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

Bad Neighbor Crouch, Bolton, Edelman, Wolfowitz

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Note from Editor: Right Web News depends solely onindividuals’ contributions and subscribers. For fear of coming underadministration scrutiny or attack by the powerful right web itself, liberal andcentrist foundations decline to fund the IRC’s Right Web program, despitecomplaining that most of the funding priorities—from arms control tosustainable development—are being undermined by the right’s phalanx ofinstitutes, constituency groups, think tanks, and government operatives. Toproduce an average profile costs about $250 in research, writing, andproduction time. That’s ten Right Web subscribers at $25 a year, or one donorwho can afford $250. Lately, we have been besieged with requests to haveprofiles done on this or that right web figure or organization. We’d like tooblige, but profiles don’t grow on trees. Thank you.

This Week onthe Right

Bolton’s Listening Post

By Tom Barry

As Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, John Bolton didn’tlike what he heard from U.S.intelligence officials. Not happy with the information provided by the StateDepartment and CIA, Bolton started listening to phoneconversations taped by the National Security Administration as his own sourceof intelligence about countries targeted by the Bush administration for “regimechange.”

Gov. Bill Richardson, who served as UN ambassador during theClinton administration, isconcerned that Bolton, who is the Bush administration’scontroversial nominee for the UN post, may have been listening to his phoneconversations. During the Senate confirmation hearings last week, Boltonadmitted that he had requested NSA recordings “on a couple of occasions, maybea few more.” Later the State Department said that Boltonhad made ten such requests.

Despite rising pressure from Senate Democrats and the media,the administration has refused to release any more information. Administrationstonewalling raised speculation that any disclosure of the actual numberof requests and the names involved—possibly including Richardson—may furthertarnish Bolton’s reputation, and sink the nomination.

Bolton obviously has a listeningproblem. Even after the CIA and State department officials told Boltonthat Syriadidn’t have a nuclear weapons program and that Cubadidn’t have a bioweapons program, Bolton publiclytargeted the two nations for “regime change” because of their alleged weaponsof mass destruction. Instead of being reprimanded for spreading falseintelligence, President Bush has vigorously defended Bolton.That’s no surprise, given that the White House invaded Iraqbased on cooked-up, politicized intelligence about Iraq’sWMDs—which were never found.

In the view of Bolton and the leading voices calling for aU.S. policy of “regime change” in North Korea, such as the American EnterpriseInstitute and the Project for the New American Century—two neoconservativeinstitutes where Bolton formerly had leadership positions—diplomacy anddialogue only give Kim Jong Il more time to build his nuclear arsenal.

Bolton’s confrontationalposture—combined with the administration’s quickening plans to attack Iraq—ledNorth Korea topull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, announce that it would resumedeveloping nuclear weapons, and to demand that UN inspectors leave the country.Given that the Bush administration had targeted it as part of the “axis ofevil” along with Iraqand Iran, North Korea decided that creating a nucleardeterrence was its best defense against a “preventive war” waged by the Bushadministration.

Before theyprecipitate more unnecessary wars, it’s time that ideologues like Bolton listen to what wiser voices aresaying. But rather than listening in on private conversations of prominentAmericans, such as Bill Richardson, Bolton would do better to ask his advice.

After all, Richardson has successfully negotiated severalagreements with the North Koreans when he was a MA congressionalrepresentative, and proved his mettle as UN ambassador in helping arrange thesuccessful framework agreement with North Korea. But it’s not just the famous“green chile diplomacy” of Richardson that should be the model for Bolton and this administration.

Surely, apolicy of “constructive engagement” that encourages North Korean diplomats tocome to Santa Fe to talk to nonideological figures like Richardson is better than having the twonuclear powers engage in a battle of insults. Bolton has repeatedly called for theoverthrow of the “tyrannical dictator” and North Koreans have responded sayingthat they would never engage in talks with “such human scum” as Bolton. Having the North Korea delegation come to New Mexico, and come out of Santa Fe shops wearing cowboy hats, sportingbolo ties, and strutting in cowboy boots, pointed to virtues of constructiveengagement.

Fortunately,senators of both parties are no longer listening passively to the hypedintelligence assessments provided by Bolton and other hardliners. They would do better tolisten to diplomats with successful track records like Richardson, and to SouthKorea’s advice that diplomacy and quid pro quo agreements with North Korea isthe best and indeed the only way to deescalating the explosive tensions in EastAsia. Or even start listening to what State Department and CIA experts sayabout WMD capacities—or lack of them—of countries on Bolton’s list of targetednations.

But thatmay be asking too much. Former Senator Jesse Helms once called Bolton “the kind of man I would want tostand with at Armageddon.” Problem is that ideologues like Bolton look forward to Armageddon as atest of U.S. military power and purpose, and inthe belief that Armageddon is a battle that can be won—another Iraq-like“cakewalk.”

