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

The National Intelligence Estimate, Annapolis, and the Mideast Strategic-Consensus Fantasy; Clifford

FEATURED ARTICLE

The Mideast Strategic-Consensus Fantasy
By Leon Hadar

Despite the pending release of an intelligence report that would paint a much less menacing Iran,the United States used the Annapolis talks to push an old and discredited idea: that a perceived commonthreat—Shiite Iran—could bring together Arabs and Jews under an American umbrella and help create theconditions for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The staying power of this strategic fantasy, sharedby the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, attests to the influence of pro-Likud neoconservativeideologues on these two conservative Republican presidents. Readfull story.

SEE ALSO:

The NIE Bombshell
By Gareth Porter

The new national intelligence estimate on Iran throws into turmoil the campaign by the Bush administrationto take aggressive action against Iran. It also validates European arguments on the efficacy of negotiationsand the power of diplomacy. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Clifford May
After the release of the new intelligence estimate discounting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, May,head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was one of the first to try to discredit it.

David Steinmann
A New York-based investment banker and chairman of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,Steinmann is a longtime supporter of hardline pro-Israel policies who has served in leading roles forneoconservative organizations.

Foundation for Democracy in Iran
FDI, founded with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy, serves as a vehicle for itshead, Kenneth Timmerman, to promote his anti-Tehran views.

Coalition for Democracy in Iran
The now-defunct coalition, founded in 2002 by the former head of the American Israel Public AffairsCommittee, helped spearhead efforts to turn attention to Iran after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Norman Hascoe
Hascoe, the former head of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a powerful Likudnikorganization based in Washington, passed away in late October.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Annapolis: Aimed at Iran?
By Khody Akhavi

The Annapolis talks may have been aimed at convincing Mideast states that their most dangerous threatcomes from the ascendance of Iran and its brand of Islamic radicalism. Readfull story.

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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

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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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