Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dershowitz-Trump Will Eventually Win! Distrust Appropriate Regarding Obama and Iran Deal. Assad Ill? Atlantic and Elliott Abram's Alleged Consideration.

An appropriate TV tray for the crap Democrats throw at America.
All the Demwits can do is slow down what they cannot defeat so they will now resort to bringing useless law suits against Trump.  Their tactic of delay failed so now they will clog the court's already overloaded dockets.

Meanwhile the 9th Circuit, the most liberal and most overruled Circuit Court, has upheld the lower court's decision. I believe they will be overruled again. if Trump chooses to appeal to SCOTUS.

It appears to me both courts have chosen to also involve themselves in determining foreign policy.

As I said in a previous memo why do we need a president? (See 1 below.)
Obama passed stringent regulations against American industries allegedly in order to reduce pollution and emissions. It is now evident the science he relied upon in the Paris meeting was manipulated.

One can argue, as I do, the main interest of advocating the far left's (socialist) agenda, pertaining to climate change, is really an attempt to crush/destroy capitalism. Why?  Because the cost of these regulations and benefits  are respectively so onerous and paltry they place American corporations at a significant economic disadvantage.

The goal of socialists, like Pocahontas and Bernie, is to alter the economic system that drives American wealth.  They believe, by transferring wealth, "economic fairness" will be achieved yet, they do not cite any nation already experimenting with a Socialist economy and comparable to our own. Why?  Because if they do they can only find failing economies, high unemployment and stagnation.

Yes, small homogeneous economies like Sweden, Norway and Finland are prospering but they are totally unlike America socially, geographically and politically.  None of these nations have a foreign policy and military spending commitment similar to ours.

I daresay neither of these two have ever read Hayek's: "The Road To Serfdom" and if they have they are incapable of refuting the fact that wherever Socialism exists/has been tried it has failed to achieve its stated goals and more recently Venezuela is a case in hand.  As Churchill stated "Socialism results in the equal sharing of misery."
I believe Trump will have at least two more SCOTUS appointee  opportunities. (See 2 below.)
Why Obama and the Iran Agreement cannot be trusted.  (See 3 below.)
Has Assad suffered a stroke? (See 4 below.)
Our President Day Speaker, Elliott Abrams, is reportedly being considered as Trump's Number Two at The State Department. This article in Atlantic Magazine, discusses the pros and cons of Abram's acceptability. (See 5 below.)
1)Alan Dershowitz: Trump Will Win on Travel Ban at Supreme Court

President Donald Trump will lose the appeal on the nationwide ban on his travel executive order — but he will prevail before the Supreme Court, famed civil-rights attorney Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
"I do not believe that this order constitutes a violation of the establishment clause of the Constitution," the Harvard Law School professor emeritus told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "The fact that they picked seven Muslim states, those are the states that have high levels of terrorism.
"When you focus on real victims or real perpetrators — and the impact is heavily on one particular religion, that doesn't create a constitutional problem.
"So, I think that the Trump administration will ultimately win on that issue, at least as it relates to people who have never been in the United States," Dershowitz concluded.

He told Hayworth that "the Trump administration got a bad deal when they got two Democrats.

2) Dear GOP: Gird Your Loins over the Supreme Court

If you think the riots and marches are bad now, wait until President Trump gets a chance at filling a second or even third vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.  The "nastiness," vulgarities, property damage, and violence we see now are nothing compared to what we will witness if the American left see the legality of their perverse sexual agenda threatened.

With the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat vacated as a result of the death of Antonin Scalia, liberals at every level of political involvement are already throwing a hissy-fit.  After Trump chose Gorsuch, radical left-winger Michael Moore threatened Senate Democrats via his Twitter account, declaring, "This Supreme Court pick was Obama's to make and it was stolen by Republicans. Democrats had better block this and demand a nom we approve."  Moore continued, "Senate Dems, let's be very clear: You will filibuster & block this SC nom or we will find a true progressive and primary u in next election."

