Right Web

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

Whither Syria and Lebanon? AND: Profiles on Ellen Bork, Foreign Policy Initiative, and more

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Case for Syria

By Samer Araabi

The continuing influence of Syria, which has been reflected in the recent power struggles in Lebanon, clearly demonstrates that U.S. attempts to isolate Damascus have failed. Syria occupies an important strategic position in the Levant, and it sits at the crossroads of a number of U.S. interests. Despite efforts by rightwing “pro-Israel” groups in the United States to prevent rapprochement with Syria, direct and honest engagement is the only way to satisfy U.S. foreign policy goals, rein in violent extremism, and encourage political reforms. Read full article.  

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Lebanese Government Collapse Adds to Obama Problems

By Jim Lobe

The collapse of the Hariri-led government in Lebanon adds to the list of policy challenges the U.S. faces across the Middle East. Read full article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Ellen Bork

Bork, a project director at the Foreign Policy Initiative and the daughter of former Supreme Court justice nominee Robert Bork, has helped foster the time-honored neoconservative tactic of organizing elite public sign-on letters to pressure public figures.

Bruce Jackson

A former military intelligence officer and defense industry executive with a track record of advancing hawkish U.S. defense policies and supporting neoconservative campaigns, Jackson now advocates reevaluating the former Soviet republics’ integration into NATO.

Jamie Fly

Jamie Fly, a former adviser to the George W. Bush administration, is the executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and a blogger for the Weekly Standard.

Jeffrey Goldberg

Goldberg, often accused of bolstering efforts to push the United States into conflict in the Middle East, is now calling for restraint on Iran, arguing that a military attack on the country would prove counterproductive.

Eric Edelman

The former Cheney advisor helps direct the Foreign Policy Initiative and is a fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Foreign Policy Initiative

The Foreign Policy Initiative, a premier neoconservative pressure group in Washington, has had surprising success in getting credible human rights groups to collaborate with them on advocacy campaigns, repeating a tactic that was used to great effect by war hawks during the lead up to the 2002 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Progressive Policy Institute

The Progressive Policy Institute, the associated think tank of the Democratic Leadership Council, has promoted a militarist foreign policy agenda, including a hardline on Iran.

Philanthropy Roundtable

The Philanthropy Roundtable aims to foster rightist causes and assist the “war on terror” by helping shape conservative charitable giving.

Project on Transitional Democracies

The Project on Transitional Democracies, a successor group to the U.S. Committee on NATO, promotes reforms in post-Soviet states and has pressed a get-tough approach to Russia.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Pressure Mounts on Security Council to Rein in Israel

As Israel continues to build new settlements in Palestinian territories, there’s growing international pressure for the UN and the U.S. to take action.

Defense Contractors Insulated from Budget Cuts

Defense contractors will not feel the pinch in the recently announced military spending reductions.

Wikileak Cables Reveal China’s Modernizing Military Might

In the days leading up to the highly anticipated summit between China and the United States, much attention was given to leaked cables that discuss China’s trajectory as a sophisticated military power.

Sanctions Forced Iran to Slash Bloated Energy Subsidies

Economic sanctions may have slowed Iran’s nuclear development, but the country’s decision to cut subsidies on basic commodities appears to have mostly cut consumption and not ignited popular protest.

Disappointment May Yield to Distrust in Latin America

Two years into the Obama administration, Latin Americans have seen little change in inter-hemispheric relations with the U.S., and expect more disappointment with the new Republican-led Congress.

Weekly Standard, Rove Make The Case For Israel-Al Qaeda Linkage

The Weekly Standard and former Bush advisor Karl Rove have been pushing the argument that Guantanamo is not motivating terrorist groups, and in the process bolstering the case that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most important recruitment tool of Al Qaeda and presumably other violent Islamist groups.

How Afghanistan Became a War for NATO

The war in Afghanistan has been touted as a vital to countries across the globe, but NATO seems to have taken on the lead role in the campaign there mainly in order to help justify its own existence.

 

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Featured Profiles

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


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From the Wires

The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


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.”


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