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

Embedding the Analysts: Modern-Day Propaganda?; Plus, Profile on Paul Vallely, Steve Forbes, Bret St

FEATURED ARTICLE Embedding the Analysts: Modern-Day Propaganda? By Bill Berkowitz An investigative exposé by the New York Times has revealed part of the Pentagon’s “information dominance” apparatus, through which it manipulated perceptions about the conflict in Iraq. Throughout the Iraq War, the Bush administration gave private briefings to selected military retirees, who then made public…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Embedding the Analysts: Modern-Day Propaganda?
By Bill Berkowitz

An investigative exposé by the New York Times has revealed part of the Pentagon’s “information dominance” apparatus, through which it manipulated perceptions about the conflict in Iraq. Throughout the Iraq War, the Bush administration gave private briefings to selected military retirees, who then made public appearances as independent military experts. The brains behind this program belong to former Pentagon public affairs officer Victoria Clarke, who now works for one of the same TV networks that had been hoodwinked by her program. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Paul Vallely
A right-wing radio talk show host and retired general who supports a number of militarist policy groups, Vallely is also one of nearly 75 retired military men who were given Pentagon talking points before making media appearances as supposedly independent analysts.

Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes, the former “flat tax” presidential candidate, heads the Forbes publishing empire and supports the work of a number of militarist policy groups, including the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Bret Stephens
A rising media star who oversees the Wall Street Journal’s foreign policy editorials, Stephens argues that people who criticize the influence of the “Israel lobby” contribute to growing antisemitism.

Charles Kupperman
A defense industry executive and missile defense proponent, Kupperman is associated with a number militarist think tanks and policy forums.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Feith’s Unsurprising Revelations
By Gareth Porter

A new memoir by neoconservative Douglas Feith, the controversial former undersecretary of defense, shows that soon after 9/11, the administration was intent on using the crisis to reshape the Middle East. Read full story .

No Help from Washington
By Khody Akhavi

With tensions running high, Israel and Syria are using Turkey as a mediator and edging toward a peaceful resolution—with little help from Washington. 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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