When Democrat senator Chris Coons (Del.) hinted that he might not support a filibuster of Gorsuch, the response from liberal activists was swift and stern.  Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Stephanie Taylor warned Coons (and anyone like-minded):
There is zero appetite among the public for weakness from Democratic politicians. Especially after Republicans stole a Supreme Court seat, Coons and all Senate Democrats should join Sen. Jeff Merkley's filibuster of Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Gorsuch. That's the kind of backbone the public needs to see right now.
Upon Antonin Scalia's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told all of America that the election would decide Scalia's replacement.  In other words, Democrats and their like-minded lackeys had a chance to show their strength in this matter in the November elections, and they failed (in historical fashion).
The idea that President Trump will get to fill multiple vacancies on the nation's highest court is becoming widely held.  National Review's John Fund writes that the Trump administration is already preparing for a second vacancy.  Fund reports on multiple sources that say there's at least an even chance that Justice Anthony Kennedy retires this year.  There is real fear among liberals that this is indeed the case.

The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus implores Justice Kennedy: "Please don't retire."  Of course, Marcus's piece is replete with references to the homosexual agenda and how important Kennedy was in weaving such perversion "into the social fabric" of our nation.  Likewise, The Post's Monica Hesse recently reported that "[h]ordes of liberals want reassurance RBG's [Ruth Bader Ginsburg's] health is good."  Hesse's piece quotes multiple liberals worrying over Ginsburg's health:
"I'm very interested in this." says Jeanette Bavwidinski, a community organizer in Pennsylvania. "I'm interested in what her daily regimen is. Like, what are you all feeding RBG? Is she getting enough fresh air? Is she walking? Is she staying low-stress? What is she reading? Is she reading low-stress things?"... "I kept thinking, you know, I could organize a bunch of gays," says John Hagner, a consultant for Democratic campaigns who lives in Washington. "I could organize the gays, and we would just make a protective circle around her at all times. We could help her get up and down the stairs. We got this."
While liberals worry over Kennedy and Ginsburg, the movement against Gorsuch is not limited to kooks like Michael Moore.  Bloomberg reports that there are over 200 liberal groups across the U.S. organizing and mobilizing opposition to Gorsuch:
"We'll make sure the narrative makes clear he is out of the mainstream, is extreme and in many ways is to the right of Scalia," said Marge Baker, executive vice president of People for the American Way.
As I noted a couple of years ago, for liberals, it seems it's always about "the narrative."  As has been demonstrated for decades now, liberalism is quite adept at creating "narratives" – i.e., making its own "truth," which can easily change as soon as it's advantageous.  Such skill and flexibility are necessary when one needs political power to make sure the preferred notion of "truth" rules the day.

Remember, two of the pillars (as both Post pieces above well demonstrate) in the church of modern liberalism – abortion and the redefinition of marriage – were achieved through rogue judicial fiat via the Supreme Court of the United States.  In these grave matters, liberals cannot rely on science and sound morality.  They need the powerful arms of Big Government and compliant courts to give them what they cannot otherwise achieve.  Even in a culture with as much rot as has ours, liberals rarely see their ideas adopted through elections or legislation.  (Thankfully, it is harder to get ignorant, lazy, and selfishly motivated "sheeple" to the polls than those motivated by eternal truths and real patriotism.)

Thus, a liberal-dominated judiciary is paramount to the leftist agenda.  Isn't it telling how comfortable leftists are with unelected officials dictating "from on high"?  (As Andy McCarthy has long noted, the U.S. Supreme Court "operates more like an unelected super-legislature than a judicial tribunal.")  One might think they prefer things this way.
This battle over the U.S. Supreme Court is not merely political.  As is almost always the case in these matters (whether one wants to admit such or not), this is a spiritual battle, and one well worth having.  Our elected (and non-elected) conservative leaders had better be ready for this fight.  Millions of American Christian conservatives – many of whom had great pause voting for Mr. Trump – chose to (in my case) touch their screens in his favor because of what we hoped he would do when it comes to the courts.

