Right Web

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.

 

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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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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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