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

Whither the Party Line on Egypt? ALSO: Profiles of Irving Moskowitz, Leon Wieseltier, and more

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Whither the Party Line on Egypt?

By Jack Ross

The neoconservatives have repeatedly found themselves facing the discomforting reality that democratic change in the Middle East—which they have at times feverishly embraced—has led to governments that are opposed to Israel. Now, with the Egyptian street in upheaval, a stark divide has emerged in neocon discourse. The freedom crowd sees the uprising as vindication of Bush’s “global democratic revolution”; the Islamophobes have begun their predictable fear mongering about the Muslim Brotherhood and the threat of global Islamism. Read article.

 

SEE ALSO:

Obama Riding a Mideast Tiger

By Jim Lobe

The Obama administration is scrambling to confront an unprecedented number of challenges across the Arab world. Read article.

 

Two Cheers for the Brotherhood

By John Feffer (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Can the Muslim Brotherhood be a partner in a democratic Egypt? Not according to neoconservatives and other Middle East hawks. But the trajectory and recent history of the organization tell a more nuanced tale. Read article.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Irving Moskowitz

The bingo magnate and notorious backer of illegal Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories, Moskowitz has also funded the campaigns of rightwing U.S. politicians like Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Leon Wieseltier

Wieseltier, the literary editor of the New Republic who has a penchant for accusing critics of Israel with antisemitism, has excoriated the Obama administration’s cautiousness in its response to the tumult in Egypt, arguing that the president has replaced the “freedom agenda” with an “acceptance agenda.”

Clarion Fund

According to some critics, Clarion Fund’s new film, Iranium, could be appropriately subtitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the ‘Military Option.’”

Emergency Committee for Israel

ECI is a hawkish pressure group tied to rightwing Republican Party figures.

Dennis Ross

The controversial Mideast adviser to the Obama administration has been associated with a number of militarist advocacy groups, including the neoconservative Middle East Forum.

Lee Smith

Lee Smith, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, often lambasts the purported weakness of liberals in confronting terrorism and attacks writers who are critical of Israeli policies as being “Jew-baiters.”

Ilan Berman

Vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, Berman’s preferred strategy for pressuring Iran is to do a replay of the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, a cornerstone of neoconservative advocacy during the early 1970s which threatened trade relations with the Soviet Union if it didn’t liberalize Jewish emigration.

Elliott Abrams

The Iran-Contra veteran is a well-known neoconservative ideologue who works as a senior fellow on Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Robert Kagan

From his new perch at the Brookings Institution, the veteran neocon writer has championed the new START Treaty whilst warning against cuts in defense spending.

 

 ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Palestine Papers Cause Heartburn in Washington

The exposure of a huge cache of documents detailing Palestinian accounts of a decade of peace negotiations with Israel could deal a lethal blow to the peace process.

Glimmer of Hope on Eve of New Iran Nuclear Talks

Some observers are optimistic that the P5+1 talks in Istanbul on Iran’s nuclear program could help ease tensions.

Former Diplomats Urge US not to Veto UN Anti-Settlement Resolution

Arguing that U.S. credibility in the Mideast is on the line, some four dozen former top U.S. officials have urged President Obama not to veto a proposed UN Security Council resolution on the illegality of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.

 

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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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