Right Web

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

Apostate Muslims & US Militarism; Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Fallout from Wikileaks, and

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Right Web is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

Apostate Politics: How Some Recanted Muslims Have Bolstered Militarist U.S. Policies  

By Samer Araabi

Militarist advocacy organizations often employ exiles from Muslim countries to bolster their promotion of hardline U.S. policies. Individuals such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, and Nonie Darwish have used their perches at neoconservative think tanks to rise to prominence as “apostates” of Islam, speaking out against the religion for its purported backwardness and tendency to violence. Though making generalizations about the cultural predispositions of more than a billion people may be patently absurd, these individuals have provided considerable ammunition to efforts to justify military intervention and other hawkish U.S. policies in the region. Read full article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

The neoconservative FDD claims to be waging a war to save democratic countries from “radical Islamism” and other “anti-democratic forces.”

Jennifer Rubin

The Washington Post’s new in-house neocon, Jennifer Rubin has become a leading voice among hardline “pro-Israel” pundits.

Rick Santorum

A presumptive GOP presidential candidate, former Senator Rick Santorum uses his perches at Fox News and at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center to hype fears that the United States is under dire threat from a heady assortment of enemies.

Randy Scheunemann

A well-connected lobbyist and political insider who advised the McCain-Palin campaign, Scheunemann’s clients have also included Tea Party politicos, defense contractors, and George Soros’ Open Society.

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi is a Brussels-based neocon and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Claremont Institute

A bastion of conservative scholarship and advocacy, the Claremont Institute hosts a number of programs that push hawkish foreign policies.

Michael Doran

A former Bush administration foreign policy adviser, Doran is a promoter of “soft power” strategies for overthrowing the Iranian government.

Transatlantic Institute

This Brussels-based organization, founded by the American Jewish Committee, has served as an outlet for neoconservative advocacy in Europe.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

US Pakistani Ambassador Unknowingly Hosted Neocon Fundraiser

A neoconservative think tank appears to have held a fundraiser at the residence of Pakistan's ambassador without telling the hosts that the dinner was billed as part of conference on "Countering the Iranian Threat.”

US to Transfer Nuclear Material to Israel

The Obama administration’s decision to transfer nuclear fuel to Israel represents an end run around the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the same treaty the United States and other countries accuse Iran of violating in developing its nuclear program.

US Readies New Sanctions on Iran Ahead of Talks

The Obama administration is preparing a new batch of sanctions against Iran to be announced in advance of upcoming nuclear talks in Turkey.

Mideast Peace Key to Countering Iran, Arabs Told US Diplomats

Although U.S. neoconservatives and their right-wing Israeli counterparts have touted the Wikileaks dump as showing that Arab governments no longer think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to regional peace, the documents themselves tell a very different story.

Cables Belie Gulf States’ Backing for Strikes on Iran

A careful reading of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables reveals that, contrary to the mainstream media’s portrayal of the documents, most Gulf Arab regimes are seriously concerned about the consequences of a strike against Iran.

Time Runs Short for Progress on Iran Nuke Talks

The first meeting between Iran and the world's major powers in more than a year ended with little to show apart from a vague promise to meet again next month in Turkey.

Obama Pushes START Treaty to Top of Legislative Agenda

With time running out before he faces a much more hostile and Republican Congress, President Obama seems to have made ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia his top legislative priority, despite considerable push back from hardline neoconservatives and far-right Republicans.

Report Urges Enhanced Maritime Security in West Africa

Despite Washington's Mideast focused “war on terror” and renewed interest in East Asia, there is increasing pressure to move West Africa up the ladder of foreign policy priorities.

No Top Secrets, but Damaging Nonetheless

The dump of U.S. diplomatic cables reveals few deep secrets but may bury diplomatic trust in the short run.

Hawks, Doves Aflutter Over Pyongyang’s Latest Moves

North Korea has propelled itself to the top of an already over-crowded U.S. overseas agenda with news that is has built a state-of-the-art facility capable of enriching uranium to weapons grade, followed by its bombardment of a South Korean island.

 

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Featured Profiles

“The secretary of state should be the loudest, holdout voice for international diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations in the Oval Office. Throughout his career, (Mike) Pompeo has shown little preference for diplomacy and consistent support for militaristic interventions.” – Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).


Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and two-time failed presidential candidate, is a foreign policy hawk with neoconservative leanings who appears set to become the next senator from Utah.


Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and longtime “superlobbyist” who has supported numerous neoconservative advocacy campaigns, has become embroiled in the special prosecutor’s investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.


Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


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.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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