Is Iran Lobby Pro-US or Pro-Putin?

Earlier this year, Marcel H. Van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation, a think tank with branches in both Maastricht and Paris, published a comprehensive study entitled Putin’s Propaganda Machine: Soft Power and Russian Foreign Policy. It’s a timely work, well researched, well written, and comprehensive. And it certainly added greater context to Russia Today (RT), Russia’s flagship English-language network. He writes:

From 2009 onward, the focus of Russia Today began to change. From a defensive soft-power weapon, RT began to develop as an offensive weapon…. Anchors of RT programs (such as Peter Lavelle) did not hide their explicit anti-American views. RT also started inviting representatives of marginal, often extreme right antigovernment groups, who were presented as ‘experts.’ One of these groups was the so-called 9/11 truthers, people who believe that the 9/11 attacks were not the work of al-Qaeda terrorists but a US government conspiracy… Another group was the ‘birthers,’ people who doubted—against all evidence—that President Obama was born in the United States and denied that he was eligible to be US president… RT ‘experts’ also included Malik Zulu Shabazz, the leader of the New Black Panther Party, a hate group. Another invited pundit was Daniel Estulin, who considered the European Union to be the realization of a secret plan invented by the Bilderberg Group…. The same penchant for conspiracy theories was revealed in the RT program The Truth-seeker, which suggested the US government was behind the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in April 2013, in which two ethnic Chechen killed three people. Manuel Ochsenreiter, a guest speaker about German affairs on RT’s English-language channel, is actually the editor of the neo-Nazi magazine Zuerst!, a monthly radical-right magazine that…speaks out against ‘de-nazification.’

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Is Iran Lobby Pro-US or Pro-Putin?

Must-Reads from Magazine

Sacrificing Sisterhood at Harvard

Ruining things in the name of progress.

Much has been written here at COMMENTARY about Harvard’s ill-conceived war on “unrecognized single-gender organizations.” At issue are fraternities, sororities, and Harvard’s famously exclusive “finals clubs.” All of these groups already lack official status at Harvard, but starting with the class of 2021, Harvard promises to punish anyone who dares to join one. Such heretics “will not be permitted to hold leadership positions in recognized student organizations or on athletic teams.” They will also “not be eligible for letters of recommendation” from the Dean’s office for scholarships, including the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall, that require such a recommendation. In the name of inclusion, they must be excluded.

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Trump Is Right: We Need a Space Force

An idea whose time will come.

When President Donald Trump first floated the idea of creating an entirely new branch of the United States armed forces dedicated to space-based operations in March, the response from lay political observers was limited to bemused snickering. That mockery and amusement have not abated in the intervening months. Thursday’s announcement by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, that the administration plans to establish a sixth armed forces branch by 2020, occasioned only more displays of cynicism, but it shouldn’t have. This is deadly serious stuff. The expansion and consolidation of America’s capacities to defend its interests outside the atmosphere is inevitable and desirable.

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News Bulletin: The Sky Is Not Falling

Victim of success.

Chicken Little has always been the press secretary of the environmental movement.

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PODCAST: We Speculate on the Future!

Podcast: Blood in the streets?

We decided to do our version of The Handmaid’s Tale and try to imagine the world in 2019 from two perspectives: One in which Democrats fail to win the House of Representatives in November and the other in which Democrats win handily. What will they do in each case? What will Republicans do? Give a listen.

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A Warning from 1995

Declinism never changes.

In November 1995, COMMENTARY published a symposium called “The National Prospect” in which dozens of writers offered their view of America’s possible future. I just went and looked at my entry in that symposium, which I had not thought of in years, because of Laura Ingraham’s statement on TV last night that “The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like … this is related to both illegal and legal immigration.”

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