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

Chairman Lieberman’s “War on Terror”; Profiles on Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, a

FEATURED ARTICLE

Chairman Lieberman’s “War on Terror”
By Chip Berlet

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Independent Democrat from Connecticut and vigorous supporter of neoconservative-led advocacy efforts to push an expansive “war on terror” in the Middle East, has used his perch as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to push hardline counterterrorism policies that undermine First Amendment rights for dissidents across the political spectrum—and could have potentially far-reaching implications for how the United States prosecutes the “war on terror.” Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Michael Ledeen
Ledeen left his longtime post as “Freedom Scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute in August for a position at the further-right neoconservative-led Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

James Woolsey
Woolsey, a former CIA director who calls the “war on terror” the “Long War,” is helping lead the effort to attract environmentalists concerned about oil consumption to the neoconservative view of U.S. security.

Peter Wehner
The former head of strategic initiatives in the Bush White House, Wehner has continued to champion the president’s foreign policies from his perch at the neoconservative Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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Raid May Herald More Confrontational Policy
By Daniel Luban (Inter Press Service)

The recent U.S. raid into Pakistan targeting Taliban leaders might herald a new and potentially volatile expansion of U.S. military action in the region. Read full story.

Blowback from the “War on Terror” in Somalia
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

U.S. decisions in handling the situation in Somalia have led to a dangerous atmosphere that promotes radicalization, according to a new report. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


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.


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.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


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From the Wires

Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones.


Division in the ranks of the conservative movement is a critical sign that a war with Iran isn’t inevitable.


Donald Trump stole the headlines, but the declaration from the recent NATO summit suggests the odds of an unnecessary conflict are rising. Instead of inviting a dialogue, the document boasts that the Alliance has “suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” The fact is, NATO was a child of the Cold War, when the West believed that the Soviets were a threat. But Russia today is not the Soviet Union, and there’s no way Moscow would be stupid enough to attack a superior military force.


War with Iran may not be imminent, but neither was war with Iraq in late 2001.


Donald Trump was one of the many bets the Russians routinely place, recognizing that while most such bets will never pay off a few will, often in unpredictable ways. Trump’s actions since taking office provide the strongest evidence that this one bet is paying off handsomely for the Russians. Putin could hardly have made the script for Trump’s conduct at the recent NATO meeting any more to his liking—and any better designed to foment division and distrust within the Western alliance—than the way Trump actually behaved.


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