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Obama Taps Neocons to Run Middle East Policy
January 10, 2009
On January 8, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported Obama has decided to add two more dubious insiders to his “change” (for the worse) team. One is an avowed neocon warmonger, the other yet another CFR member and pro-Israel zealot.
From the JTA website:
An official close to the transition team told JTA on Thursday that [Dan] Shapiro, a former senior U.S. Senate staffer and the Obama official who handled outreach to the Jewish community, and [Dennis] Ross, President Clinton’s top Middle East envoy, are “likely to have jobs with the administration.”
The official commented after JTA called to confirm reports that Ross was slated to be the chief Middle East adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state-designate, and that Shapiro would head the Middle East desk at the National Security Council. The official could not confirm those reports.
Dennis Ross is nothing if not a neocon, albeit of the Democrat stripe. He is in bed with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Project for the New American Century, the organization that brought us the invasion of Iraq and so far more than a million dead Iraqis. He also haunts the American Enterprise Institute, the think tank where Bush once bragged he selected the “minds” that have run his foreign policy over the last eight years.
Ross is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran, the self-proclaimed “broad-based coalition” determined to breathe life into the fantasy that Iran has nukes and will use them against the U.S. and Israel. United Against Nuclear Iran is run by the raving lunatic John Bolton.
As noted by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their controversial 2006 paper for Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Ross helped shape Middle East policy during the Clinton years. Other advisors on Middle East policy included Martin Indyk, the former deputy director of research at AIPAC, and and Aaron Miller, who has lived in Israel and often visits there. In other words, during the Clinton era Middle East policy was largely shaped by officials with close ties to Israel or to prominent pro-Israel organizations. It will be the same under Obama as he recycles Clintonites and Hillary Clinton will lord over the State Department.
Dan Shapiro worked for the NSC during the Clinton administration under Sandy Berger, the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs who was roundly criticized for failing to promptly inform Clinton of his knowledge that the People’s Republic of China had managed to acquire the designs of a number of U.S. nuclear warheads. Shapiro worked Obama’s “Jewish outreach,” that is to say he was tapped to convince pro-Israel voters that Obama would allow Israel to dictate U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, a policy now horrifically on display in the Gaza Strip.
For the “progressive” Democrats out there, Shapiro should be a particularly frustrating selection, as he worked for senator Bill Nelson, considered a right-winger by folks who have a vested interest in the false right-left paradigm. Shapiro worked closely with Nelson on the Syria Accountability Act of 2003 and the 2007 prohibition on US contacts with the Palestinian leadership. Nelson was gently nudged into the AIPAC camp by Mr. Shapiro.
In addition to working for Nelson, Shapiro is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, thus demonstrating that even Democrat neocons are interested in global government and the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.
Obama continues to do what some us predicted well in advance of the election: push more of the same under the phony and putrid guise of “change.” In the months ahead, we can expect the Bush legacy to continue and the Clinton legacy to be refurbished. In fact, they are nearly identical.
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