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

Congress and Iran; Intel Déjà Vu; Hawking Iran in Europe; JPod and Commentary

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Congress and Iran: The New Iraq?
By John Isaacs

If U.S. warplanes fly toward Iran next year, October 2007 may be remembered as the month that the Bush administration began its final push to prepare the public for a new Mideast intervention. Although largely driven by Vice President Dick Cheney and associates in the Bush administration, the push toward military action has been abetted by cheerleaders in Congress, as well as by a heavy dose of rhetoric from the regular suspects in the neoconservative and hardline advocacy communities. Read full story.

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White House Sharpens Its Words
By Jim Lobe

The vice president gives a hostile assessment of Iran and the president links World War III to a nuclear Iran, while the secretary of defense tries to temper the two with a more restrained and robust interpretation of the Iranian threat. Long before it has figured out what to do with Iraq, the White House seems intent on more military action in the Middle East. Read full story.

SPECIAL PROFILE SECTION: Hawking Iran in Europe

Réalité EU
This Europe-based outfit echoes the rhetoric of many pro-Israel hardliners in the United States in its efforts to educate European leaders about supposed threats to the continent from the Middle East.

The Henry Jackson Society
Honoring the controversial hawkish senator from Washington, the British-based Henry Jackson Society serves as the neoconservative analogue in the UK, offering a platform for the likes of Richard Perle to push regime change in Iran and other global hotspots.

The Transatlantic Institute
This Brussels-based outfit, founded by the American Jewish Committee, often serves as a host for U.S. writers and pundits who helped bring about the Iraq War and now aim to extend it to Iran.

SPECIAL PROFILE SECTION: The Intel Déjà Vu

Team B Strategic Objectives Panel
Though the gaming of intelligence has been on full display during the George W. Bush presidency, the phenomenon has a Cold War forerunner in Team B.

Rumsfeld Missile Commission
As the history of this rightist-driven congressional commission from the late 1990s reveals, Iran is just the latest in a long line of trumped up excuses for deploying controversial and costly missile defense systems.

Rumsfeld Space Commission
Supported by hardline and neoconservative-led groups like the Center for Security Policy and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, this congressionally mandated study warned of a “Space Pearl Harbor.” And then 9/11 happened.

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Whose EFPs?
By Gareth Porter

The argument that Iran alone is behind deadly explosives used against U.S. troops in Iraq is the latest in a long line of skewed intel conclusions offered by the Bush administration to justify the "war on terror." Read full story.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Right Web Profile: John Podhoretz
Many conservatives are unhappy that the neocon scion, known more for head-scratching pop culture columns than for intellectual prowess, has been named as future editor of Commentary magazine.

Right Web Profile: Sen. Joe Lieberman
One of the Senate’s most ardent hardliners on Iran and a consistent backer of a neoconservative foreign policy agenda, Lieberman has repeatedly called for sending U.S. troops into Iran to attack purported terrorist training sites.

Right Web Profile: Foundation for Defense of Democracies
A key member of the neoconservative advocacy club, the FDD has proved an effective promoter of the idea that Islamic extremism is the main threat to Mideast peace and Western civilization.

Forgetting the Carrot
By Ali Gharib

The United States says it’s open to diplomacy with Iran, but new U.S. sanctions seem to suggest otherwise. Read full article.

Islamofascist What?
By Khody Akhavi and Ali Gharib

David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, and friends staged a pre-Halloween fete last week aimed at deriding leftist "lynch mobs" and "Islamo-Nazis" that bore all the hallmarks of an extremist rally. Read full article.

Bracing the Brass on Iran
By Gareth Porter

Some politicians appear eager for U.S. military action against Iran, but their military counterparts are more cautious, a divide reflected in the changing military options tabled by the administration. Read full article.

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


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.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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