The eminence grise of Obama's foreign policy teamAt The American Thinker, Ed Lasky describes the likely influence of Brent Scowcroft on the incoming Obama administration.
Lasky is not exaggerating. When I went to search for Scowcroft's picture above, the second suggested Google result (after Scowcroft's name) was "Brent Scowcroft, Obama." Scowcroft is bad news for Israel. And his populating the lower echelons of the State Department with people who think like him could last long after Scowcroft is dead and buried.The possibility that Brent Scowcroft will become the eminence grise of the Obama Administration may chill some people this winter.Brent Scowcroft, 83 years old and the head of the Scowcroft Group, is unlikely to play a visible role in the Obama Administration. However, by placing his allies in key places of power, he will be well-positioned to exert influence behind the scenes when it comes to the future foreign policy direction of the Administration. Andrew McCarthy pointed out the risk of this sort of maneuvering: often the levers of power are pulled by the hundreds of lower level staffers who fill positions in the national security and foreign policy apparatus. They are the ones who can craft and implement (or frustrate) policies.Will Scowcroft be the headhunter for those positions, as well? Or will the ideological allies he has helped place in positions of power do the work for him?One additional factor should be considered: The Scowcroft Group. This is a Washington, D.C. international business advisory firm with extensive interests in the Middle East. Will Scowcroft peddle his influence in an Obama Administration to further his financial interests in the region? He seems to believe that his op-eds can be used as sales tools, since he posts them on the firm's website: (for example, Getting The Middle East Back on Our Side wherein he writes glowingly of the Iraq Study Group final report -- one that seemed to be biased against Israel and which was drafted under the aegis of Scowcroft's long-time ally, former Secretary of State James Baker). Scowcroft advocates increased engagement with Iran. American businesses have been constrained in doing business with Iran. Will Scowcroft and his acolytes promote ties with Iran to garner lucrative business relationships?Will he offer to talk or meet with key foreign policy players to please Middle East leaders? Will contracts depend on friendlier relations that Brent Scowcroft believes will follow only if Israel is compelled to follow his and Zbigniew Brzezinski's plans? After all, Middle Eastern potentates have always had a penchant for trading and deal-making. But they are not alone.The best practitioners are not in the Arab bazaars but in the corridors of power in Washington. The world's largest souk is not in the Middle East; it is in our nation's capital.And Brent Scowcroft knows well how to prosper in this market.
Why does Scowcroft hate Israel so much? One reason might be his Mormon faith. Jews and Mormons have a longstanding theological conflict:
Latter-day Saints believe themselves to be either direct descendants of the House of Israel, or adopted into it. As such, Judaism is foundational to the history of Mormonism; Jews are looked upon as a covenant people of God, held in high esteem, and are respected in the Mormon faith system. The LDS church is consequently very philo-Semitic in its doctrine.Seldom if ever? Well, if you believe the Wikipedia entry that's true, but given past contentiousness over the large Mormon church here in Jerusalem and recent issues over proxy baptisms, I wonder whether "seldom, if ever" is accurate and whether religion might not be playing a role here.
Mormon beliefs regarding their membership in the House of Israel are generally rejected both from a theological and cultural stand point by the Jewish community. This concept of claiming membership in the House of Israel produces various interfaith problems. Though conflicts exist, relationships seldom if ever rise to the level of Anti-Semitism or Anti-Mormonism.
Read the whole thing.