*Bad Neighbor of the Week*

In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nationto the policy of the good neighbor -the neighbor who resolutely respectshimself and, because he does so, respects the right of others

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

Inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vision of international relations guided by"mutual respect" and cooperation, the IRC’s Global Good NeighborInitiative is initiating a process of reclaiming this legacy bypromoting dialogue and action aimed at forging a new animating vision forforeign policy in our time.

Each week Right Web News will profile an organization orindividual that embodies the Bad Neighbor policy of the U.S.government in recent years. First up is J.D. Crouch, who comes to theadministration from the Christian Right and the Nuclear Warriors lobby.

Nuclear Enthusiast as TopNational Security Official


J.D. Crouch, a virulent nationalist, enthusiast of nuclearweapons, and Christian right adherent, has recently become the right-hand manof National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. A protégé of Paul Wolfowitz andRichard Cheney, Crouch has ties with such militarist organizations as theCenter for Security Policy and the National Institute for Public Policy, aswell as having close connections with social conservatives through such groupsas the Ashbrook Centerfor Public Affairs.

Typical of his extreme views, Crouch blamed the Columbine High massacre on"30 years of liberal social policy that has put our children in day care,taken God out of the schools, taken Mom out of the house, and banished Dad asan authority figure from the family altogether."

Right Web Profile J.D.Crouch II


SMS—Liberal Arts It’s Not

Few schools put the lie to the conservative myth that academia iscontrolled by liberals and leftists as well as Southwest Missouri StateUniversity (SMS), particularly its Department of Defense and StrategicStudies. Located in Springfield, Missouri,SMS’s strategic studies department serves as a home away from home for an impressivelist of former government officials and hawkish defense policy ideologues.

Faculty members include: William VanCleave, a leading Cold Warrior in the 1970s and 1980s whose record includesmembership on the notorious Team B StrategicObjectives Panel and the U.S. delegation to the START talks; J.D. Crouch, onloan to the Bush administration where he currently serves as deputy nationalsecurity adviser; KeithPayne, founder of the hawkish strategic affairs think tank, the National Institute forPublic Policy, and former chair of the Bush administration’s Deterrence ConceptsAdvisory Panel; Henry Cooper, aformer head of the Strategic Defense Initiative and founder of the pro-missiledefense group HighFrontier; WilliamGraham, a former Reagan administration adviser whose record includesmembership on DonaldRumsfeld’s Commissionon the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States and executive ofvarious defense contractors, including R&D Associates and Jaycor; and CharlesKupperman, a former Lockheed executive and director of Empower America.

A brief perusal of the department’s web site suffices to geta sense of its agenda. When you click over from the department’shomepage—appropriately adorned with a large photo of a rippling Americanflag—to its “Program Information” page, you are confronted with a landscapeshot of the Potomac with the Pentagon situatedprominently in the foreground. As the site claims, “While many programgraduates will go on to Ph.D. programs and academic work, it is anticipatedthat the majority of Program graduates will begin their professional career ingovernment or in other defense policy oriented work.” Perhaps to facilitatethis goal, the department plans to move closer to the Beltway, to a new campusin Fairfax, Virginia,just outside Washington, D.C.

Right Web Profile SMS

FeaturedRight Web Profiles

· Hawk and "Colonial Governor" All but chased out of Turkeyas a “persona non grata,” Eric Edelman is being promoted to defenseundersecretary for policy. Like many other top officials of the Bushadministration’s foreign policy team, Edelman began his government career inthe Reagan administration. Edelman served under Defense Secretary, now vicepresident, Cheney during the administration of the president’s father. At thattime he worked as part of a team headed by Paul Wolfowitz that was charged withformulating a Defense Policy Guidance that would serve as the post-Cold Warframework for U.S.military strategy. Vice President Cheney brought Edelman back under his wing asPrincipal Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs. As an assistant toCheney, he was part of the foreign policy network that hurriedly establishedthe "intelligence" rationales for the U.S.invasion of Iraq.

Right Web Profile EricEdelman

· On Top of the World More than ten years ago PaulWolfowitz was the principal author of the strategy of preventive war to ensure U.S.global supremacy. Now he is moving from the Pentagon to direct developmentpolitics as World Bank president. This move has spurred a new round ofhand-wringing among some pundits about the undue influence of theneoconservatives, who now seem poised to take their agenda to a whole newplaying field. Other observers, however, aren’t so sure about where Wolfowitzfalls on the ideological sliding scale, and it seems clear that World Bankboard members are not worried that its decisionmaking will be held hostage toU.S. geopolitical interests–this despite some neocons’ hope that Wolfowitzwill be able to turn the Bank into a “useful tool of American statecraft,” asone American Enterprise Institute scholar said.

