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

Torture Redux

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Enhanced Embellishment Techniques

By Peter Certo

A number of conservatives and security hawks have used the death of Osama bin Laden as a prop in their public relations war on behalf of torture. Despite evidence to the contrary, these pundits and “experts”—led by a passel of former Bush administration officials—allege that without “enhanced interrogation techniques” bin Laden would still be living and that Barack Obama’s efforts to stop the use of torture have endangered the United States. But their claims have amounted to little more than an embellishment of the historical record and a distortion of the real impact of torture on U.S. policy and security. Read article.


MILITARIST MONITOR

This week on “Militarist Monitor,” Right web explores the efforts of various torture apologists who have come out of the wood work since the killing of Osama bin Laden. Militarist Monitor.


FEATURED PROFILES

Donald Rumsfeld

Largely quiet since his untimely resignation from the Bush administration, Rumsfeld has reemerged of late to defend his track record, as well as the decision to torture terror suspects.

Rick Santorum

Former Senator Santorum, a 2012 Republican Party presidential candidate, has attempted to burnish his leadership credentials by promoting the value of torture and attacking President Obama for, among other things, not calling Jihadism “evil.”

Freedom House

Although no longer as closely associated with neoconservative activism as it was during much of the last few decades, Freedom House continues to support campaigns aligned with hawkish factions in U.S. politics.

John Yoo

Yoo, the former deputy assistant attorney general who is known for his extreme views on executive wartime powers and for helping author the infamous “torture memos,” is one of many former Bush figures who has cited the death of Osama bin Laden as vindication of their support for “enhance interrogation techniques.”


ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Debate Rages over U.S. Withdrawal

With the war in Afghanistan showing little signs of progress, the debate on Capitol Hill is shifting ever so slightly toward a faster withdrawal.

Pakistan: U.S. Development Aid v. Military Intervention

Aid to Pakistan is under threat from both Congress and the public, but it would be smarter to reform the U.S. package than end it.

Rifts Appear as Syrian Opposition Struggles to Maintain Momentum

The Syrian opposition remains unsure of the way forward in the wake of brutal state oppression, but events like the murdering of 13-year-old Hamzah Ali Alkhateeb will ensure that the struggle will not end soon.

U.S. Uses Peace Talks to Divide Taliban from Pakistan

U.S. hints at peace talks with the Taliban are designed to isolate the group from its Pakistani patron—but as long as western troops occupy Afghanistan, negotiations are unlikely.

US Veto Could Derail Palestine as New U.N. Member State

The United States, in the face of global opposition, looks likely to veto a possible UN resolution recognizing Palestine as an independent country.


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Featured Profiles

John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, has been selected by President Trump to replace National Security Adviser McMaster, marking 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.


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


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From the Wires

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.


With President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking openly about a possible “escalation between us and the Iranians,” there is a real risk that some combination of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia could initiate a war with Iran. If there’s one lesson to be learned from U.S. wars since 9/11, it’s “don’t start another one.”


The former Kansas congressman and now Secretary of State in the Trump administration once told his constituents in Wichita, “The threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer.” In this conception, if totalitarianism or terrorism is the content of the Iranian policy, then the Islamic Republic is its enabling form.


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