Right Web

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

The Abrams Redux; Wolfowitz’s Friends; Jeffrey Gedmin at Radio Free Europe, and More

Elliott Abrams’ Repeat Performance By Jim Lobe We’ve seen it before—administration officials, alarmed by congressional efforts to support diplomacy over hardline overseas policies, wage a behind-the-scenes battle to discredit the "appeasers." But the current administration, led by its lead Mideast policy adviser, Elliott Abrams, seems determined to not learn the foreign policy lessons of the…

Elliott Abrams’ Repeat Performance
By Jim Lobe

We’ve seen it before—administration officials, alarmed by congressional efforts to support diplomacy over hardline overseas policies, wage a behind-the-scenes battle to discredit the "appeasers." But the current administration, led by its lead Mideast policy adviser, Elliott Abrams, seems determined to not learn the foreign policy lessons of the past. Read full story.

For more information, see:

Right Web Profile: Elliott Abrams
An Iran-Contra veteran, and the current point person for Middle East policy in the National Security Council, Elliott Abrams has made a career of championing confrontational foreign policies.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Right Web Profile: Jeffrey Gedmin
The new head of Radio Free Europe, Gedmin is a longtime supporter of aggressive U.S. overseas policies, including the neoconservative-inspired agenda of reshaping the Middle East.

Right Web Profile: Laurence Silberman
Silberman, a DC federal judge who tried to absolve the administration of having politicized the intel used to justify the invasion of Iraq, has a storied history of involvement in controversial domestic and foreign policies.

Right Web Profile: Elizabeth Cheney
The vice president’s daughter and a former State official, Cheney has proved a formidable public proponent of her father’s policies, most recently echoing in a Post op-ed the VP’s criticism of U.S. officials pushing diplomacy with Syria.

Wolfowitz’s Quid Pro Quo
By Emad Mekay and Jim Lobe

Supporters of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq have been among those who seem to have benefited from Paul Wolfowitz’s tenure at the World Bank. Read full story.

See also:

Right Web Profile: Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz, the former Pentagon official who fervently championed the invasion of Iraq, faces a growing scandal over his work as president of the World Bank for his possible efforts to use the bank to further U.S. interests and improperly help his associates.

LETTERS

Re: Bernard Lewis

Thank you for the well-done presentation regarding Bernard Lewis, whose views have had too great an influence on the public’s understanding of Islam for years.

—J.J. Bodine

Re: Richard John Neuhaus and the Institute on Religion and Public Life

If these people frighten you, you probably never get any sleep. If First Things, the publication of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, is furtive and extremist, it hides itself about as well as the New York Times. The Times, in fact, has the more rigid ideology. The conservative movement is split and yet I’ve never read in First Things a nasty word about Pat Buchanan. Neuhaus does love to do his schtick on the Episcopal Church. I call it a multiple-choice church. You should go to St. Thomas Episcopal in Manhattan if you want to hear jokes about their own bishops.

I subscribe to First Things and yet disagree with their closeness with secular power, if only because it’s so boring. I never heard but the kindest words about the Mennonites and how they are drawing closer to the church as they define a more complex liturgy in this complex world and as the end of Christendom threatens them. One of the Yoders taught theology at Notre Dame.

Who are you? I don’t see any of your names and affiliations.

I am a traditionist. The last thing I want is power; it’s boring, too. In fact, I love to argue with people who differ with me. At my age, it’s about the only strenuous physical activity I can engage in endlessly.

Don’t be so serious. Laughter is the best medicine. You have to admit that Neuhaus gets in some uproarious lines when the Episcopalians are particularly going around in circles.

—Andrew Carlan

Re: Right Web Responds

Regarding the letter writer’s question—who are we and what are our affiliations?—Right Web is a program of the New Mexico-based International Relations Center (IRC), a fact made explicit by the IRC banner at the top of every web page connected to Right Web as well as by Right Web’s "About" page, which also details the reasons why the program focuses its analyses and profiles on individuals and organizations like Richard John Neuhaus and the Institute on Religion and Public Life. See https://rightweb.irc-online.org/about.php. The content of Right Web is produced by IRC staff. Information about IRC, as well as its affiliations and funding, is available on the website: http://www.irc-online.org.

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IRC Global Good Neighbor Initiative

The initiative to promote a global good neighbor ethic as the guiding vision of U.S. foreign policy was launched by the International Relations Center (IRC) in May 2005 with events in New York City and Washington, DC. Consider adding your voice to the cause. And check out this new GGN video.

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Featured Profiles

Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela, is a neoconservative with a long record of hawkish positions and actions, including lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair.


Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump second secretary of state, has driven a hawkish foreign policy in Iran and Latin America.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


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From the Wires

François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.


Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.


The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.


As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.


Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.


The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.


With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.


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