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As if Rahm weren't bad enough...

By Michael J. Smith on Friday November 7, 2008 05:02 PM

... I hadn't realized that another notorious vampire from the Israel Lobby's well-stocked crypt, Dennis Ross, is in the Obamamix too:

[Obama campaign adviser] Ross's record includes supporting the pro-Iraq War advocacy campaigns of the Project for the New American Century and serving as a consultant to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a bastion of Israel-centric policy thinking in Washington.

Ross... reportedly has told friends and foreign officials that he hopes to nab a very senior post in an Obama administration, one that at least covers Iran policy, if not the entire Greater Middle East.

Ross's efforts [under Clinton] to negotiate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were a failure. In his writings, Ross has emphasized Palestinian intransigence....

Other participants in those negotiations have pointed their finger at Ross. In their book Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, Daniel Kurtzer, who is also an Obama adviser, and Scott Lasensky cite a number of anonymous officials who were critical of Ross.

Said one Arab negotiator, "The perception always was that Dennis [Ross] started from the Israeli bottom line, that he listened to what Israel wanted and then tried to sell it to the Arabs ... He was never looked at ... as a trusted world figure or as an honest broker."

Likewise, a former Clinton administration representative told the authors, "By the end, the Palestinians didn't fully trust Dennis ... [T]hey thought he was tilted too much towards the Israelis."

Ross got his start in high-level policy-making working under Paul Wolfowitz in the Pentagon during the Carter administration....

When Wolfowitz was tapped to head the State Department's Policy Planning Staff after the election of Ronald Reagan, he included Ross in his team....

[Ross] supported the invasion of Iraq and, during the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections, repeatedly teamed up with writers from groups like the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to craft hard-line policies toward Iran.

Ross also helped produce the 2008 report "Meeting the Challenge: US Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development," [which] argues that "Cold War deterrence" is not persuasive in the context of Iran's program, due in large measure to the "Islamic Republic's extremist ideology." Even a peaceful indigenous uranium enrichment program would place the entire Middle East region "under a cloud of ambiguity given uncertain Iranian capacities and intentions."

Among the report's proposals are undertaking a major military build-up in the Gulf, ... setting a pre-determined compliance deadline and be prepared to apply increasingly harsh repercussions if these are not met, leading ultimately to US military strikes.

Comments (1)


As Thomas Friedman would have said, "But perfect isn't on the menu anymore." Here's a paragraph full of wisdom of the moment:

Losing the War on Cliché
The following paragraph is composed of sentences from editorials written by Thomas L. Friedman for the New York Times last summer. The statements were compiled by Tamar Adler, a freelance writer living in New York City.

And now for a wild prediction. Real men drill wells. Don't know if they were right, but you gotta root for them. Deep down, they all know it and they admit it to each other in private. You have to admire it. Because they are anything but crazy. Normally I wouldn't mind. But perfect isn't on the menu anymore. Think about it. This is dangerous. No really. It's pathetic when you think about it but also sad. Yes, yes, yes. No, no, no. Woo, woo, woo. That's embarrassing. Gotta tell you, it's the darndest thing I've ever seen. But you have to love this figure. It's kind of a two-for-one deal. A plus B equals C, but what will C be? Or does he know that I know that he knows? Say what? You guessed it. Not a bad deal. But guess what? There is a wall, several actually. And that's the drama. But hopeless? Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting.

Actually he said those things in the summer of '00, and the above appeared in Harper's issue of Nov. '01

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