The annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee provided a stark reminder that although the lobby has come under increasing fire in recent years, it remains a force to be reckoned with.

As Obama Engages, Hawks Soften Rhetoric
By Ali Gharib

Foreign policy hawks speaking at a recent American Enterprise Institute conference revealed a softening in their rhetoric toward Iran and expressed a willingness to engage the country.

Neocon Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group
By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe

The newly founded Foreign Policy Initiative, led by the same neocon writers who set up the Project for the New American Century, supports a “surge” in Afghanistan and warns of “threats” from countries like Russia and China.

 

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

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.


Huntsman, the millionaire scion of the Huntsman chemical empire, is a former Utah governor who served as President Obama’s first ambassador to China and was a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


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From the Wires

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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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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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The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest is sufficient reason for the public to be outraged. That such a conflict of interest may affect real U.S. foreign policy decisions is an outrage.


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The new US administration is continuing a state of war that has existed for 16 years.


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