Here’s Foreign Policy in Focus analyst Jim Lobe’s latest on the appointment of Elliott Abrams to a key Mideast position on the National Security Council. This is a remarkable appointment. It signals, as a start, the triumphant return to positions of power of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight of the Reagan era Iran-Contra Scandal. With Elliott at the National Security Council, John Negroponte at the UN, Otto Reich a special envoy (undoubtedly for coup making) to Latin America, and John Poindexter back at the Pentagon preparing for the computer surveillance of his fellow citizens, only Ollie North is missing. How symbolic this is of the entrenchment in Washington of a regime for whom nothing unassociated with power and brute force, secrecy and manipulation seems to have the slightest meaning. At least Ollie North only shredded papers. These guys are preparing to shred peoples and nations.
In addition, the appointment is remarkable as a signal — Abrams being an unreconstructed Sharonista — to any Arab diplomat who had the slightest shred of an illusion left that the Bush administration ever meant to enter into Israeli/Palestinian negotiations with anything other than Palestinian surrender in mind. Kiss that baby good-bye. Tom
Neoconservatives consolidate control over U.S. mideast policy
By Jim Lobe, December 6, 2002, Foreign Policy in Focus
Neoconservative hawks in the administration of President George W. Bush have won a major battle against the State Department in the fight for control of U.S. Mideast policy with the surprise appointment of Iran-Contra figure Elliott Abrams to the region’s top policy spot in the National Security Council (NSC).
For the first time, someone who has publicly assailed the “land-for-peace” formula that has guided U.S. policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict since the 1967 war has been appointed to a top spot in Mideast policy.
Abrams, appointed by the White House December 2, 2002, first came to national prominence as a controversial political appointee in the Reagan administration. He later pleaded guilty to lying to Congress regarding the Iran-Contra scandal, and has also opposed the Oslo peace process and called for Washington to “stand by Israel,” rather than act as a neutral mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.
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