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

Whither the Realists in 2008? Plus: Updates on Tom Tancredo, Melvin Sembler, Bill Kristol, and More

FEATURED ARTICLE Whither the Realists in 2008?By Jim Lobe | February 7, 2008 The failure of hardline, neoconservative-driven policies in Iraq and elsewhere led to the ascent of realists in the Defense and State departments—but can the realists withstand hawkish attacks and hold on to the progress they’ve made until Bush leaves office in 2009?…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Whither the Realists in 2008?
By Jim Lobe | February 7, 2008

The failure of hardline, neoconservative-driven policies in Iraq and elsewhere led to the ascent of realists in the Defense and State departments—but can the realists withstand hawkish attacks and hold on to the progress they’ve made until Bush leaves office in 2009? Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Tom Tancredo
Restrictionist Rep. Tom Tancredo helped make immigration reform a top issue in the race for president, and his campaign strengthened the Republican Party’s nativist bloc.

Melvin Sembler
A strip-mall magnate and controversial anti-drug crusader, Sembler is also a Bush family confidant and major funder of neoconservative-driven foreign policy campaigns William Kristol
A leading neoconservative figure and son of the faction’s founding figure, William Kristol was recently added to the roster of New York Times op-ed columnists.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Islam "Expert" Axed
By Khody Akhavi

When an expert on Islam lost his contract with the Defense Department, his neocon supporters raised their voices in protest. Read full story.

Trapping the Next Administration in Iraq?
By Ali Gharib

Democrats worry that President Bush is fixing Iraq policy so it will far outlast his time in office. Read full story.

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Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


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.


Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela, is a neoconservative with a long record of hawkish positions and actions, including lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair.


Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump second secretary of state, has driven a hawkish foreign policy in Iran and Latin America.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


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.


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From the Wires

François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.


Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.


The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.


As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.


Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.


The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.


With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.


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