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 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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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From the Wires

Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


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.


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