In other words, the chief reason many of us voted for Mr. Trump and Republicans for the U.S. Senate is because of their role in the federal judiciary.  I previously supported other GOP nominees who also gave me pause (McCain and Romney) for this reason as well.  Other than the collapse of the Democratic Party, as The New York Times noted in late 2014, the chief legacy of Barack Obama is the reshaping of the federal judiciary (which, of course, resulted in the infamousObergefell ruling).  Among reversing many other things Obama "accomplished," this is another mess many Americans expect Donald Trump and the GOP to clean up.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
3) How Deep Was the Obama-Iran Relationship?

The Obama administration’s effort to engage Iran remained a matter of suspicion until the 44th American president left the White House. Concerns began mounting especially after Obama turned his back on the 2009 uprising  in parallel to the revelation of secret correspondence with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

As more light is shed, the more we realize how far this relationship expanded. Known members of Iran’s lobbies and others enjoyed unprecedented access to the White House. This new knowledge calls for a complete overhaul of the corrupt U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Shocking Numbers
Through the course of the nuclear talks that rendered the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Obama White House welcomed a slate of different Iranian-American so-called “experts” and organizations who agreed completely over how Washington must engage in Tehran rapprochement.

Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a known Iran-funded lobby, was reportedly welcomed in up to 33 meetings in the White House, from 2013 to 2016.

Seyed Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat and head of its national security council, was hosted at the White House at least three times,” the Washington Free Beacon explained.

Parsi’s record was second only to Jeremy Ben Ami, President of J Street, described as a strong advocate of the Iran appeasement camp, who visited the White House on 44 occasions.

And finally, one NIAC alumni, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, National Security Council Director for Iran in Obama’s White House, reached the point of obtaining daily access to the White House and promoting a pro-Iran regime approach.
“President Obama’s NSC Director for Iran, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, apparently worked as a lobbyist for NIAC,” according to Western Journalism.

Who is Trita Parsi?
Described as having links to the Obama White House's cheer leading of the narrative in support of the Iranian regime, Parsi, head of NIAC, was able to meet with several senior Obama administration officials in dozens of White House visits, according to the logs.

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor, provided exclusive access to Parsi in private talks. He also arranged meetings with Colin Kahl, former Vice President Joe Biden’s national security advisor.

Various sources also indicated Parsi meeting with other senior officials including NSC director for Iran.
One instance shows West Wing intern Solomon Tarlin, known to support J Street, signed Parsi into the White House.

However, Parsi is a figure who during the Bush administration dined with Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suggesting that he pursues the interest of the Iranian regime in its entirety, and not the so-called “moderates“.

Parsi is known to brag about his access to senior Iranian regime officials.

“Few analysts in Washington have the access of Dr. Parsi to decision makers in Iran,” he described in a bio.

NIAC, a Washington-based lobbying organization founded by Parsi in 2002, focuses on influencing senior American officials and politicians. A piece written by Iranian dissident Alex Shirazi in the Daily Blaze sheds more light on NIAC’s intentions, serving completely in Iran’s interests.

NIAC was architected by the little known Namazi family in Iran, described as favoring “political interests in the Islamic Republic.”

Insight into NIAC’s background can be obtained from regrets made public by Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy. Gershman accused NIAC of misrepresenting its true nature.
“… NIAC showed itself as a lobby organization, so we have nothing to do with them anymore.”
Al Arabiya English cited the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg referring to Parsi as an individual who “does a lot of leg-work for the Iranian regime.” (Goldberg at one point retracted this description, but shortly afterward retracted his retraction.) 

NIAC misleadingly presented its agenda as meeting U.S. national interests. The very regime NIAC sells is known for “Death to America!” mantras and killing at least hundreds, if not thousands, of American personnel.
NIAC goes as far as claiming to advocate “human rights” in Iran and “civil rights” in the U.S., insulting Americans by placing their country alongside the ruthless regime in Iran.

In fact, NIAC lobbies for a friendly U.S. relationship with the current Iranian regime and strongly opposes economic sanctions. All this goes while Iran state media describe NIAC as the "Iran lobby in the U.S."

