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

Sheldon Adelson, Money v. Ideology; Dennis Ross; Ken Adelman; Clarion Fund

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Economic Crisis: Will Money Trump Ideology?

By Eli Clifton

The steep reversal of financial fortune for one of the most generous donors to hawkish causes could likely impact the ability of those causes to carry out their work. The fortune of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a key backer of groups like Freedom’s Watch and the Likud agenda in Israel, has taken a hit from the global economic meltdown. Will megadonors like Adelson turn their attention to salvaging their business empires at the expense of the political agendas dear to their hearts? Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Dennis Ross
A senior advisor to the Obama campaign and longtime diplomat, Ross has a track record of collaborating with hardline neoconservatives, including helping produce a recent report that some consider a “roadmap to war” with Iran.

Ken Adelman
Adelman, a former member of the Defense Policy Board who championed an aggressive “war on terror” after 9/11, is one of several conservatives whose views on the presidential race have surprised observers.

Clarion Fund
A little-known group connected to the Israeli right-wing, the Clarion Fund has been accused of trying to sway the presidential election by distributing a fear-mongering video about the purported threat to the United States from “radical Islam.”

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Some experts wonder whether the order given for the recent U.S. action on Syrian territory came out of the White House. Read full story.

Afghanistan: The Enemy of the Enemy
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

With General David Petraeus insisting that talks with enemies are needed, the Pentagon might back plans to reconcile with Taliban who reject Al Qaeda. Read full story.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

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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