Gareth Porter, last updated: November 05, 2007Vice President Dick Cheney and his neoconservative allies in the George W. Bush administration only began agitating for the use of military force against Iran once they had finally given up the illusion that regime change in Iran would happen without it.
Ruth Wedgwood, a SAIS professor and vice chair of the neoconservative Freedom House, is a staunch defender of the "war on terror” who has supported controversial policies that encroach on civil liberties and human rights, including military tribunals, indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, and the PATRIOT Act. Wedgwood has accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons and expressed support for the MEK, a controversial Iranian dissident group long considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government and likened by its critics to a cult.
Dennis Ross, a controversial former diplomat who served in the Obama administration before retreating to a “pro-Israel” think tank, is a vocal Democratic advocate of leveraging the threat of war to exact concessions from Iran over its nuclear program. Recently, Ross linked the issue to the crisis in Ukraine, arguing that the Obama administration should retaliate against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine in order to placate Israel and Saudi Arabia—foes of Iran who, according to Ross, “believe that the U.S. is increasingly reluctant to act in the face of regional challenges”—even if it means ending Russian cooperation in international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Amoretta Hoeber is a military consultant and a former Reagan defense official who has opposed international agreements to ban chemical weapons. She currently heads AMH Consulting, a Maryland-based firm that advises companies seeking military contracts. During the Iraq War, Hoeber lent credence to the false accusation that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling chemical weapons—without mentioning that her own firm had secured a contract to remove them.
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol seems nostalgic for the Cold War. During a recent appearance on ABC, he lamented that President Obama didn’t seem to show proper reverence for that “war” when he argued that Syria and Ukraine are not pieces on a “Cold War chessboard.” Kristol said, "So, look; it's nice for President Obama to say it's not a Cold War chessboard. I don't know why he says that with some disdain. That was not an ignoble thing for us to play on that chessboard for 45 years. We ended up winning that Cold War." He added, "And I do think Putin thinks he's playing chess. He thinks he's playing even a rougher game than chess and we have to be able to match it.”
Israel's newest ambassador to the United States is Ron Dermer, a U.S.-born political consultant and close confidante of Benjamin Netanyahu who has been described as "Bibi's brain." A former pollster who worked on Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America," Dermer boasts extensive connections within the Republican Party establishment, reportedly coordinating Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign visit to Israel and serving as a liaison to GOP super-donor Sheldon Adelson. Dermer, who as a columnist for the Jerusalem Post repeatedly disparaged Palestinians and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, is also the coauthor of the 2004 book The Case for Democracy, a neoconservative tome that is said to have been deeply influential to President George W. Bush's "freedom agenda."
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February, 26 2014
Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel's recent proposal to cut the size of the regular Army while increasing funding for Special Forces in many ways reflects the approach of Donald Rumsfeld, who embraced a similar vision prior to the Iraq War.
February, 22 2014
The Obama administration has suggested that it will press Iran on halting its ballistic missile program, adopting a key Israeli demand that Iran may consider a deal breaker in talks over its nuclear enrichment program.
February, 18 2014
An upcoming global summit to address the threat of nuclear weapons will focus on the proliferation of nuclear materials to rogue actors, but not on how to prevent the use of these weapons by the world’s current nuclear powers.
February, 17 2014
A workable nuclear deal with Iran must address lingering questions about uranium enrichment, the production of plutonium, verification, past research, sanctions relief, and future relations between Iran and the West.
February, 11 2014
As Iran marks the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, new generations of leaders are discovering the value of diplomacy, even while fighting a rear-guard battle against hardliners and old-school revolutionaries.
February, 06 2014
The Obama administration has pledged not to sell arms to parties that violate human rights even as it's given U.S. exporters free reign to export many new classes of weapons and equipment.
February, 04 2014
U.S. efforts to get Iran to play a 'constructive' role in Syria behind closed doors are undermined by its condemnations of Iran in public.