NIAC and Parsi Exposed by Others
There has been abundant reporting about the true nature of NIAC and Trita Parsi.
“…Parsi admits that his group only has 2,500 to 3,000 members. Internal documents, uncovered by Lake, show that less than 500 people responded to a membership survey that the group put out last year. So, far from representing the views of any appreciable number of Iranian Americans, it is far more accurate to say that NIAC represents the views of Trita Parsi.
“…may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws, according to law enforcement authorities…
“… former FBI special agent in counterintelligence and counter terrorism Kenneth Piernick, said, ‘It appears that this may be lobbying on behalf of Iranian government interests.’”
The report continues:
“…the group’s acting director for policy, Patrick Disney, authored a memo last year in which he stated, “I believe we fall under this definition of “lobbyist.’” And according to other communications Lake obtained, Parsi himself used the word ‘lobby’ to describe the purpose and mission of NIAC.”
Parsi and Zarif
Released email records indicate close ties between Parsi and Tehran, especially through Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Reports in this regard are quite vivid.

According to NIAC emails released under a lawsuit, in April 2006, Zarif, then Iran’s ambassador to the U.N., gave a copy of Iran’s 2003 offer for a “grand bargain" to Parsi, subsequently released to the press and used in a campaign to prove Iran was ready for peace and dialogue. (For more information on Parsi’s role in providing a copy of Iranian offer to the press, read the Washington PostAnti-War, and IPS reports.)

A few weeks later, Parsi launched the “Iran Negotiation Project” and began arranging meetings between Congressional members and Zarif. Then in his 25 October 2006 email, Parsi told Zarif about Congressional members who had decided to oppose George Bush’s policy on Iran and requested a meeting.

A Deeper look into NIAC
Many within the Iranian-American community consider NIAC to be a de facto lobby for the Iranian regime. In 2008 as criticism against NIAC’s pro-regime activities mounted, NIAC and Parsi raised a defamation lawsuit against one of its critics, attempting to destroy him through the financial burden of a lawsuit and as a result silence all other critics

In 2012 a court dismissed the lawsuit and sanctioned NIAC and Trita Parsi for abuses which included false declarations to the court, ordering them to pay $184,000 towards the defendant’s legal expenses.
This lawsuit forced NIAC to release some internal documents that turned out to be devastating. The Washington Times and many others published these documents

NIAC claims to have a goal of preventing war between the U.S. and Iran. Critics, however, affirm NIAC’s lobby has always primarily focused on business and the peace mantle it wears is nothing but a face for its lobby efforts.
In a memo sent to Washington lobbyist Roy Coffee, Parsi explained the true nature of his efforts.
Back in 2002-03, Parsi used his access to the U.S. Congress to prepare reports about the latest developments regarding Iran and send the reports to Tehran.

Final Though
This newly revealed White House log shows how the Obama administration bent over backwards in hosting advocates seeking Iran’s interests, and not that of America.

Allowing Parsi into the White House more than 30 times, despite his foreign policy positions being completely in line with the Iranian regime, provides intriguing insight into how far the Obama administration went to aid the mullahs, while they continued, and continue today, to describe America as the “Great Satan”.
The access provided to the likes of Parsi and NIAC provides all the knowledge needed about the true nature of the highly flawed nuclear deal sealed by the Obama administration with Tehran

And this is only a tip of the iceberg of how far Obama’s failed appeasement policy provided unprecedented access to NIAC, and to this end, the Iranian regime

This signifies the necessity of the new Trump administration to completely overhaul agencies dealing with Iran, and to impose radical changes on Washington’s Iran policy altogether. 

4) Reports In Arab Media: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Is Gravely Ill
In the last few days, news and rumors have been circulating in the media that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is gravely ill or critically wounded. The rumors – whose credibility is unclear and which were initially posted on social media – said that one of his bodyguards had made an attempt on his life, or else that he had suffered a stroke or had a brain tumor. Some also stated Maher Al-Assad, the president's brother, was filling in for Bashar while he was receiving treatment.
Reports to the same effect later appeared in the Arab media, including in a Lebanese daily close to Assad, as well as in the non-Arab media. It is interesting to note that many of the Arab press reports on this matter were removed from the papers' websites shortly after their publication.
The stream of reports about Assad's health in the Arab media and on social media led writers on Syrian opposition websites to discuss the issue, and particularly to speculate on possible scenarios if the news is accurate.
The Syrian regime and its supporters, for their part, denied the rumors of Assad's illness, calling them ridiculous lies and stressing that Assad is in excellent health.
The following are excerpts from some of the reports on Assad's illness that appeared in the non-Arab and Arab media, and from the articles on the opposition websites speculating about what happens post-Assad. 

