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

Obama, East Africa, and the “war on terror”; Profiles on John McCain, Victor Davis Hanso

FEATURED ARTICLE

Will Obama’s Change Come to Poor Corners of Kenya?

By Najum Mustaq

Wracked by the devastation wrought in the violent aftermath of their own presidential election a year ago, Kenyans across the country’s tribal and religious divisions have rejoiced in Barack Obama’s presidential win in the United States. But the euphoria inspired by the obvious symbolism of the election of a U.S. president with Kenyan heritage is heavily tempered by the burdens of everyday life and the question of whether Obama has the will and wherewithal to stop the excesses of the U.S.-led “war on terror” in East Africa. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

John McCain
2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain’s efforts to tout his hawkish foreign policy record failed to inspire an electorate tired of war and concerned about the economy.

Victor Davis Hanson
A Hoover Institution fellow, Hanson calls 9/11 “our Peloponnesian War” and worries about the “empathy” expressed by countries like Iran for the new U.S. president-elect.

Paula Dobriansky
The Bush administration’s undersecretary of state for democracy, Dobriansky is a longtime Washington insider close to the neoconservatives who helped push the administration’s democracy agenda.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Whither Peace in the Middle East
Analysis by Cherrie Heywood (Inter Press Service)

President-elect Barack Obama will inherit a “war on terror” that some view as part of a modern-day clash of civilizations in the Middle East. Read full story.

Obama Advisor Has ties to Neocons
Analysis by Michael Flynn (Inter Press Service)

Dennis Ross, a top advisor to the Obama campaign, has ties to neoconservatives and has supported a hard line vis-à-vis Israel’s neighbors, including promoting an aggressive approach to Iran. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


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.


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.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


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From the Wires

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.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones.


Division in the ranks of the conservative movement is a critical sign that a war with Iran isn’t inevitable.


Donald Trump stole the headlines, but the declaration from the recent NATO summit suggests the odds of an unnecessary conflict are rising. Instead of inviting a dialogue, the document boasts that the Alliance has “suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” The fact is, NATO was a child of the Cold War, when the West believed that the Soviets were a threat. But Russia today is not the Soviet Union, and there’s no way Moscow would be stupid enough to attack a superior military force.


War with Iran may not be imminent, but neither was war with Iraq in late 2001.


Donald Trump was one of the many bets the Russians routinely place, recognizing that while most such bets will never pay off a few will, often in unpredictable ways. Trump’s actions since taking office provide the strongest evidence that this one bet is paying off handsomely for the Russians. Putin could hardly have made the script for Trump’s conduct at the recent NATO meeting any more to his liking—and any better designed to foment division and distrust within the Western alliance—than the way Trump actually behaved.


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