Right Web

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

Iran, Latin America, and the Neocons; Commentary Smears Right Web

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Right Web is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

A “Mullah-Caudillo Axis”?

By Charles Davis

Ties between Latin America and the Middle East have drawn renewed attention, in part spurred by the tepid reactions of Latin American leaders to the deteriorating situation in Libya. But the main concern, at least among rightwing observers, is what the American Enterprise Institute unimaginatively terms the “Mullah-Caudillo Axis.” The relationship between Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadenijad is causing extreme handwringing on the right, spurring pundits to conjure fantastical scenarios about Iran exploiting America’s “soft underbelly.” Clearly, neoconservatives haven't given up hope of attacking Iran—even if they have to go through Caracas to do it. Read article.

 

Commentary Smears Right Web

By Right Web

Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog recently published an entry from Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in which he attacked Right Web for employing standards “embraced by conspiracy theorists like the LaRouchies, 9/11 revisionists, and Birthers.” He also criticized Right Web’s director and editor on the basis of a stark mischaracterization of a correspondence between the two from November 2009 and called on Congress to investigate PBS Frontline for publishing stories that provide links to Right Web material. Read article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Supported in part by rightwing donors from the “Israel Lobby,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has used her perch as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to push hawkish policies in the Middle East and Latin America.

Roger Noriega

Noriega, a former Bush administration policymaker now at the American Enterprise Institute, continues to push hardline U.S. security polices and a free market agenda for Latin America.

Jaime Daremblum

The former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, Jaime Daremblum, now works as a rightwing pundit at the Hudson Institute, where he spins alarmist tales about how Iran is using countries like Venezuela to threaten the United States.

Ilan Sharon

Ilan Sharon, executive director of Minnesotans Against Terrorism and a member of the advisory board of the Clarion Fund, frequently lectures on the rise of radical Islam.

Henry S. Rowen

George Bush Senior’s assistant secretary of defense, Rowen is a fellow emeritus at the Hoover Institution, where he focuses on U.S and Asian security and development issues.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Time for Intervention Running Out

With Libyan forces seeming to have the upper hand, time is running out on whether and when the United States, NATO, or the UN should intervene militarily in the conflict.

US Edges Towards Rebel Recognition

While neoconservatives in the U.S. are itching to get into the fight against Gaddafi, the United States and its European allies are first focused on non-military support for the Libyan insurgency.

Critics Condemn Islam Hearings as Witch Hunts

Controversial hearings on extremist Islam in the United States, spearheaded by Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King, are raising red flags among Muslim-Americans, civil rights groups, and within the Obama administration.

Israel Grows Ever-Harsher in Treatment of Migrants

Israel’s growing migrant population has spurred the rightwing Likud government to pursue increasingly harsh detention and deportation policies, which could further complicate the country’s relationships with its neighbors and the international community.

 

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Featured Profiles

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and two-time failed presidential candidate, is a foreign policy hawk with neoconservative leanings who appears set to become the next senator from Utah.


Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and longtime “superlobbyist” who has supported numerous neoconservative advocacy campaigns, has become embroiled in the special prosecutor’s investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.


Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


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.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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