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

Counterproductive Syria Policy; The Right on Georgia; Plus Profiles on the International Republican

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FEATURED ARTICLE

At A Crossroads with Syria
Interview by Daniel Luban

Middle East expert Joshua Landis describes U.S. policy on Syria as the “fulcrum between the remaining neoconservative influence in Washington and the rising tide of realists.” In an interview with Right Web, he talks about how opportunities for piloting peace in the Middle East are slipping by as the Bush administration watches from the sidelines, how the White House’s “stubborn, counterproductive” policy on Syria is endangering U.S. soldiers in Iraq, how the neoconservatives have “failed miserably”—and what the best way forward is. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

International Republican Institute
A key democracy-promotion organization connected to the Republican Party, the IRI—on whose board sit many lobbyists and conservative political advisers—has been involved in controversial interventions abroad.

Council for National Policy
This secretive group of influential right-wing figures has been wooed by Republican politicians for nearly three decades, including recently by Sen. John McCain.

American Enterprise Institute
Several so-called experts featured at a recent AEI event took a page from the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain in arguing that the “surge” has accomplished all its goals—and thus the United States needs to stay in Iraq.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

U.S. Debates Russia’s Ambitions
Analysis by Daniel Luban (Inter Press Service)

In the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia, U.S. conservatives hear dangerous echoes of World War II. Read full story.

Success of Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Program Doubtful
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

Israeli or U.S. military action against Iran is unlikely to eliminate or seriously set back Tehran’s nuclear program, according to two new reports. Read full story.

LETTERS

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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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