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Published on September 22nd, 2008 | by Jim Lobe


Abrams as McCain’s Top Foreign Policy Aide?

Not terribly surprising, but I have it from a reliable source that Elliott Abrams, currently Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy who also heads the NSC’s Near East office, is regularly briefing the McCain campaign — Randy Scheunemann appears to be the main contact — and has told friends and colleagues that he is confident that he will get a top post in a McCain administration. Now, assuming Abrams is not talking through his hat, I very much doubt that a Democratic-majority Senate would confirm Abrams, who pleaded guilty to essentially lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra affair, to any position that required confirmation (especially as long as Chris Dodd, who clashed frequently and bitterly with Abrams when the latter served as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs under Reagan, remains alive). That would leave his current abode — the NSC — as his most likely destination. But he is already a deputy national security adviser. Does that mean that he thinks he will be THE Deputy National Security Adviser — in charge of the day-to-day operations of the NSC — or even THE National Security Adviser in the McCain White House?

Abrams is no fool, and his political instincts have always been very sharp, so, unless my informant is mistaken, I assume he has reason to feel confident about his future under McCain. If so, there can remain really very little doubt that McCain’s foreign policy will be thoroughly neo-conservative and very aggressive; a replay of Bush’s first term. After all, it was Abrams, backed by Cheney, who drove the isolation policy against Hamas (so much for democracy promotion!); it was Abrams who suggested to Israeli leaders that they extend the 2006 war with Hezbollah to Syria; it was Abrams who, for all practical purposes, undermined Rice’s efforts to get a Israel-Palestine framework agreement before Bush leaves office. Among many other things.

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2 Responses to Abrams as McCain’s Top Foreign Policy Aide?

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  1. avatar Jon Harrison says:

    Just as an aside, Abrams didn’t need to undermine Rice’s efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian framework agreement (which is not to say that he didn’t intrigue in this matter). There was never any real chance of an agreement. Nor would an agreement that excludes Hamas have any lasting basis.

  2. avatar American says:

    I started my own personal hit list long ago and Abrams was number one on the list. Currently my list numbers 37 people who actually deserve to put to eternal sleep….after they are waterboarded first.

    Every day I ponder how Americans could have turned into such utter sheep as to put up with this Orwellington government and the criminals running it.. The only comfort I get is thinking that ‘if they knew, ‘if we had a press that actually reported real news and real truth, ‘if Americans got the real picture…they would rise up and Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over.

    That’s what I tell myself anyway.

    Lately I have been rereading “They Thought
    They Were Free”..about how the German society was dripped, dripped, dripped into accepting the Nazi regime and all it’s actions. That’s where we are now….at every outrage and crisis we think surely this is the last and it won’t go beyond this.. but it never is the last and will go beyond this.

    For “change”, which the public is going to have to effect themselves, because Washginton is not even reformable, I guess we have to wait for the proverbial ‘nothing left to lose’ moment to arrive.

About the Author


Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.

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  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

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