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

The Rise of the Vulcans, Part II

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Rise of the Vulcans Redux

By Peter Certo

The purported “end of the neocon consensus” has hardly meant an end to hawkishness in the GOP fold. With the Republican candidates virtually all gunning for Iran, backing right-wing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, and stabling a passel of neoconservative advisers (Ron Paul excepted), voters have plenty of clues about what the foreign policy of a new GOP administration would look like. And while some of the candidates have expressed wariness with neoconservative notions of armed democracy promotion, all the signs indicate that if a Republican wins next year, we will likely be in for a bit of George W. redux. Read article.

Turning the Tide on the Pro-Israel Debate

By Michael Flynn & Peter Certo

With key members of the "Israel Lobby" acknowledging the importance of providing a broader space to Israel’s critics, the indelibly beltway Politico recognizing the influence of such critics in a full-length feature, and core Democratic organizations showing an increasing sensitivity to inappropriate uses of the anti-Semite charge, is the United States finally willing to undertake a real debate on what are the best U.S. interests in the Middle East? Read article.

FEATURED PROFILES

Center for Security Policy

Long active in the promotion of neoconservative foreign policies, the Center for Security Policy, led by Frank Gaffney, has also distinguished itself as a banner member of the “Islamophobia network.”

Clarion Fund

A controversial film distribution company, the Clarion Fund has released several films that attack “Radical Islam” while promoting views on its website that call into question the trustworthiness of all Muslims.

Endowment for Middle East Truth

An “unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank,” EMET promotes the work of “pro-Israel” hawks in Washington, stokes fear of Islam and Muslims, and advocates a militarist U.S. posture toward the Middle East.

Block, Josh

Block, a former AIPAC spokesperson who defines himself as a progressive “pro-Israel” Democrat, has collaborated with neoconservatives and other hardliners to marginalize critics of Israel in the Democratic Party, in part by attempting to smear them as “anti-Semitic.”

Institute for the Study of War

Chaired by Liz Cheney and led by Kimberly Kagan, the ISW promotes hawkish stances on U.S counterinsurgency operations.

Kagan, Kimberly

A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she promotes the continuation of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keane, Jack

A decorated former general credited with helping conceive the Iraq “surge,” Jack Keane has used his military experience to promote long-term U.S. engagements abroad—and to turn a profit in the private sector.

UN Watch

The “nonpartisan” UN Watch, which devotes most of its energy to lambasting UN criticism of Israel, has counted on the financial support of the American Jewish Committee, the Becker Foundation, and a handful of other private donors in recent years.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Mass Tragedy Feared as Closure of MEK Camp Looms

U.S. officials fear that unless the MEK’s leaders approve of vacating their camp north of Baghdad, the residents could face violent raids from Iraqi forces or commit mass suicide.

Foreign Aid Spared Massive Cuts in 2012

Although Congress spared foreign aid the massive cuts favored by the GOP-led House, aid spending continues to pale beside Pentagon appropriations.

Iraq Intervention Ends with Scarcely a Whimper

The United States marked the formal end of its unpopular eight-and-a-half year war in Iraq with little fanfare.

Military Option Recedes amid Tug-of-War over Iran Policy

The Obama administration hasn’t shied away from confrontation with Iran, but some administration officials are resisting pressure from Congress to escalate the situation further.

Civil War Looms as Syrian Protests Grow Increasingly Complex

As the West ramps up its engagement with Syrian opposition figures, the behavior of armed opposition groups inside the country increasingly resembles that of the Assad regime.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

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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