Obama’s Neocon by Gary Leupp / January 9th, 2009 Dissident Voice


Obama’s Neocon

by Gary Leupp / January 9th, 2009

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, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion 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.

This article was posted on Friday, January 9th, 2009 at 9:00am