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

Pentagon Reined in Cheney’s Plans for Iran Strikes; Plus, Profile on Douglas Feith, Thomas McI

FEATURED ARTICLE

Pentagon Reined in Cheney’s Plans for Iran Strikes
Analysis by Gareth Porter (Inter Press Service)

A proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney to strike Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps bases last summer was apparently thwarted by the Pentagon because of concerns that it could spark an all-out war. But that was before Adm. William Fallon was dismissed as head of Central Command and replaced with Gen. David Petraeus, a Cheney ally. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Douglas Feith
A former Pentagon official whose office generated information that was used to push the United States toward war with Iraq, Feith recently published a memoir in which he blames others for the missteps in Iraq.

Thomas McInerney
Connected to various military contractors and hardline advocacy groups, the Fox News analyst and retired general received talking points from the Bush administration as part of a Pentagon program to influence U.S. views on the “war on terror.”

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Olmert Takes a Break; Hagee Wins Applause
By Nathan Guttman (The Forward)

At the annual meeting of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the presidential candidates pledged their support for Israel, the group’s agenda veered to the right, and controversial Christian Right leader John Hagee earned enthusiastic applause. Read full story.

A Foregone Conclusion
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

The Bush administration’s arguments for invading Iraq were largely unsupported by the evidence provided by the U.S. intelligence community, according to a long-awaited Senate report. Read full story.

Protesters Draw Attention to Guantanamo
By Haider Rizvi (Inter Press Service)

As the Bush administration continues to defend indefinite detentions of prisoners in the “war on terror,” protesters go to trial. Read full story.

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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.


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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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