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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…

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.

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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

Bret Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times who previously worked at the Wall Street Journal and the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary.


Donald Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr is the focus of a growing controversy over the Robert Mueller report because his decision to unilaterally declare that the the president had not obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation.


The Republican Jewish Coalition is a right wing Jewish advocacy groups that promotes an aggressive pro-Israel and anti-Iran policy.


Erik Prince, former CEO of the mercenary group Blackwater, continues to sell security services around the world as controversies over his work—including in China and the Middle East, and his alleged involvement in collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia—grow.


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Gina Haspel is the first woman to hold the position of director of the CIA, winning her confirmation despite her history of involvement in torture during the Iraq War.


United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.


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From the Wires

The new government will, once again, be the most right wing in Israel’s history. But this time, the length of the new government’s tenure will depend more on Netanyahu’s legal troubles than on the political dynamics of the coalition.


Given such a dismal U.S. record on non-proliferation, why should North Korea trust U.S. promises of future sanctions relief and security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization? If anything, the case of the JCPOA has demonstrated that regardless of its pledges the United States can reinstate sanctions and even bully private multinational companies to divest from Iran.


As Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman clamor for a war against Iran, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the destruction and mayhem wrought by the American invasion of Iraq 16 years ago.


President Trump’s announcement that he would recognise Israeli sovereignty over the western part of the Golan Heights destroys the negotiating basis for any future peace between Israel and Syria. It also lays the groundwork for a return to a world without territorial integrity for smaller, weaker countries.


The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure mandating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Saudi/UAE-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The vote marks the first time since the War Powers Act of 1973 became law that both chambers of Congress have directed the president to withdraw American forces from a conflict.


The Trump administration’s failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and North Korea begs the question what the US president’s true objectives are and what options he is left with should the policy ultimately fail.


In the United States, it’s possible to debate any and every policy, domestic and foreign, except for unquestioning support for Israel. That, apparently, is Ilhan Omar’s chief sin.


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