Right Web

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

The myth of Mideast dominance; profiles on Steve Rosen, Dennis Ross, John Yoo, Peter Wehner, Blackwa

FEATURED ARTICLES

U.S.-Iranian Engagement: When and How?
By Ahmad Sadri

On Norouz, the day when Iranians celebrate the coming of spring and the new Iranian calendar year, President Barack Obama put the United States on a path to a fresh relationship with Iran. But given the upcoming Iranian presidential elections in June, the real question for the U.S. administration is when and how to further engage Iran. One thing is clear, the two countries have a number of shared concerns, which could provide them with a new basis for relations. Read full story.

Military Dominance in Mideast a Costly Myth?
By Gareth Porter

The United States might not be the dominant power in the Middle East that the Obama administration seems to presume, which could have far reaching consequences on its actions in the region. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Steve Rosen
One of the key pundits involved in the effort to overturn the nomination of Charles Freeman to a top intelligence post, Rosen recently sued his former employer, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, for defamation in connection to his federal indictment for allegedly passing U.S. secrets to Israel.

Dennis Ross
A career diplomat with close ties to neoconservatives, Ross was recently given an appointment in the Obama administration, which includes advising on Iran policy.

John Yoo
Newly released Justice Department memos shed light on the controversial opinions issued by Yoo regarding the use of the military on U.S. soil to fight the war on terror.

Peter Wehner
The former head of strategic initiatives in the Bush White House, Wehner has used his perch at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center to defend the Bush record and issue warnings about the direction of the new president.

XE (Blackwater Worldwide)
Recently rechristened as Xe, the Blackwater private security company—notorious for its work in Iraq—claims to be shifting its focus to training and logistics, including training pro athletes in self-defense.

Erik Prince
After six of his company’s contractors were indicted last December for killing civilians in Iraq, Prince argued that Blackwater was a company driven by patriotic duty and woefully misunderstood.

Christopher DeMuth
DeMuth served as director of the American Enterprise Institute for more than 20 years before stepping down early this year.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

From "Axis of Evil" to "Happy New Year"
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

President Obama issued well wishes to Iran on that country’s New Year’s celebration last Friday, striking a dramatically different tone to that adopted by his predecessor. Read article.

Bipartisan Experts Urge "Partnership" with Russia
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A recent report suggests how the new administration can find common ground with Russia, after the U.S.-Russia relationship reached a new post-Cold War low last summer. Read article.

Vetting Nominees, Hampering Policy?
Analysis by Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

Will the lengthy and intrusive vetting process for nominees hamper the Obama’s administration ability to confront a number of foreign policy issues? Read article.

Islamist Governments Not the Enemy, Say Mideast Experts
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

U.S. policy must end its misguided fear of Islamist parties and concentrate on human rights, experts assert in open letter to Obama. Read article.

Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for “Israel Lobby”
By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A vitriolic battle waged by Republican lawmakers and Israel-centric hardliners spurred Charles “Chas” Freeman to withdraw from consideration to chair the National Intelligence Council. Read article.

"Resist and Deter" Iran
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A recent report by a hawkish U.S. think tank urges the administration to exert increasing pressure on Tehran to abandon its enrichment program and be prepared to launch military strikes. Read article.

Dutch Foe of Islam Goes to Washington
By Daniel Luban and Eli Clifton (Inter Press Service)

Dutch MP Geert Wilders tours the United States, soliciting conservatives for financial and ideological support. Read article.

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Featured Profiles

Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


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.


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.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


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From the Wires

Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones.


Division in the ranks of the conservative movement is a critical sign that a war with Iran isn’t inevitable.


Donald Trump stole the headlines, but the declaration from the recent NATO summit suggests the odds of an unnecessary conflict are rising. Instead of inviting a dialogue, the document boasts that the Alliance has “suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” The fact is, NATO was a child of the Cold War, when the West believed that the Soviets were a threat. But Russia today is not the Soviet Union, and there’s no way Moscow would be stupid enough to attack a superior military force.


War with Iran may not be imminent, but neither was war with Iraq in late 2001.


Donald Trump was one of the many bets the Russians routinely place, recognizing that while most such bets will never pay off a few will, often in unpredictable ways. Trump’s actions since taking office provide the strongest evidence that this one bet is paying off handsomely for the Russians. Putin could hardly have made the script for Trump’s conduct at the recent NATO meeting any more to his liking—and any better designed to foment division and distrust within the Western alliance—than the way Trump actually behaved.


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