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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

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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

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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