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

Is Obama the second coming of de Gaulle? Profiles on the Center for a New American Security, Dan Sen

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Waiting for Obama
By Leon Hadar

Some Israelis fear that Barack Obama is the second coming of Charles de Gaulle–a leader of a powerful global patron who is willing to turn his back on the Jewish state if it goes to war with Arab neighbors. Thus far, however, the Obama administration has merely repeated long-held U.S. policy goals in the region, albeit ones that contrast sharply with the neoconservative-tendencies of the Bush presidency. As Middle East observers wait for Obama to launch his Middle East peace initiative in the coming months, they wonder, can the president fill the political vacuum in Israel and Palestine and start pressing the two sides to consider making painful compromises. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Center for a New American Security
The go-to security policy think tank for the Obama administration, the Center for a New American Security is staffed with a host counterintelligence enthusiasts, some of whom seem right at home working closely with neoconservatives.  

Dan Senor
The former spokesman for the coalition authority in Iraq, Senor is the cofounder of the neoconservative-led Foreign Policy Initiative, where he alternatively applauds the Obama administration’s hard line in Afghanistan and bemoans its “weakness” on Iran.  

Dennis Ross
It remains unclear whether Dennis Ross’s new post in the National Security Council will increase or diminish his impact on Mideast policymaking.

Paul Wolfowitz
The former Pentagon number two and ex-head of the World Bank added his voice to the chorus of hardliners denouncing President Obama’s “weakness” in confronting the election crisis in Iran.

American Conservative Union
A core member of the traditional Right, the ACU has helped drive the Republican Party further right since the election of President Obama.

David Addington
Dick Cheney’s right-hand man on everything from evading congressional oversight of “war on terror” policies to authorizing the use of torture, Addington is one of several Bush lawyers who has had trouble finding work since leaving government service.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Report Urges Continued U.S. Diplomatic Push
By Daniel Luban

A new report from veteran Middle East hands urges the Obama administration to proceed cautiously with Iran, but move quickly to broker formal talks between Israel and Palestine.

Behind Detainee Release, a U.S.-Iraqi Conflict on Iran
By Gareth Porter

The recent release of five Iranians held by the U.S. military in Iraq highlights growing differences between Washington and Baghdad over Iranian policy in Iraq.

Is Obama Slouching Toward War With Iran?
By Tony Karon

Although the Obama administration clearly believes an Israeli attack on Iran would be disastrous, recent events seem to point to a concerted campaign to make the Iranians think an attack is coming, a strategy that could have severe unintended consequences.

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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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