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US Envoys from Hell

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Eric Walberg       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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The choice of US ambassadors to Central Asia and the Middle East gives one pause for thought.

The 711 coalition deaths in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
last year made 2010 the deadliest one for foreign troops since the US
invasion in 2001, continuing the upward trend since 2003. 2011 promises
to be even more deadly, and already includes the most spectacular event
in this gruesome body count, when insurgents shot down a helicopter in
eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans.

Civilian deaths -- about 5-10 times higher -- have followed the same
relentless climb, as have purported Taliban deaths which are about 10-20
times higher than the occupiers' deaths. Deaths of all kinds in
Pakistan have sharply increased in the last few years as well, with
United States President Barack Obama's policy of using drones to fight
US wars around the world.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc

Gaza memorial to Mavi Marmara victims
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is now touring Central Asia to discuss his "New Silk Road"
vision for the South and Central Asian region's economic future, the US
State Department reports. He is visiting Dushanbe, Bishkek, Astana,
Tashkent, Ashgabat, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Ankara, Kabul, Beijing, New Delhi
and Islamabad during his grand tour of Eurasia. Grossman will return to
Eurasia in November for the Istanbul conference on Afghanistan and in
December for the Bonn conference where he hopes to build support for a
"stable, secure, and prosperous Afghanistan in a stable, secure, and
prosperous region". He is clearly very busy shaping a new order in
AfPak, though hardly a silky one.

Grossman is a cypher. He has a long and shady career as a diplomat and
corporate honcho. Most notoriously, he met with Pakistan's ISI
intelligence agency head Mahmud Ahmed on 4 September 2001, shortly
before the 11 September 2001 attacks, in his capacity as under secretary
of state for political affairs, the department's third-ranking
official. Ahmed was later dismissed from his post after it was
discovered he had sent Mohamed Atta $100,000 at about the time he met
with Grossman. The US government has not attempted to prosecute Ahmed,
and the 9/11 Commission stated that the question of who financed the
terrorist attacks was "of little practical significance".

Grossman was, in contrast, promoted and promoted by the State
Department. In 2004, he was awarded the Foreign Service's highest rank
-- Career Ambassador -- by president George W Bush. He received the
Secretary of State Distinguished Service Award the following year, and
took early retirement at the age of 54 to become vice chairman of The
Cohen Group. This is a Washington DC firm founded by US secretary of
defense William Cohen in 2001 to provide "global business consulting
services and advice on tactical and strategic opportunities" to help
multinational clients expand overseas, with offices in Beijing and
Tianjin, People's Republic of China.

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The Cohen Group is filled with ex-members of the White House, State
Department, Defense Department, and Congress, including ex-generals, an
ex-deputy secretary of Homeland Security -- even an ex-secretary-general
of NATO. Its publications in 2009 include "Smart Power is Soft Power",
"The World Depends on US-China Cooperation", and "No time to cut missile

In 2007, Grossman was subpoenaed in a case involving AIPAC and the
transfer of sensitive information to Israel, along with Richard
Holbrooke, who he replaced as special envoy to Afghanistan in February.
Note that both Holbrooke and Grossman were/are Jewish Americans
presiding over American war and occupation in Muslim nations.

But then Jeffrey Feltman is currently the assistant secretary of state
for near eastern affairs and US hitman in Libya, while Gerald Feierstein
is ambassador to Yemen as the US drops bomb after bomb on unsuspecting
civilians there and just last week assassinated American citizen Anwar
Al-Awlaki. While appointing Jewish ambassadors to Israel -- the latest
being Daniel Shapiro -- is understandable, though hardly astute (Shapiro
is a bosom buddy of Netanyahu), is the policy of putting them in such
sensitive positions in the Muslim world, where the US is killing
thousands of natives, really such a good idea? Is Washington fooling
anyone, or is it sending a less-than-subtle message with these envoys?

That Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Yemen and Libya have witnessed
horrible scenes of death and destruction hardly goes unnoticed. Nor
should Grossman take the smiles on his jaunts across Eurasia at face
value. Certainly if we are referring to the face of the common people in
these countries, as opposed to a paid-for neocolonial elite who are
employed by Washington to carry out its orders.

But perhaps these moves in Washington's games are intended to convey a
message to the Arab world. Just as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's 29 standing ovations during the special joint session of
Congress and the Senate in Washington in May are part of a clearly
orchestrated scenario. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was
not invited to address such an august gathering last month in New York.
In fact, his modest bid for observer status at the UN will be vetoed by

The message can only be that Israel and its supporters in the US
thoroughly control US policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, from
Morocco to Afghanistan. And, given such corporate-government spinoffs as
The Cohen Group, this hegemony extends all the way to China. That
despite any apparent Sino-American rivalry, China too will be
incorporated into America-Israel Inc, given enough "smart power" wielded
by the likes of Grossman in both their government and corporate
capacities -- wielded baldly at one and the same time in Grossman's
case, as both US special representative and corporate vice chairman.

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Whether any of these "diplomats" were present for Netanyahu's address to
Congress and the Senate is a moot point, but we can be sure that they
would have joined in the 29 standing ovations. And we can be sure that
the policies they are following, including Grossman's meeting with
Pakistan's ISI head on the eve of 9/11, his subsequent tete-a-tetes with
AIPAC spies, and his recent discussions with presidents and/or princes
of at least a dozen Silk Road nations, will have Israel's best interests
at heart every bit as much as what they conceive of to be America's.

Former president Clinton's counsel Abner Mikvner was not joking when he
claimed back in 2008 that "Barack Obama is the first Jewish President."
Obama's complete surrender to the Israel Lobby as his first term winds
up has been attributed to the need to court the Jewish vote as he gears
up to campaign for a second term. But maybe it's just inevitable, given
the lobby's complete control of American politics as witnessed by the 29
standing ovations.

Back when Obama was still a free man, he attended Trinity United Church
of Christ where the pastor was Jeremiah Wright. There can be no question
that Obama admired and respected Wright; he even adapted Wright's
eloquent "audacity to hope" for the title of his own autobiography.
Wright said recently: "President Obama was selected before he was
elected, and he is accountable to those who selected him. I'll never
forget one of the most powerful things he said to me in my home in April
2008. He said, "You know what your problem is? You have to tell the
truth.' I said, "That's a good problem.'"


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Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games" and "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" are available at (more...)

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