Obama’s Neo-Con “Expert” for the Middle East

While I was browsing through the Washington Post Monday, February 15, 2010, in my never-ending quest to understand something (please, God, anything!) about the bizarro politics of this bizarro nation wherein I dwell, but instead (as usual) thinking "What the fuck?" after every article, I came across this very peculiar paragraph buried in an article about Hillary Clinton’s current junket to Saudi Arabia.

In his meeting with Obama in May, Abdullah turned down a request for Saudi Arabia to accept detainees from Yemen and rejected making any confidence-building steps toward Israel. (The Saudis themselves had thought Obama’s visit was a courtesy call and they were surprised so many tough issues were raised without much preparation.) The tough session helped convince Obama he needed great expertise in the Middle East on his staff, which is one reason why Dennis Ross was moved from the State Department, where he worked for Clinton, to the White House, officials said.

Dennis Ross! Great expertise? What the fuck?

Ross was a noted supporter of the Iraq war and he signed two Project for a New American Century (PNAC) letters in support of the war in March 2003.[20] However, he opposed some of the Bush Administration’s policies for post-war reconstruction.[13] He also opposed Bush’s policy of avoiding direct talks with Iran.[2]

According to Wall Street Journal, Ross, along with James Steinberg and Daniel Kurtzer, were among the principal authors of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s address on the Middle East to AIPAC in June 2008. [21]

Great expertise? This idiot was a cheerleader for one of the greatest foreign-policy disasters in the history of the United States! He’s a neo-con stooge from Club PNAC, along with Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney!

And then there’s AIPAC!

In the mid-1980s Ross co-founded with Martin Indyk the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy ("WINEP")

And didn’t Ross write a script right out of the AIPAC playbook as one of "the principal authors of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s address on the Middle East to AIPAC in June 2008," so well described by Dana Milbank:

A mere 12 hours after claiming the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee yesterday — and changed himself into an Israel hard-liner.

As a pandering performance, it was the full Monty by a candidate who, during the primary, had positioned himself to Hillary Clinton’s left on matters such as Iran.

Obama even outdid President Bush in his pro-Israel sentiments. On the very day that Obama vowed to protect Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — drawing a furious denunciation from the Palestinian Authority — Bush announced that he was suspending a move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

So all in all the neo-con stooge for AIPAC Dennis Ross isn’t exactly an obvious choice for "great expertise" about the Middle East, especially at a time when we’re trying to mend fences with Saudi Arabia and enlist their assistance with sanctions against Iran.

What the fuck?

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