January 27, 2012
White House Propaganda Machine Set On Turbo
Following his interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor and one of Washington’s highest ranking Ministers Without Portfolio, Charlie Rose keeps the spotlight on Iran and China by interviewing Tom Donilon. President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser also praised his boss as a “natural executive,” before engaging in some PR on behalf of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF).
If only U.S. foreign policy was as comprehensive as its accompanying propaganda campaign.
And speaking of Ministers Without Portfolios - a common position in Israel’s government, the State Department has clarified Dennis Ross’s status in Washington. The former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region was never going to embrace private life after resigning in November 2011, instead wading back into the Beltway until a position opened in the next administration. However Ross never officially left Obama’s White House, despite his formal declaration, and retains his security clearance. He visits every week and meets regularly with Obama’s National Security Council.
Yesterday a senior Israeli official confirmed that Ross met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after requesting a “private” meeting to jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The State Department's Victoria Nuland would tell reporters on Friday, "Dennis has been a good partner to administrations of all kinds, whether he was in government or out of government, and always remains in close touch."
“We have done everything we can to recruit and retain Dennis in the government,” Donilon remarked upon Ross's "resignation." “He is one of those rare individuals who has global reach.”
Ross also represents a key piece of the U.S. mainstream narrative that Obama has been overly harsh to the Israelis, and too soft on the Palestinians. The opening paragraphs of his recent Washington Post op-ed placed all of the blame on Mahmoud Abbas instead of Netanyahu; “changing the realities on the ground” functions as a codeword for allowing Israel to dictate these realities on its terms. Ross presumably lobbied Netanyahu to offer the Palestinians as little as possible in order to build their confidence in the Israeli government, a process that is likely to yield a lopsided final-status agreement.
So goes life for the point-man of backchannel negotiations between Washington and Jerusalem - another “foreign policy success” for the Obama administration.