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Fox in the chicken coop?

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday February 24, 2009 01:39 PM

Apparently Chas W. Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), really has been appointed chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC).

It's Obie's first interesting appointment if so; Freeman is an old diplomatic hand who formerly served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and he and MEPC have been strikingly severe critics of Israel.

Needless to say the Israel lobby and its noise machine have been going crazy.

Just a gesture toward the Saudis, maybe? Or will Freeman actually have some influence on policy? It would be fun to see him and Rahm Emmanuel in the same room; Freeman is no dope and has a sharp tongue in his head.

This will be interesting to follow. There have been some recent indications that Israel and its advocates are beginning to wear on the nerves of at least some elite elements in US society. I would love to believe that this is another straw in the wind.

Comments (11)

Al Schumann:

Jim Lobe has some interesting details.


I wouldn't be surprised if his appointment was at least in part a reaction to the Israeli elite's arrogant personal style, even if it means no serious change in policy.


We can dream, can't we!

Who are these elite elements for whom the Israeli line seems to be wearing thin? If true, the appointment of Netanyahu could be the final straw.


Israeli elite's arrogant personal style? Whacya talking about? Dont' you remember what happened to brother Andy Young?

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young to serve as Ambassador to the UN, the first African-American to serve in the position. Young's controversial statements made headlines almost from the start. In August 1979, he appeared on Meet the Press and said that Israel was "stubborn and intransigent." Young met secretly for meetings, in violation of American law, with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which culminated in Carter asking for Young's resignation. Jimmy Carter denied any complicity in The Andrew Young Affair.

Gotta agree with sk, and point out that, if true, this would be a chicken in the fox-house.

But it ain't.

This is not the guy in charge of the policy or the negotiations. If it means anything, it's probably a sign that Obama wants to market the coming Israeli unilateral "two-state settlement" to the Saudis.

As a preface to his tame observations about basic facts, this guy claims "we've given up our role as peacemakers." When was that?

MJS, I think you've been slightly infected with the low expectations that SMBIVA exists to save from the Memory Hole.


As to which elite elements might be getting impatient with The Light Of The Nations(tm), I dunno. I thought the appearance of the Mearsheimer/Walt book was a straw in the wind; ditto Jimmy's Carter's less substantial but more inflammatory book (he said the A-word!).

And then, of course, in spite of the all the Dershowitz clones running around and baying at the moon, it has gotten easier and more acceptable in respectable circles to say harsh and caustic things about TLOTN.

So I can't identify the elements in question -- I haven't been invited to a meeting of the ruling class in, Christ, it's years now. But I have a sense that they're out there -- though maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Michael D certainly has a point -- my expectations are indeed so low that this appointment actually surprised me.

Well, we don't do much analysis of the US-Saudi alliance here on the left, do we? IMHO, the Saudi "royals" are just about as interested in letting the I-P fight die down as is our own overclass.

If it ever happened, the next item on everybody's agenda would be petro-politics.

The next package will be "offering" the Ps a waterless, Jerusalem-less bantustan patch as a "new" solution, then, 1-2-3 ready-or-not-here-we-come, another 20-year license for war by the Is, after the Ps say no, one way or another.


I guess we shot that little fantasy full of holes!

Anyway, what is the NIC? If it's that new "Intelligence Czar" stuck on top of all the Intel agencies, then it could be totally powerless.


It seems like the man is old-school, perhaps signaling a return to a pre-mutant era of foreign policy stylings. The real test will be Iran, and he doesn't seem particularly disposed to carry the Likud's water for that noble cause.

And yeah, he and Rahm should make quite a team. All we need is Dorothy Lamour.


"US-Saudi alliance " ???

my dear md ...

the saud family
is uncle hyjacks
painted whore

"alliance" is way to nice a word
what's barely more then
a bent over the cannon fuck fest

True dat, op-san.

Funny how tough it is to comprehend the depth of the ME clusterfuck "we've" done.

Peter Ward:

Two points that come to mind:

a) That a principled shift in policy is do to public pressure not Freeman nor Carter nor kindred others.

b) If this simply reflects the a shift in elite priories nothing to do with public pressure we have little to celebrate. It simply means the terror will be focused somewhere else, on some other people.

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