Right Web

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

Whither Torture; Fred Thompson; Misinterpreting the Militias in Iraq; and More

FEATURED ARTICLE

Condoning Torture?
By Abra Pollock

Recent media reports about secret government attempts to justify possible torture techniques have thrown a spotlight on the nomination of the next U.S. attorney general. The revelations have also energized rights advocates, who hope to eliminate torture from the repertoire of weapons used in the Bush administration’s "war on terror." Read full story.

SEE ALSO

Right Web Profile: John Yoo

A visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and author of the infamous "torture memos," Yoo once purportedly argued that the legality of torturing a child, including by crushing his testicles, depends on "why the president thinks he needs to do that."

FEATURED PROFILES

Sen. Jon Kyl
Kyl, a dependable Republican supporter of the Bush administration’s "war on terror," is one of the Senate’s most vocal backers of aggressive action with Iran.

Fred Thompson
Thompson, the well-known actor and former AEI fellow, made his debut as a presidential candidate in early October, highlighting in his first campaign debate his get-tough creds on the Iraq War in arguing that the country must not "leave with our tail between our legs" in the face of Islamic fascism in the Middle East.

Mark Gerson
The author of a 1996 hagiography of neoconservatism, Mark Gerson,CEO of the Gerson Lehrman Group consulting firm, is a director of the largely defunct Project for the New American Century.

Family Security Matters
Targeting so-called security moms, the right-wing group Family Security Matters portrays its radical ideas about the "war on terror" as merely a nonpartisan effort to provide Americans with tools to defend themselves against terrorism.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Soft Partition or Hard Politics?
By Khody Akhavi

Would a senate proposal to decentralize Iraq along ethnic and religious lines create a stable federal system, or lead to violent balkanization? Read full story.

Misinterpreting the Militias
By Gareth Porter

Iran may be the "enemy" of the moment in U.S. discourse regarding the Iraq War, but it is Shiite cleric Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army that is proving to be the main source of difficulties. Read full story.

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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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