Saudi Official Daily 'Okaz: Assad Has A Brain Tumor Or Has Suffered A Stoke
The Saud daily 'Okaz reported on January 27 that, according to "exclusive information" it had received, Assad had a brain tumor and was trying unsuccessfully to conceal the visible symptoms of his disease. Citing "sources," the report noted that, although Assad had met recently (on January 26) with Amir Abdollahian, an advisor to Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, he had been absent from other major meetings with decision-makers. Furthermore, he had been undergoing regular tests at the Al-Shami hospital in Damascus, especially in the recent period, and his case was being handled by a team of Russian doctors. The sources also assessed that Assad underwent medical tests in Moscow when he last visited there. The daily also mentioned that, according to a different unconfirmed report, Assad has suffered a stroke, adding that the goings-on in the presidential palace were shrouded in heavy secrecy because it was under the control of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). 

Gulf Papers Publish And Then Remove Reports About Assad's Illness
Reports on Assad's health situation also appeared in the Gulf press, only to be removed from the papers' websites after a short time; it is unclear whether they were removed due to their unconfirmed nature or for some other reason. On January 27, the Khalij Online news website posted a report headlined "Has Assad Been Assassinated? Paper Claims His Bodyguard Shot Him,"and on the next day the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas carried a report headlined "Has Assad Suffered a Stroke or Been Shot by One of his Bodyguards?" [Both reports were subsequently deleted.
Report In Pro-Assad Lebanese Daily: Assad Has Suffered A Stroke, His Brother Maher Is Running The War
The Lebanese press also addressed the issue of Assad's health. In a January 27 report, likewise removed after its posting, the pro-Assad Lebanese daily Al-Diyar stated, citing "semi-official sources in Damascus," that Assad had been hospitalized following a stroke  that affected one of his eyes and part of his body, and had been brought about by a state of exhaustion. The report claimed that the Syrian president was out of danger but was being kept in the hospital for observation; that the doctors had warned him to rest, lest he suffer another, more serious stroke, and that Russian President Putin had sent three brain specialists to oversee his treatment. According to the report, the Syrian security apparatuses had instructed the hospital to divulge no information about Assad's condition, but he was expected to return to full activity within a week or two.
Later that day, the daily's website reported that Assad's brother Maher was acting as president while Bashar was undergoing treatment and would continue to fulfill this role until Bashar recovered. Maher Al-Assad, said the daily, was overseeing the movement of the Syrian forces and the fighting on the ground, in coordination with the Syrian chief-of-staff and defense minister, as well as the Russian experts and the Iranian and Hizbullah commanders in Syria.
Interestingly, in the two days following this, Al-Diyar published reports denying the "absurd rumors" regarding Assad's health and assessed that he would make a television appearance to dispel the rumors.
The Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal, known for its opposition to the Syrian regime, quoted a prominent Syrian oppositionist as saying that reliable sources confirm that Assad has suffered a stroke and was taken to Al-Shami hospital under heavy guard.
On Social Media, Posts About Assad's Illness And His Possible Replacement By His Brother Maher Al-Assad
As noted, on social media there are a great many reports on Assad's health situation. For example, leading Al-Jazeera Syrian journalist Faisal Al-Qassem, a vehement opponent of the Assad regime, posted yesterday on his Facebook page, along with a large red "Breaking News" notice: "I have been trying for several days to verify information about the illness of the tyrant Bashar Al-Assad. I have received conflicting information about this. Yesterday, I received information that was 90% certain that he has had a stroke... At this point, I can say, based on information from my personal sources, that Bashar Al-Assad is lying in bed but is conscious, and that he is in 70% danger of dying..."
5) Trump's Neocon?
Elliott Abrams is reportedly under consideration as the nation’s No. 2 diplomat—an appointment that would be somewhat surprising for both Abrams and the president.
By David A. