Right Web

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

The Dems’ 6-Month Appraisal; Freedom House; Office of Iranian Affairs; The Israel Project

FEATURED ARTICLE Democrats Controlling Congress: A Six-Month AssessmentBy John Isaacs The Democrats took over both houses of Congress six months ago with ambitious foreign policy and defense agendas aimed at turning back many of the perceived mistakes of the Bush administration and reining in some of its more ambitious and controversial weapons programs. The Dems…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Democrats Controlling Congress: A Six-Month Assessment
By John Isaacs

The Democrats took over both houses of Congress six months ago with ambitious foreign policy and defense agendas aimed at turning back many of the perceived mistakes of the Bush administration and reining in some of its more ambitious and controversial weapons programs. The Dems have had mixed results thus far, but it seems likely that nuclear weapons production, the Iraq War, missile defense, and the breadth of the "war on terrorism" will remain on the congressional agenda for the duration of President Bush’s time in office. Read full story.

SEE ALSO

Bombs Away?
By Ellen Massey

Cluster munitions, which have left a deadly legacy of unexploded ordinance from Vietnam to Afghanistan, are being targeted for export limits by the Democrat-led Congress. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Freedom House
Originally created to help push the United States into World War II, Freedom House today receives U.S. funding to undertake clandestine democracy initiatives in Iran, among other things.

The Israel Project
The young, pro-Israel organization has garnered much attention and support and is gaining clout—more than a dozen U.S. reps and senators serve on its board of advisers.

Office of Iranian Affairs
The obscure office within the State Department purportedly devoted to supporting human rights and democracy in Iran appears to be creating divisions among civil society groups, many of whom fear being associated with the United States.

Ruth Wedgwood
A specialist in international human rights law closely aligned with the neocon faction, Wedgwood defends the Bush administration’s "war on terror," both at home and abroad.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

"This Is Our Munich"?
By Khody Akhavi

Growing bipartisan support for sanctions against Iran is being spearheaded by a passel of hardline pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC, the Center for Security Policy, and The Israel Project. Read full story.

LETTERS

Re: Right Web

It is nice to be able to quickly drill down your list of profiles to see the back-bench powers that are providing policymakers with their "options" (if that is the right word for their work). In my humble opinion, it is at the level of these more obscure staffers where many of the current problems seem to have gotten started.

This would be an interesting and worthwhile topic to get an analysis of—a sort of chicken and egg assessment of the deeper genesis of current policy that gets at the underlying systemic problem, and possibly the hint of a solution.

Not withstanding the overarching influences of a guy like Leo Strauss, has the current leadership independently found and promoted these staffers to develop and execute their vision, or have these smart guys deliberately wormed their way into the confidences of the public faces in some sort of informally organized fashion knowing that this is the real route to running the world?

—H. Smith

Re: Right Web Profile: National Endowment for Democracy

Your profile of the National Endowment for Democracy is very good, and useful, but I’m rather surprised to see that on your source list you’ve left out what I regard as the very best description and analysis of NED, by author William Blum.Have a look at http://members.aol.com/superogue/ned.htm.

—Phillip Tammerman

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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.


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.


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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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