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…

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

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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