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

10 Years Later: Any Regrets?

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Project for the New American Century
The Project for the New American Century, a letterhead group closely associated with the American Enterprise Institute, served as the cornerstone of a neoconservative-led campaign to promote the 2003 invasion of Iraq, helping unite key figures from various ideological factions behind the cause. By 2006, as the United States became increasingly bogged down in a bloody counterinsurgency war in Iraq, the group phased out most operations. Its various directors and supporters, however, remain active today, particularly in the effort to push for war against Iran.

John Yoo
John Yoo, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor at the University of California-Berkeley, is a former Justice Department official who helped author the Bush administration's infamous “torture memos." Yoo has continued to defend the Bush administration's more controversial policies, speciously arguing on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq that unless the war's critics are willing to restore the Baath Party to power in Iraq, they must concede "that on balance, the benefits of the war outweigh the costs." Yoo has also defended the Obama administration's targeted assassination program, including targeting U.S. citizens.

Richard Perle
A fierce advocate of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq while an adviser to the Bush administration, Richard Perle later expressed misgivings about some aspects of the war, arguing that the Iraqis would likely not have handled the postwar situation "as badly as we did. We sent thousands of Americans over there to run a country they knew nothing about." Regarding the decision to invade, however, Perle states: "You can’t, a decade later, go back and say, 'Well we shouldn’t have done that.'"

Paul Wolfowitz
Veteran Middle East hawk Paul Wolfowitz—a key architect of the Iraq War—continues to support the decision to topple Saddam Hussein. In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, Wolfowitz said that although the Bush administration had certainly made errors in Iraq, “we still don’t know how all this is all going to end,” offering South Korea as an example of a country that eventually democratized decades after a U.S.-led intervention.

John Bolton
Former UN ambassador John Bolton, a vocal advocate of unilateral U.S. military intervention, is unapologetic about the U.S. war in Iraq, even by the standards of most neoconservatives. While dismissing those critical of the humanitarian impact of the war as admirers of "totalitarianism," Bolton brushed aside the notion that the war was at all about "making life better for Iraqis." Invoking a war in which the United States was actually attacked, Bolton declared, "we didn't wage war after Pearl Harbor to do nation-building for our enemies."

Michael Goldfarb
Michael Goldfarb, a former researcher at the Project for the New American Century, is a neoconservative pundit, activist, and consultant who has proven adept at funneling anonymous Republican donations into high-profile advocacy efforts. Sensationalistic reports published by the Washington Free Beacon—a conservative blog of Goldfarb's Center for American Freedom—have cemented his reputation as a self-styled provocateur with little regard for the facts.

Philanthropy Roundtable
The Philanthropy Roundtable is a research and advocacy group that helps right-wing donors channel money to an assortment of philanthropic and political causes. The group, which has had numerous connections to neoconservative foundations and advocacy groups over the years, recently attracted notice for its role in helping bankroll efforts to fight environmental regulations.

Washington Free Beacon
The Washington Free Beacon is a news and commentary site published by the right-wing Center for American Freedom. Modeling itself after liberal blogs like Think Progress, the Beacon has developed a reputation for personal attacks and sensationalistic headlines, often hyping neoconservative narratives. The Beacon's "tabloid-style" coverage led one columnist to lambast the site as "a down-market version of the Weekly Standard."

From the Wires

Hawks Defend War on Low-Key 10th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
Most of the U.S. media and foreign policy commentariat opted to overlook the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq—save for the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, which held a low-key event devoted to celebrating the so-called "surge" in 2007.

Ten Years After Iraq War, Neo-Cons Struggle to Hold Republicans
Neoconservatives and like-minded militarists continue to hold sway over the Republican Party's foreign policy establishment 10 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but they face a growing insurrection from libertarian deficit hawks.

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I can remember a few years back, when even you yourselves were cautious and trepidacious about taking on the Right Wing. They were everywhere and seemed unstoppable. But now, almost everyone sees that you were on the right (not Right) path. This is one of the most important sources on the web. Keep up your good work. It's not over.

Rabbi David Ellis

Halifax

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Featured Profiles

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.


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.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


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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