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

Saudi Counter-Revolution AND Too Stupid to Be a Neocon?

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Saudi Counter-Revolution

By Samer Araabi

Tunisia, Egypt, now Libya. Each of these revolutions have occurred under the watchful eye of the House of Saud, which has sought to stifle change and suffocate democratic aspirations in the Arab world. While the United States appears to have viewed Saudi machinations as serving its interests in the short term, there can be little doubt that U.S. acquiescence to Saudi interests will have serious implications down the road. At a watershed political moment, the United States has failed to act in accordance with its own principles, and thus could lose the respect and cooperation of yet another generation of Arabs. The potential fallout from these mistakes could haunt U.S. policy for decades to come. Read article.
 

MILITARIST MONITOR

Who’s Behind the Anti-Sharia Campaign?

Ever since the public outcry over the construction of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” in Manhattan, state legislatures across the United States have debated a flurry of “anti-Sharia” measures designed to restrict the implementation of Islamic and other “international” laws in U.S. courts. While the movement has been aptly described by the American Civil Liberties Union as a “solution in search of a problem” and by the Anti-Defamation League as “the stuff of pure paranoia,” it has nonetheless enjoyed what the NYT recently described as an “air of grass-roots spontaneity.” The fact is, the anti-Sharia campaign began five years ago as a deliberate effort by several like-minded ideologues, including most importantly a little-known lawyer named David Yerushalmi, who has argued that Muslims should be denied entry into the United States and the United States should wage “war on Islam.” Read article
 

FEATURED PROFILES

Stephens, Bret

The neoconservative editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page apparently thinks that President Obama is too stupid to be a neocon.

Yerushalmi, David

David Yerushalmi, a hardline anti-Muslim activist and the founder of the Society of Americans for National Existence, has been described as a “white supremacist” and a “Jewish fascist.”

Loewenberg, Robert J.

Robert Loewenberg heads the quixotic Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, the Jerusalem-based right-wing think tank notorious for its more-hawkish-than-Likud take on Middle East peace.

Society of Americans for National Existence

The Society of Americans for National Existence is an anti-Muslim advocacy group that has spearheaded efforts to get U.S. states to pass laws criminalizing sharia law.

Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies

The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies is an enigmatic Israel-based organization with deep ties to U.S. neoconservatives that is notorious for publishing tirades about Islam’s purported take over of the West.
 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

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Barack Obama for the first time said “the time has come” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down on August 18th, a stance seconded by European allies.

Int’l Pressure Mounts as Syrian Crackdown Grows More Violent

The international chorus against Bashar al-Assad has steadily grown as Syria’s Ramadan crackdown on anti-government protesters escalates.

US Nuclear Arsenal Holds Fast to Status Quo

Obama’s push for nuclear disarmament has slowed considerably since the ratification of New START, and the United States is nowhere close to eliminating its nuclear arsenal.

New Iran Sanctions Could Bring Unintended Blowback

Congress is pushing for new sanctions on Iran’s oil industry regardless of the possible economic consequences.
 

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


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.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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