Right Web

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

Obama’s Foreign Policy; Farewell to Cheney; The AEI Breakup; Profiles on Weyrich, Neuhaus, and

FEATURED ARTICLES

President Obama: A Realist Interventionist?

By Leon Hadar

President Obama might turn out to be a foreign policy pragmatist, eschewing the grand strategies and big-label crusades that inspire the minds of Washington’s cognoscenti. After eight years of the Bush administration’s foreign policy fantasies, the notion of an Obama administration muddling through foreign policy choices should be welcomed, even by those who will inevitably be disappointed when Obama fails to live up to their high expectations. Read full story.

Neoconservatism in a New Era

By Nick Rogers

With a new president taking office who campaigned against George W. Bush’s foreign policy agenda, a burning question among many pundits is, “Whither the neocons?” Out of power and out of fashion, what exactly will be their post-Bush agenda? Prominent thinkers Joshua Muravchik and Michael Ledeen weigh in on how neocons should move forward and what some of their priorities might be in the future. Read full story.

Cheney: Master Bureaucrat

By Daniel Luban

From his first day in office, former Vice President Dick Cheney served as the most aggressive hawk among the top administration leadership. As Barton Gellman documents in his recent biography, Angler, Cheney used the Vice President’s office with secrecy and skill to unite the administration around shared goals of an aggressively nationalist foreign policy, a disdain for diplomacy, and an utterly unfettered executive power in time of war. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

American Enterprise Institute
The departure of key neoconservative writers from AEI leaves in question the think tank’s commitment to the militarist foreign policies it helped promote during the Bush presidency.

Dennis Ross
George Mitchell’s appointment as Middle East envoy may have stymied Ross’ lofty ambitions, but recent reports claim that the Clinton-era advisor who maintains strong ties to neocons may win a high-level post in the Obama administration advising on Mideast policy, possibly focusing on Iran.

Elliott Abrams
The Iran-Contra veteran and champion of Likud-aligned U.S. Mideast policies in the Bush administration has landed at the Council on Foreign Relations.

William Kristol
The editor of the Weekly Standard and founder of the Project for the New American Century, Kristol’s stint as an op-ed writer for the New York Times lasted all of one year.

Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)
Called “a Roman Catholic beacon of the neoconservative movement of today,” the influential Neuhaus, who was frequently found at the crossroads of politics and religion, died in early January 2009.

Paul Weyrich (1942-2008)
A fervent Cold Warrior and longtime conservative leader, Weyrich opposed many of the foreign policies of the Bush administration, including the Iraq War. He passed away in December.

Reuel Marc Gerecht
Like fellow neocon Michael Ledeen, Gerecht, a former CIA officer, found a perch at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies after getting ousted from AEI.

Joshua Muravchik
A former scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Muravchik was one of several scholars whose recent departure from AEI has spurred talk of a “purge” at the neoconservative-led think tank.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Bush Foreign Policy Legacy Widely Seen as Disastrous
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 20, 2009

Few historians would apparently disagree with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal’s comment that "the Bush administration has left you [the United States] a disgusting legacy.” Read story.

Bush Plan Eliminated Obstacle to Gaza Assault
By Gareth Porter | Posted on January 20, 2009

Bush administration efforts to undermine Hamas appear to have paved the way for the recent Israeli assault on Gaza. Read story.

Israeli Attack Seen as Complicating Obama’s Plans
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 7, 2009

The president-elect’s stated goal of improving the Israeli-Palestinian situation has been complicated before he even starts his job. Read story.

LETTERS

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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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