Right Web Profile Paul Wolfowitz

LettersFrom Our Readers
(Editors Note: We encourage feedback and comments, which can besent for publication through our feedback page, at: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/form_feedback.html.Thank you.)

Re: Eugene Rostow

Quite excellent work you are doing. But while you haveforgotten a key figure in the making of an interventionist, neocon foreignpolicy: Eugene Rostow (co founder of the reincarnation of the committee on thepresent danger in 1976.)

– Salim Kerboua

Re: Grover Norquist

A few months ago I wrote you asking why Grover Norquist wasnot on your right web list. Your answer that he was not a neo-con sent me on aninvestigation of just what a neo-con is. After much reading, I’ve come to a muchbetter understand of not only what a neo-con is, but also of the unholytripartate that call themselves republicans today. I’ve come to se that thethree legs of alliance each have their own objectives, but at least pay lipservice to the other two. We have the religious right wanting to regulatepersonal behavior, the libertarians (such as my old friend Grover) wanting toreduce and eventually strangle the federal government, and the neo-cons want toextend American hegomony around the world. This is an interesting coalition,one that I feel will eventually fall victim to internal conflict. Thank you foropening my mind. Prior to this, I grouped every right wing-nut as a neo-con.

– John Dadmun

Re: Wolfowitz onTop of theWorld(https://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2005/0504wolfworld.php)
Why this puff piece on Wolfowitz? The man is a completehack, overblown as an intellectual.

And by the way, the WB together with theIMF are despicable loan-shark organizations thatprey like blood-sucking leeches on the world’snon-European peoples. The WB is not about "alleviatingpoverty"; rather it is a vile institutionset up by the West to harbourindividuals in disgusting sinecures where big-gutted,pink-faced men get together regularly tochomp on the best beef, suck onthe best French vins.

What exactly has the WBdone beyond keeping African and LatinAmerican nations in line at thebehest of Western neo-colonial hegemony? So whatelse is new? Both institutions shouldbe just shut down and the itsidle functionaries sent packing. As long asthe Euro-American world decides who headsthese institutions and as long as there isa huge disparity in currency values andconvertibilities the WB and IMF wouldremain not much more than loan-sharkingagencies feeding on mesmerised victims.

– DianSouare

Re: Bob Park

Suggest you add Bob Park, Chairman of ProEnglish andArizonans for Official English

– Tom Tracy

Re: John R. Bolton (http://www.irc-online.org/content/commentary/2005/0503bolton.php)

Highly useful and illuminating. You’ve pulled it alltogether here. Bush and Rice’s patronage of this vile individual sayseverything we need to know about what they stand for.

– Robert P. Forbes

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Featured Profiles

Bret Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times who previously worked at the Wall Street Journal and the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary.

Donald Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr is the focus of a growing controversy over the Robert Mueller report because his decision to unilaterally declare that the the president had not obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is a right wing Jewish advocacy groups that promotes an aggressive pro-Israel and anti-Iran policy.

Erik Prince, former CEO of the mercenary group Blackwater, continues to sell security services around the world as controversies over his work—including in China and the Middle East, and his alleged involvement in collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia—grow.

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.

Gina Haspel is the first woman to hold the position of director of the CIA, winning her confirmation despite her history of involvement in torture during the Iraq War.

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.

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From the Wires

The new government will, once again, be the most right wing in Israel’s history. But this time, the length of the new government’s tenure will depend more on Netanyahu’s legal troubles than on the political dynamics of the coalition.

Given such a dismal U.S. record on non-proliferation, why should North Korea trust U.S. promises of future sanctions relief and security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization? If anything, the case of the JCPOA has demonstrated that regardless of its pledges the United States can reinstate sanctions and even bully private multinational companies to divest from Iran.

As Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman clamor for a war against Iran, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the destruction and mayhem wrought by the American invasion of Iraq 16 years ago.

President Trump’s announcement that he would recognise Israeli sovereignty over the western part of the Golan Heights destroys the negotiating basis for any future peace between Israel and Syria. It also lays the groundwork for a return to a world without territorial integrity for smaller, weaker countries.

The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure mandating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Saudi/UAE-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The vote marks the first time since the War Powers Act of 1973 became law that both chambers of Congress have directed the president to withdraw American forces from a conflict.

The Trump administration’s failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and North Korea begs the question what the US president’s true objectives are and what options he is left with should the policy ultimately fail.

In the United States, it’s possible to debate any and every policy, domestic and foreign, except for unquestioning support for Israel. That, apparently, is Ilhan Omar’s chief sin.