The U.S. State Department said Monday it will send its special Persian Gulf envoy to the region as part of continued diplomatic efforts to steer Iran away from its suspected quest for nuclear weapons. It will be the first trip to the region for Dennis Ross since he was named to the position in late February.
The State Department said Ross will begin his trip Tuesday and will visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. He will be accompanied by the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, and National Security Council official Puneet Talwar.
Old Rossy, that paragon of independent balanced diplomacy…
Ross got his start in high-level policy-making working under Paul Wolfowitz in the Pentagon during the Carter administration. Wolfowitz — who is better known for his role pushing the Iraq War after the 11 September attacks and for his controversial tenure as World Bank head — tasked Ross with helping draft a study assessing threats to US interests in the Persian Gulf. The 1979 study, titled the “Limited Contingency Study,” concluded that aside from the Soviet Union, a key threat to the region’s oil fields was Iraq.
Ross also helped produce the 2008 report “Meeting the Challenge: US Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development,” which was published by a study group convened by the Bipartisan Policy Centre, a group led by several former legislators.
The lead drafter of the report was AEI’s Michael Rubin, an outspoken proponent of US military intervention in the Middle East. Other participants included hawkish arms control analyst Henry Sokolski; Michael Makovsky, a former aide to Douglas Feith; Stephen Rademaker, who worked under former UN Ambassador John Bolton in the State Department; and the neoconservative Hudson Institute director, Kenneth Weinstein.
Calling the report a “roadmap to war,” Inter Press Service’s Jim Lobe writes, “In other words, if Tehran is not eventually prepared to permanently abandon its enrichment of uranium on its own soil — a position that is certain to be rejected by Iran ab initio — war becomes inevitable, and all intermediate steps, even including direct talks if the new president chooses to pursue them, will amount to going through the motions … What is a top Obama adviser [Dennis Ross] doing signing on to it?”
Philip Weiss: -Back in 1991 Ross was the main Middle East negotiator for George Bush when Bush tried to serve the American interest in the Middle East by putting a stop to the illegal settlements in the West Bank by placing conditions on loan guarantees the Israelis had sought from the U.S. to build housing for Russian immigrants. The Israelis assured Bush through Ross that they would accept the restrictions. Ross vouched for Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to George Bush. Then Shamir continued building settlements, making Bush look like a fool. Ross was in the middle. He indicates in his book on the “peace process,” The Missing Peace, that George Bush felt that Ross had misled him. You might think that a president who feels misled by an aide would fire the aide. You’d be wrong.
Bush needed Ross more than Ross needed Bush. In fact, the following year, 1992, Ross was out there campaigning for Bush in the Jewish community, telling them that it was Bush’s “achievement” that the settlements had continued (Clayton Swisher reports in The Truth About Camp David). Bill Clinton also assured the Jewish community about the settlements in that election. Where is the American interest???
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