Right Web

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

Bush’s Two-Man Song and Dance; Plus, Profile on John Yoo, Devon Gaffney Cross, Pete Wilson and

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Bush’s Two-Man Song and Dance
By Ali Gharib

Last week David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker were trotted out before Congress and television talk shows to give a progress report on “the surge.” They defended the high troop levels as necessary if things go well—and if they don’t. What Petraeus and Crocker—as well as any of the like-minded war supporters in and out of the administration—failed to do was clearly define U.S. goals in Iraq, which makes sense because Washington has consistently failed to accomplish any of its goals since the war began. Clearly, solutions to fixing the mess in Iraq are not to be found in the hands of those who made it.
Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

John Yoo
The recent release of his Justice Department “torture” memos has placed a harsh spotlight on this American Enterprise Institute scholar who worked under former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Devon Gaffney Cross
A one-time member of the Defense Policy Board, Cross works for groups that promote a positive image of U.S. foreign policies abroad and, like her brother Frank Gaffney, is an associate of many neoconservative advocacy outfits.

Pete Wilson
Known for his strident anti-immigration stance, Pete Wilson has served on two influential advisory boards to the Bush administration—the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Defense Policy Board.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Rethinking Unconditional Commitment in Iraq
By Jim Lobe

Even if the United States makes progress in Iraq, it might not be worth the high price, according to a new U.S. Institute of Peace report. Read full story.

Islam’s Positive Influence
By John Feffer

Central Asia has been viewed as potential flashpoint for the “war on terror” because of its supposed instability and militant Islamic groups, but scholars say that reputation is unwarranted and that the region’s Islamic revival is having a positive effect. Read full story.

With Friends Like These
By William Fisher

A respected Middle Eastern human rights organization reports that some two dozen Arab countries systematically abuse civil rights. Most of the countries are U.S. allies in the “war on terror.” Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

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.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


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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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