Right Web

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

Defense Cuts; Whither the Hawks; and More

FEATURED ARTICLE

Democrats Remold Military Budget
By John Isaacs | May 10, 2007

Despite vociferous support from some Republicans and from hardline outfits like the Center for Security Policy, a number of controversial weapons programs—like designing new nuclear weapons, placing missile defense sites in Europe, and developing space-based weapons—are being targeted for cuts by the Democrat-controlled Congress. Read full article.

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Mugged by Reality?
Jim Lobe | May 8, 2007

Recent events, including Condoleezza Rice‘s overture to Syria and a growing list of hawks departing from the administration, suggest that Vice President Dick Cheney‘s power is declining in an administration that seems to have been mugged by reality. Read full article.

See also: THE DEPARTED, A SPECIAL SECTION

Last week’s resignations of J.D. Crouch II and Meghan O’Sullivan, two officials in the National Security Council who were closely involved with the implementation of Iraq War policies, helped spark considerable speculation about the future direction of Bush administration foreign policy. Wrote the Associated Press’s Matthew Lee this week: "Top members of President Bush’s national security team are leaving in one of the earliest waves of departures from a second-term administration—nearly two years before Bush’s term ends. As rancor in the nation rises over handling of the war in Iraq, at least 20 senior aides have either retired or resigned from important posts at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department in the past six months."

Notable about many of the officials and advisers who have exited early is their close association with the effort to push for war in Iraq and an expansive "war on terror." In this special section of Right Web News, we provide a rundown of some of the more controversial and hardline figures who have been a part of this exodus.

Right Web Profile: J.D. Crouch II
One of the architects within the National Security Council of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, Crouch, who announced his resignation late last week, is the most recent casualty in the ranks of the administration’s Cheney crowd.

Right Web Profile: John Bolton
The controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN has returned to his old stomping grounds at neocon central, the American Enterprise Institute, where he continues to harangue about the UN, the threat posed by Islam’s "theological revolution on the march," and the dangers of diplomacy.

Right Web Profile: Paul Wolfowitz
Rumsfeld’s Number 2 at the Pentagon, Wolfowitz left the Defense Department to head the World Bank, where his work has proved as controversial as it was while he was in the administration.

Right Web Profile: Donald Rumsfeld
The embattled former Pentagon chief was forced to step down in November 2006 after six tumultuous years, during which he bungled the invasion of Iraq, failed to adequately respond to the growing insurgency there, and dismissed accusations of torture and mistreatment of detainees at places like Abu Ghraib.

Right Web Profile: Richard Perle
As chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, a post he left after scandals erupted regarding alleged conflicts of interest between his government service and private business dealings, Perle was one of the leading advocates for invading Iraq after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Right Web Profile: Douglas Feith
Feith left his post at the Pentagon just as investigations began heating up over his alleged mishandling of intel to justify the invasion of Iraq. He then took up a teaching post at Georgetown University, where he teaches a class on the Bush administration’s "war on terror."

Right Web Profile: Robert Joseph
Joseph, a close associate of hardline outfits like the Center for Security Policy and a skeptic of pursing diplomatic strategies with U.S. opponents, resigned from his post as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security just as negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program began showing signs of progress in early 2007.

Right Web Profile: Stephen Cambone
A long-time Rumsfeld sidekick, Cambone served as the first-ever undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Before stepping down shortly after Rumsfeld’s ouster, he labored to justify the ill-fated invasion of Iraq and the abuses suffered by detainees as part of the "war on terror."

Right Web Profile: Peter Rodman
A Kissinger protégé who aligned himself with the clique of hardliners and neoconservatives in the Bush administration, Rodman, now based at the Brookings Institution, resigned from the Pentagon shortly after his boss Donald Rumsfeld was pushed out.

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Right Web Profile: Mario Loyola
A former Pentagon consultant and frequent contributor to right-wing outlets like the National Review, Loyola is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he regularly applauds the war effort and warns about the "pessimism of the center."

Right Web Profile: Stephen Hadley
Supporting the Iraq "surge" and searching for a "war czar" have been among Hadley’s claims to fame since taking over as the president’s national security adviser.

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Featured Profiles

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.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


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From the Wires

The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


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.”


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