Obama’s Neocon

It’s been reported that Dennis Ross has accepted an invitation to become Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton’s “top advisor on a wide range of Middle East issues, from the Arab-Israeli peace process to Iran” and to serve as Special Envoy to Iran.

As one blogger wrote: “Appointing extremely anti-Iran Dennis Ross as ‘Special Envoy to Iran’ is like appointing a pedophile as kindergarten teacher.”

Ross is co-founder of AIPAC; neoconservative ideologue; big-time supporter of the Iraq War; foreign affairs commentator for Fox News; fellow with Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), sister organization of AIPAC described by one distinguished scholar (Columbia’s Rashid Khalidi) as “the most important Zionist propaganda tool in the United States;” a man who has stated (in defiance of the U.S. intelligence consensus) that Iran will “be a nuclear power, if not a nuclear weapon state” by April 2009 if not forcibly deterred.

The only reason to make him envoy to Iran is to have him repeat the Bush-Cheney ultimatum: cease enriching uranium (something the Non-Proliferation Treaty allows all signatory nations to do, and which Iran does under tight IAEA monitoring) or face a U.S. strike.

As the leader of the U.S. negotiating team during the Israeli-Palestinian talks in 1999-2000, Ross was described by fellow U.S. diplomat Aaron David Miller (also Jewish) as “Israel’s lawyer” and criticized for not “critically examining” what following “Israel’s lead” would mean for U.S. interests. He is widely believed to have authored Obama’s fawning AIPAC speech presented last June.

In short his appointment does not mean CHANGE or HOPE for any so naïve as to suppose that an Obama presidency might bring either. It likely means more war, based on more false pretexts, to further reconfigure Southwest Asia.

On Oct. 2, 2002, Barack Obama told an antiwar crowd in Chicago that he opposed “the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”

Now he’s in bed with the neocons. His supporters ought to ask, “What happened”?

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu. Read other articles by Gary.

11 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Deadbeat said on January 9th, 2009 at 11:52am #

    What’s clear is that Obama has sold his soul to Zionism in order to become President of the United States. Also, look at the resolution that passed in the Senate yesterday and soon in the House supporting Israeli’s atrocities in Gaza.

    It is time for the Left to come to terms with Zionism.

  2. bozh said on January 9th, 2009 at 12:29pm #

    it is old world order made clearer. obama will further explain it to us.
    by deeds and words. neither deeds nor words have much, if at all, changed.
    the differnece now is that we have much ‘better’ weapons and not that we have changed; we are still a bit smarter than gorillas; who are s’mwhat smarter and gentler than chimps.
    babbons are also violent and dumber than chimps.
    most of the members of the primate family are extremely violent.
    with us humans, the problem is in the main that we can produce arms and chimps cannot.
    cheer up; we are al going to hell; it’s ok, it is nice and tepid by now; it had time to cool dwn. so, even hitler wil not burn in hell. i think he’s laughing at us right now. thnx

  3. Jerry D. Rose said on January 9th, 2009 at 1:39pm #

    Actually, the matter gets worse than described by Leupp. JTA, the Jewish news agency, reports that, in addition to the anticipated special envoy appointment for Ross, another pro-Israel favorite, Dan Shapiro, will be appointed to the Middle East desk of the National Security Council. Shapiro may not have quite Ross’s “neo-con” credentials, but he certainly has very strong pro-Israeli ones. He was a congressional staffer who helped author the 2003 Syrian Accountability Act, urging sanctions on Syria for its alleged anti-Israel actions; and he was the “Jewish outreach” head of the Obama campaign. Seems as if our Middle East policy will be run from Tel Aviv. The JTA piece is at: http://jta.org/news/article/2009/01/08/1002094/ross-shapiro-likely-to-land-govt-jobs

  4. opeluboy said on January 9th, 2009 at 3:23pm #

    I guess appointing an Arab-American instead of a Zionist American Jew to formulate Middle East policy is right out, just like being a Middle East/terrorism, Arab/Islam “expert.”

  5. Jerry D. Rose said on January 9th, 2009 at 4:55pm #

    Opeluboy, I don’t know exactly what you mean, if you think I was advocating for an “Arab American” to be a principle formulator of U.S. Middle East policy. To me that would be as wrong as the appointment of a “Zionist American Jew.”

  6. opeluboy said on January 9th, 2009 at 6:26pm #

    Jerry, I was referring to the article, not your comment (which would be obvious if this site had the ability to issue a “reply”).

    However, what would be wrong if for once we actually had an Arab-American involved in Israel/Palestine? Why must it always be Jews?

    Why are only Jews allowed to be “experts” on the region and its problems, religions, history, etc.?

    Personally, I can’t think of many things that would allay the Arab/Muslim world’s suspicion of our ability to be even-handed than allowing an Arab to participate or head our Mid East delegation.

    But it will be a Jew.

  7. Brian said on January 9th, 2009 at 9:23pm #

    Just another reason I voted for Ralph.

  8. The Angry Peasant said on January 9th, 2009 at 9:29pm #

    As did I.

  9. bozh said on January 10th, 2009 at 11:28am #

    as i said, we never change. we will never change for ‘jews’.
    we will avenge the deaths in palestine, gaza, iraq, and afgh’n. it may take centuries, but people will avenge the crimes by criminals.
    either that or US/Israel will have to kill all muslims and all dissenters. thnx

  10. Adam Richmond said on January 12th, 2009 at 4:07pm #

    Did you mean to say that Dennis Ross was a cofounder of AIPAC? AIPAC was founded in the 1950s according to its website.

  11. bruce said on July 5th, 2009 at 10:17am #

    Following the 1967 war and in particular the Israeli attack on USS Liberty,US foriegn policy in mideast did a 180 degree turn in favor of the “Greater Israel” enterprise.Not only would Israel go unpunished for the deaths of 34 Americans aboard Liberty,but the US would now be providing massive American arms and monetary aid to Israel.Colonizing the newly conquered Arab lands would now have US backing. It’s not easy to ferret out the behind the scenes machinations in the American political camgaign/contribution process that enabled this shift,but big New York and Texas money would be a fair assumption.In the sixties the Israel lobbies with AIPAC primarily did not have the strangelhold on the US Congress that they have today,but their influence as well in the 60′s could not be ignored.Ross is a part of this Israel first juggernaut.When not in the US government he is in the employ of some Israel friendly big money sponsered think tank.
    His negotiation with Iran would have been desisgned to fail,because that would have been the Israeli adgenda.In his mind what is right for Israel is right for America.
    That is where he is totally wrong and a foreign agent.
    The US got suckered into invading Iraq with much drumbeating by NEOCONS that happen to be pushing the hardline Likud policies.

    According to The Christian Science Monitor Israel has cost the US taxpayer $1.3 Trillion since 1973 not including the wars Israel designs for America.