Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Neocon-Islamophobe Nexus: Clarion brings together Perle and Gaffney

The Clarion Fund has been careful to claim that their documentary films, which have included “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” and “The Third Jihad,” are neither partisan nor designed to fan the flames of Islamophobia. But recent associations the group has made in Washington would indicate that Clarion, which appears to be an offshoot of the Jewish ultra-orthodox Israel-based Aish HaTorah, is connected to both the core of the neoconservative movement in Washington, D.C., and one of the the country’s best-known Islamophobes.

Today, the right-wing Heritage Foundation announced that it would be hosting a special screening of Clarion’s latest film, “Iranium,” on February 1. The event will include an appearance and comments by none other than arch-neoconservative Richard Perle. Perle, whose nickname is “The Prince of Darkness,” is widely seen as playing an important role in shaping post-9/11 Bush administration foreign policy from his perch at the Defense Policy Board.

Perle’s institutional affiliations are a useful guide for anyone seeking to understand the intellectual underpinnings of the Bush administration’s (first term) foreign policy or diagram the web of neoconservative institutions in Washington, D.C. Perle is currently a fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute; a letter signatory for the Project for the New American Century; a member of the National Security Advisory Council at Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy; a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and Committee on the Present Danger; and a board member of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Hudson Institute.

Perle’s role in the Clarion Fund’s film screening would indicate that the organization is deeply embedded in the neoconservative movement. Given Perle’s track record for pushing the U.S. into aggressive wars of choice, this affiliation should be looked at closely as the Fund rolls out its latest documentary, which claims to document the “threat to international stability” presented by Iran’s nuclear program.

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