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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.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


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From the Wires

The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


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.”


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