'Special Advisor' Dennis Ross and Iran – The Fox Guarding the Chicken Coop (Counterpunch)

The message of the Israeli analysts was clear: the Middle East foreign policy of the US has become institutionalized; and rather than watching the US president, one has to watch the institutions that would make the policy. Given this message, my analysis of what the future has in store for Iran concentrated on a few neoconservative institutions and individuals. In particular, I predicted that if Obama were to be elected, the US policy on Iran would be made mostly by Dennis Ross, the “consultant” to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP or simply Washington Institute), a “think tank” affiliate of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). That prediction has now come true. On February 23, 2009, it became official that Dennis Ross is the “Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the Gulf and Southwest Asia.” [1] The title, as will be explained below, is not what Ross had hoped for, but he would still be in a position to influence the US policy toward Iran.

Who is Dennis Ross, what does he advocate, how was he positioned to become the adviser on Iran in the Obama Administration and what will he do to Iran if he gets the chance? Let me briefly review the case.

Dennis Ross is best known as the dishonest broker who led the so-called negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians during the Clinton Administration. He was “Israel’s lawyer,” to use Aaron David Miller’s apt description of the role that Ross’s “negotiating team” played in the Clinton era, particularly in 1999-2000. ..

Whatever the reason for the postponement of Ross’s appointment and change of title, one thing is clear: the sly fox is now guarding the chicken coop. As Mel Levine said about Ross: “He’d be great for Israel.” With the help of Richard Holbrooke, Stuart Levey—Bush’s Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, who is now in Obama’s Administration—and all the other “president’s Middle East men,” Dennis Ross might be able to finish the unfinished business of the neoconservatives, the containment of Iraq and Iran. The Israelis and pro-Israel communities must be jumping with joy once again!

Dennis Ross and Iran – The Fox Guarding the Chicken Coop (By SASAN FAYAZMANESH in Counterpunch)

Obama’s Envoys to Nowhere (By Anatol Lieven, New America Foundation/The National Interest Online)

Is George Mitchell wel de verhoopte ‘evenwichtige’ mediator voor het Midden-Oosten?

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