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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

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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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Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


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.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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