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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

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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