Right Web

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

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

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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

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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