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

Whither the Obama peace plan? Profiles on Chalabi, Kyl, Kirk, Santorum, and Brownback

FEATURED ARTICLE

To Peace Plan or Not to Peace Plan?
By Jim Lobe

Reports earlier this month that President Barack Obama may present a comprehensive U.S. peace plan for resolving the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict have spurred a growing public debate over its wisdom and timing. Read full article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Ahmad Chalabi
A long-standing favorite of the neocon crowd, Chalabi has recently been accused of unjustly marginalizing political opponents in Iraq while at the same time courting Iran.

Mark Kirk
Criticized by his Democratic opponent for accepting donations from Goldman Sachs employees, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a key “pro-Israel” hardliner in the House, remains the favorite to win the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Jon Kyl
One of the Senate’s key foreign policy hawks and a frequent critic of President Obama, Kyl has lambasted the administration’s arms control initiatives while championing its military escalation in Afghanistan.

Rick Santorum
The former senator from Pennsylvania turned rightwing pundit at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center appears to be gearing up for a 2012 presidential bid.

Sam Brownback
A frontrunner to replace Katherine Sibelius as governor of Kansas, Brownback has been one of the Senate’s leading domestic conservatives and foreign policy hawks.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Israel and the U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran
Although the Obama administration has carefully avoided drawing a connection between Israel and its decision to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran, the new Nuclear Posture Review broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.

Alleged Weapons Transfer Threatens U.S. Mideast Efforts
Recent Israeli allegations that Syria is providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles is jeopardizing U.S. efforts to woo Damascus away from its alliance with Iran.

 

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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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