Right Web

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

Israeli Hawks Downplay Iranian Nukes; the New Arc of Crisis; Stifling Dissent; FreedomWorks; Emanuel

FEATURED ARTICLE Look Who’s Downplaying Iran’s Nuclear ThreatBy Leon Hadar In a series of recent statements, high-profile Israeli hawks have argued that an Iranian nuclear weapons program would not pose an existential threat to Israel, in part because they realize that the alternative could be regional war. So why is it that neoconservatives and other…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Look Who’s Downplaying Iran’s Nuclear Threat
By Leon Hadar

In a series of recent statements, high-profile Israeli hawks have argued that an Iranian nuclear weapons program would not pose an existential threat to Israel, in part because they realize that the alternative could be regional war. So why is it that neoconservatives and other pro-Israel hardliners in the United States continue to press for decisive action against Tehran from the safety of their offices in the United States? Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Emanuele Ottolenghi
Ottolenghi, director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute, keeps readers of the National Review, Commentary, and other rightist outlets up to date on whither the "war on terror" in Europe.

Will Marshall
Considered by some a neoconservative in Democrat’s clothing, Marshall helps run two rightist Democratic Party-aligned groups, the Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute.

FreedomWorks (previously Empower America)
FreedomWorks is a rightist advocacy outfit created in 2004 out of the merger of Empower America and Citizens for a Sound Economy.

Marshall Wittmann
Senator Lieberman’s spokesperson, Wittmann has worked to put the Democratic Party on a hardline trail like the one blazed by Sen. "Scoop" Jackson.

Bruce Jackson
Bruce Jackson has founded several influential, hawkish advocacy groups, including the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a pressure group that worked to build public and congressional support for invading Iraq.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

A New "Arc of Crisis"?
By Jim Lobe

The problems in Pakistan and the looming threat of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq have come at an inconvenient moment for the Bush administration, which is trying to convince the public that it has finally turned the corner in the "war on terror." Read full story.

Stifling Dissent
By Gareth Porter

In a replay of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration wants to prevent intelligence agencies from reporting inconvenient messages, in this case regarding Iran’s nuclear program. 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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