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

The Funders of the Right

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FEATURED PROFILES

A Special Issue of Right Web News featuring profiles on some of the key foundations and financial backers, past and present, of the U.S. Right.

Bradley Foundation
A major backer of neoconservatism, in 2007 the Bradley Foundation gave $1 million to conservative publisher Encounter Books; nearly $1 million to the Hudson Institute; and $30 million to other projects.

Castle Rock Foundation
A major financier of right-wing causes, the Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation provided seed money for both the Heritage Foundation and the Free Congress Foundation.

Earhart Foundation
One of the oldest conservative foundations, the Earhart Foundation has funded the work of several key rightists scholars and think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, as well as several Nobel-winning economists.

Olin Foundation
When it shuttered in 2005, the Olin Foundation—one of the principal financiers of the rise of the News Right—claimed job well done.

Smith Richardson Foundation
The Smith Richardson Foundation, a backer of militarist defense policies since the 1980s, has supported both neoconservative and centrist policy organizations.

Scaife Foundations
From Cold War anticommunism to the “war on terror,” the Scaife Foundations have been a major patron of U.S. militarism for decades.

Richard Scaife
Beset by a string of marital and legal problems, the iconic financier of the U.S. Right has been forced to cut back his charitable giving in recent years.

Melvin Sembler
A high-powered Republican Party donor and a real estate magnate, Sembler has funded groups like Freedoms Watch and sits on the board of trustees of the American Enterprise Institute.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

U.S.-Israeli Relations: Storm Clouds Ahead?
Analysis by Jim Lobe | Posted February 24, 2009

A likely Likud-led coalition government in Israel will likely find itself at loggerheads with an Obama administration intent on talking to Iran and stabilizing southwest Asia. Read story.

Signs of a U.S.-Syria Thaw?
By Ali Gharib | Posted February 23, 2009

Planned U.S. congressional delegations to Syria underscore Obama’s desire to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus. Read story.

Generals Seek to Reverse Obama Withdrawal Decision
By Gareth Porter | Posted on February 9, 2009

President Obama’s decision to stick to his campaign pledge regarding troop withdrawal from Iraq is facing strong opposition within the military. Read story.

More Troops, More Worries, Less Consensus on Afghanistan
Analysis by Jim Lobe | Posted on February 9, 2009

Critics fear that Obama’s potential “surge” in Afghanistan may incite, rather than resolve, violence and resentment from Al Qaeda. Read story.

Israeli Settlements Expanding
By Daniel Luban | Posted on January 30, 2009

The arrival in Israel of U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell, a long time critic of Israeli settlements, coincides with a newly released study detailing settlement expansion. Read story.

Obama’s Quick Start Raises Hopes
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 30, 2009

Within days of his inauguration, Obama had already begun to take substantive steps toward jumpstarting Arab-Israeli peace process. Read story.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and two-time failed presidential candidate, is a foreign policy hawk with neoconservative leanings who appears set to become the next senator from Utah.


Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and longtime “superlobbyist” who has supported numerous neoconservative advocacy campaigns, has become embroiled in the special prosecutor’s investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.


Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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