Doesn't anyone read history books anymore?
Barack Obama's crack staff of Middle East advisers consist of Dennis Ross and James Steinberg. You may remember the pair: Ross served as President Clinton's lead Mideast negotiator and Steinberg was a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration.
In January 2004, Jonathan S. Tobin described Ross' stellar track record.
...don't blame Dennis Ross personally for the thousands of lives sacrificed in the name of the peace process that he championed. He didn't plant any of the bombs, and his good intentions are not really in question... [but did] Ross learn anything from these failures? And what, if anything, would he do differently if he got another chance to play the game?
...Ross, the supposed arbiter of peace, sanctioned official whitewashes of the P.A. as it built a corrupt dictatorship intent on fomenting hatred of Israel and carrying on a terror war against its existence, rather than fostering peace... ...everything that Ross and his masters did during their years in power had convinced Arafat that they would never turn their backs on him, no matter what outrages the Palestinians committed.
No amount of violence or bad will exhibited by the Arabs would deter either Bush I or Clinton via their envoy Ross from pressuring Israel to give more and more. Sold a program of "land for peace," the Israelis got "land for terror" instead... ...it was Ross who convinced the killers that they would face no penalties for their crimes...
I'm physically disgusted to share a surname with this chump.
Let's not forget the Clinton administration's other accomplishments.
...the Clinton administration's effort in 1998 to open a dialogue with Tehran's former reformist leader, President Mohammad Khatami, was rebuffed and did nothing to retard Iran's pursuit of nuclear technologies.
Sen. McCain believes any attempt to reach out to Iran's current hard-line government, particularly President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, could result in a worse outcome... "Such a spectacle would harm Iranian moderates and dissidents as the radicals and hard-liners strengthen their position and suddenly acquire the appearance of respectability," Sen. McCain said.
Members of Sen. Obama's brain trust, however, draw a different lesson from the Clinton overture. Mr. Ross thinks it illustrates the need to reach out to the right leaders in Tehran, rather then the most public ones. Mr. Ross says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the only official inside Iran's theocracy with the power to authorize and execute the suspension of Iran's nuclear program and its support for militant groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah...
Well, that's using the phrase "brain trust" loosely.
As for Steinberg, let's not forget the Clinton administration's sparkling record in dealing with terrorism. A brief history of terror attacks prior to 9/11 should be enough to convince an unbiased observer of that administration's repeated failures. And, if not, Sandy Berger's cover-up of Clinton-era activities should sound the alarm claxons.
Put simply, we tried the Ross/Steinberg approach to dealing with Middle East negotiations and terrorist nutjobs. It yielded thousands of dead Americans and the Intifida as an added bonus. Next time, with these same advisers in an Obama administration, we might not get away that clean.
Prepare for the bloodbath.
Update: AJacksonian has the full roster.