Right Web

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

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

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

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


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From the Wires

The tragic end of Jamal Khashoggi should serve as a reminder that it’s time for the United States to move on and leave the motley crew of undesirable Middle Eastern partners, from Israel to Saudi Arabia, to their collective fate. They deserve each other.


Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


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.


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