Don’t Be So Sure About Haass, Holbrooke and Ross

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Marc Ambinder reported this morning that three top diplomats — Richard Haass, Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross — will be President-elect Barack Obama’s envoys to various global hellholes: Iran, Israel/Palestine, and Afghanistan/Pakistan/India. He says it’s “confirmed,” but I’ve heard otherwise.

It appears, particularly with Haass, the chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, that this is premature. Maybe it’ll happen — it’s not like I’ve heard otherwise. But as of right now Ambinder is — to use Colin Powell’s elegant phrase when he had to walk back a statement on North Korea in 2001 — a little forward on his skis. On Holbrooke, though, it’s not like this hasn’t been out there, so on that score, at least, Ambinder has company.

Another thing about transition reporting in general: Let me pull back the curtain somewhat. This is rumor-mongering, plain and simple. Speculation passed along three times is counted as fact. Everyone is rushing to scoop everyone else, and it’s not producing solid journalism in many cases. If this reads like I’m singling out Ambinder, an excellent reporter, I don’t mean to. It’s just frustrating to see how much rumor is being passed along as fact, particularly when, in certain cases, many people on the transition are not privy to key decisions.

Follow Spencer Ackerman on Twitter



Comment posted January 7, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

If Ross gets the Iran brief then good-faith negotiations will be a myth.

Comment posted January 7, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

I object, Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are not “hellholes”.

Comment posted January 7, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

I agree absolutely. Ross did not accomplish anything in eights years of talking to Israel and the Palestinians. He is extremely biased towards Israel. His only solution to the fictional problems about Iran are more sanctions. Look at what 50 years of sanctions have accomplished in Cuba. It is time to stop pushing other countries around and to begin to treat them as equals. How about Israel disbanding their nuclear weapons?

David O'Neill
Comment posted January 8, 2009 @ 12:27 am

And if it's true, I have to say bluntly, how wise to put three Jewish guys in the lead of negotiations involving Iran, Pakistan and Palestinine, who will inevitably view them as less than honest brokers. All three are talented public servants, if a little overexposed by now, but really, aren't there any Catholic, Protestant or simply non-Jewish talents for these sensitive regional assignments? These men are people described by Ambinder as “realists” in foreign policy, so even they should realize they'd be better used in China, South America, or Africa, since Muslim/Arab/Iranian communities view them with distrust despite their shiny diplomatic medals? I thought we were getting new blood with Obama, but this is the same old Council on Foreign Relations crowd lobbying Clinton to get them a place at the Obama table. Samantha Power, please stop this! But then, Holbrooke just came to your wedding, so that's out…

Comment posted February 28, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

Michael Mukasey the last U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush recused himself from the investigation into the Bernard Madoff 50 BILLION Ponzi Scheme because his son Marc Mukasey is representing a Madoff official in the investigation..

To recuse is to disqualify or seek to disqualify from participation in a decision on grounds such as prejudice or personal involvement.

A normal practice except for Jewish Americans who dominate amongst American Politicians involved with Middle East Affairs !!!

A dual loyalty of Jewish Americans towards Israel is well known by their long time support of Israel and AIPAC etc etc.

After over 60 years it is time to take the gloves off on this “not for discussion” topic and to save the USA and the World from a “never ending war” seemingly promoted by Jewish American neocon/Zionists like Mr. Ross.

To have American interests under the control of naturally biased towards Israel, Jewish Americans , may have prevented peace and has definitively been the cause of much damage to America's image in the World at large and further violence.

It seems amazing that the USA is not ethically powerful enough to recognize this “conflict of interest” question and that Jews and Zionists themselves do not have the integrity to recuse themselves from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict !!!!

Mr. Ross a Jewish American with longtime business interests in Israel besides a dual loyalty which should OBVIOUSLY rescuse his SHAMEFUL participation on behalf of the USA AND THE WORLD !!!

Or is the USA deaf dumb and blind

The Jewish Holocaust in WWII was a tragedy but its use to prevent further discussion is insulting to any serious researcher who knows that the 6 Million figure is highly exaggerated and to ban research and open discussion is also insulting.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.