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

The WaPo Hawks

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Whose Nation-State Exactly?

By Jack Ross

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Israel be recognized as a “Jewish state” is unprecedented in the history of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Rooted in a nineteenth century European-nationalist worldview, the concept has been officially opposed by the United States, and with good reason—it goes against basic principles of international law and has served to undermine efforts to negotiate a lasting Middle East peace. Read article.

 

MILITARIST MONITOR

This week, Right Web launches a new project called the “Militarist Monitor,” a weekly publication on the RW website that aims to put a spotlight on important trends in militarist discourse in the United States by publishing relevant profiles and highlighting resources that help shed light on the issue in question. The focus of the inaugural edition of the Militarist Monitor is the apparently inexorable turn to the hawkish right of the Washington Post editorial page. Check it out, and let us know what you think! Militarist Monitor.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Diehl, Jackson

Since Diehl took over as the Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor in 2001, the newspaper’s editorial slant has become increasingly hawkish and conservative.

Rubin, Jennifer

Jennifer Rubin uses her perch at the Postto attack Republicans and Democrats whom she perceives to be weak on defense and insufficiently supportive of her militarist views of Israeli security.

Krauthammer, Charles

Krauthammer, a psychiatrist-turned-award-winning-columnist for the Post, has been an important architect of the neoconservative foreign policy agenda and promoter of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.

Kagan, Robert

From his perches at the Brookings Institution and the Post, this veteran neoconservative writer has championed the new START Treaty, warned against cuts in defense spending, and called for a U.S. foreign policy based on idealism and not pragmatism.

Thiessen, Marc

A speechwriter for President George W. Bush who is now a columnist at the Postand a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Thiessen is an enthusiastic defender of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and the “war on terror.”

Applebaum, Anne

Journalist and former American Enterprise Institute fellow Anne Applebaum writes a column for the Postin which she has revealed an on-again-off-again affinity for U.S. military interventions.

Gerson, Michael

Michael Gerson, an evangelical Postop-ed writer and former White House speechwriter, embraces the idea that "evil exists and it has to be confronted."

Hiatt, Fred

Hiatt, the Post’s “liberal hawk” editorial page editor, says that he is opposed to the efforts of some of his contributors—like neoconservative pundit Jennifer Rubin—to demonize opponents by referring to their “mental health,” but he apparently sees no reason to “censor” them.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

House Votes Suggest Growing War Weariness

A slate of measures recently voted on in Congress reflect growing war weariness among elected officials and the U.S. public.

Netanyahu Conditions Denounced as “War” by Palestinians

Benjamin Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech demonstrates that he is not interested in a fair peace with Palestine.

Obama: Surrendered Wife?

For some people, there’s nothing President Obama can do to prove his devotion to Israel.

Obama Troop Surge Decision Ignored Pak-Taliban Ties

President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan has not fully come to terms with the fact that Pakistan is loathe to give up its ties with the Taliban and Haqqani Network—groups that just so happen make up the Afghan insurgency.

Obama Peace Vision Sparks New Disputes

In his Middle East speech, Obama offered policy prescriptions that largely toed the Israeli line, making Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive reaction all the more stultifying.

 

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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