Right Web

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

Our new home; Bibi’s misguided rightwing affair; Profiles on Michael Makovsky and more

April 14, 2010
Editor: Michael Flynn

Note from the Editor:

After three fruitful years under the stewardship of the Political Research Associates (PRA), Right Web has recently moved to a new home at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, DC. We are very thankful for PRA’s support and guidance during this transition, and we look forward to collaborating with our former colleagues in the future. We are also very excited about our new home, confident that IPS’s high standards of progressive analysis and advocacy on foreign affairs will rub off on our work at Right Web.

–Michael Flynn

 

FEATURED ARTICLE

No Tea Parties for Bibi
By Leon Hadar

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to arrive in Washington just in time to witness the dénouement in the showdown over health care reform was no coincidence. An obsessive consumer of Washington news and gossip — much of it filtered through the lens of U.S. rightwing interlocutors — Netanyahu likely thought he would meet the president just as the Age of Obama was coming to an end. Instead, he confronted a recharged leader angry over Israeli intransigence on settlements. While it is unlikely that current U.S.-Israeli tensions will lead to a long-term split, it is clear that “Bibi” will have to reassess his failed strategy of counting on rightwing allies to counterbalance pressure from the administration. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Michael Makovsky
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Makovsky thinks that for President Obama to peacefully resolve the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program he may have to go to war.

Melvin Sembler
A high-powered Republican Party donor and real estate magnate, Sembler has supported a number of hawkish advocacy groups, including most recently Liz Cheney’s Keep America Safe.

Keep America Safe
At the same time this new neocon group was busy condemning lawyers for having represented terrorism suspects, it was circulating a petition pushing to keep “Gitmo” open, claiming it is a “safe, secure, and humane” way to keep “terrorists” locked up.

Dan Senor
The “spinmeister” who painted a rosy picture of the war in Iraq while working as a coalition spokesperson, Senor now doubles as cofounder of both a private equity firm and a neocon pressure group, the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Daniel Pipes
Pipes recently lauded the racist Dutch politician Geert Wilders, calling him “a charismatic, savvy, principled, and outspoken leader.” 

Dennis Ross
The controversial diplomat closely associated with Israel has been criticized for being overly sympathetic to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stance on settlements at the expense of U.S. interests.  

David Frum
Notorious for his argument that failure in the “war on terror” could lead to a new holocaust, Frum was ousted from the American Enterprise Institute after criticizing the Republican Party’s approach to healthcare reform.

Liz Cheney
A standard-bearer for her father’s militarist agenda, Liz Cheney and her group Keep America Safe have resorted to McCarthy-esque tactics in attacking the Obama administration.

Sheldon Adelson
The Casino magnate and key backer of U.S. and Israeli rightwing groups, Sheldon Adelson’s free Israeli daily is at the center of a dispute over the future of the country’s print media.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Obama Mideast Peace Plan in the Works?
President Obama appears to be considering launching a major push later this year to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, much to the displeasure of the Likudniks and neocons.

Congress Complicates Obama’s Sanctions Strategy for Iran
The Obama administration’s efforts to get UN approval for new international sanctions against Iran could be hampered by the “Israel Lobby,” which intends to push Congress to impose unilateral measures.

U.S. Poll Reveals Divide on Middle East
Eighty-one percent of U.S. citizens say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has hurt their country’s interests, according to a new poll, although a sharp partisan divide increasingly frames the issue.

New U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal
The new U.S.-Russia nuclear agreement, hailed as one of President Obama’s most significant foreign policy accomplishments, will continue the gradual reduction of the two countries’ nuclear stockpiles.

Unraveling the Knottiest Issues in Stalled Peace Talks
A recent study published by an institute led by former Republican official James Baker argues that the Obama administration needs to be more aggressive in pushing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

 

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.


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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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