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Monday, June 15, 2009

Dennis Ross to be ousted as Obama's envoy to Iran

Haaretz reports that veteran diplomat Dennis Ross is to be ousted as President Obama's envoy to Iran. According to Haaretz, Ross will be reassigned to a position in which he will deal with 'regional issues related to the peace process.'

Haaretz gives three possible reasons for Ross's departure. One is the Iranian refusal to accept a Jewish envoy with known 'pro-Israel leanings.' If that is correct, the Obama administration has reached a new low in which it allows its enemies to even dictate the identity of their interlocutors.

The second possible reason for Ross's ouster is the book that he published with David Makovsky, in which the authors deny any linkage between Iran and the 'Palestinian' issue. Haaretz reports that the book raises the possibility of military action against Iran.
"Tougher policies - either militarily or meaningful containment - will be easier to sell internationally and domestically if we have diplomatically tried to resolve our differences with Iran in a serious and credible fashion," they wrote.
If that is the reason Ross is being fired, it means that this administration has taken the military option off the table completely. I suppose that could be true.

The third possible reason that Haaretz gives for Ross's dismissal is Ross's dissatisfaction with his role in the administration as compared with those of George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke (Obama's envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan). Sorry, but I don't buy that one.

To me, the option that looks most likely is the book option. It's clearly something that bothered the administration. The Obama administration has not been known for being open to dissenting views - and that's an understatement.

I don't believe there's any chance that 'engagement' with Iran will lead anywhere good anyway. It's probably just as well for Ross's future career that he not be associated with it.


At 2:05 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

By the way, Roger Cohen this morning now sees the light about Iran:

I’ve argued for engagement with Iran and I still believe in it, although, in the name of the millions defrauded, President Obama’s outreach must now await a decent interval.

I’ve also argued that, although repressive, the Islamic Republic offers significant margins of freedom by regional standards. I erred in underestimating the brutality and cynicism of a regime that understands the uses of ruthlessness.

Now Cohen admits he got appeasement all wrong and Iran is a brutal, cynical and repressive dictatorship. So far the Obama Administration isn't listening.

More here:

Iran's Day Of Anguish

Here is the money quote:

"A harsh clampdown is underway. It’s unclear how far, and for how long, Iranians can resist."

Et tu, Roger?

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Andre (Canada) said...

But the funny thing is that even though left-wing zealots always get everything wrong (like Cohen regarding Iran), they will get it wrong again next time and will still argue that the "neo-cons" are the warmongers. The fact that Obama has adopted Bush's policies on Irak, Gitmo, Afghanistan, etc... hason't even registered with the left. They still think that these policies, in Bush's hands meant war, while the same policies in the Messiah's hands mean peace.
Go figure!

At 5:09 PM, Blogger nighthawk_nh1 said...

It is quite obvious that the truth of what is actually going on in Iran can no longer be hidden behind
the wall of medieval secrecy.

Cellphone real time video streaming, etc., have proved the lies of Iran and its leaders and will shed glaring light of Truth upon its suppression and will strengthen the Reformer/Moderate movement in Iran.

If Iran's dinosaurean leaders think this isn't what's going on, then they need to take their heads out of the quicksand of their fundamentalist wadis and get with the program.

The program is, to steal a line from the movie "Sneakers," NO MORE SECRETS.

The truth is coming out, Mr. Supreme Leader and Mr. Whackjob Satanic Denier of the Holocaust.

Deal with it or your own countrymen/women WILL deal with you.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...


I think it's door #1.

The Washington Post reported last week Dennis Ross Faces Big Task on Iran Policy, Including Overcoming Pro-Israel Label. Many turf wars are fought in the media. Ross's opponents in the administration clearly planted this story to embarrass him. The Post's Glenn Kessler delivered the coup de grace in a most despicable manner.


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