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

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…

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

Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela, is a neoconservative with a long record of hawkish positions and actions, including lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair.


Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump second secretary of state, has driven a hawkish foreign policy in Iran and Latin America.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


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.


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From the Wires

François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.


Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.


The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.


As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.


Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.


The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.


With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.


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