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

Palestine, the Arab Spring, and the Middle East Lobby

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Palestine, the Arab Spring, and the Middle East Lobby

By Jack Ross

As the Arab Spring confronts increasing resistance from entrenched interests in the region, the Palestinian cause appears to be at best a fading concern of demonstrators—or so “pro-Israel” ideologues would have us believe. But this myth of a divide between Arab demonstrators and Palestinians does not stand up to the evidence. And just as importantly, it fails to take into account that what we are witnessing across the Arab world is a broad-based movement aimed at asserting democratic rights and undermining the grip of hegemonic forces, and that nowhere is the need for this movement more acute than in Palestine. Read article.

 

Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi “Counter-revolution”

By Jim Lobe

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran. Read article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

James Woolsey

Woolsey, a former CIA director who views the “War on Terror” as the “Long War,” was recently named chairman of the board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Malcolm Wallop

Retired Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-WY) is an old-school Cold Warrior who continues to promote rightwing defense and foreign policy initiatives as chair of Frontiers of Freedom.

Robert H. Bork

Conservative legal scholar and former Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork is a long-time rightwing activist who has supported the work of several advocacy groups, including the Hudson Institute.

Lewis Lehrman

An investment banker who advocates supply-side economics and a return to the gold standard, Lehrman has supported a number of militarist pressure groups since the Cold War, including the Project for the New American Century and the Reagan-era Citizens for America.

Walter Kansteiner III

Kansteiner is a long-standing Republican Party operative active in international business and policy initiatives.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi ‘Counter-revolution’

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran.

U.S. Denies It Is Trying to Undermine Assad

Bashar al-Assad’s government struggles to cope with growing protests as the State Department denies any involvement in the unrest, despite reports of it providing millions of dollars to the Syrian opposition in the last five years.

U.S. ‘Democracy’ Advisors Suddenly in Demand

With the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia toppled and rebellions raging from Libya to Yemen, U.S. officials and NGOs dedicated to democracy promotion in the Middle East face unprecedented opportunities—but also new questions about the U.S. role.

Israel Hits Roadblock Over Dismissal of War Crimes Charges

Israel has gone on the offensive after Richard Goldstone admitted “regret” over parts of the UN-report investigating Israel’s War on Gaza that carried his name—but critics charge that Israel is overplaying Goldstone’s comments.

Libya Splitting Republicans in 1990s Redux

In a replay of the infighting among Republicans over U.S. military interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s, U.S. involvement in the civil war in Libya is exposing serious splits among self-described conservatives.

Maliki’s Doubts Threaten Post-2011 Troop Presence Plan

President Obama’s plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond 2011 is threatened by developments in both Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

Turkey’s ‘neo-Gaullism’

Turkey has endeavored to make itself a central player in the unfolding Middle East upheaval, leading one observer to comment that the country is displaying a “new self-confidence bordering on hubris."

Arab Uprising as a War on Terror

The flame lit by Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation last December 17 has also engulfed some myths about the region and beyond, which will have a profound impact on the domestic and foreign policies of the new governments that emerge from the ongoing upheaval.

 

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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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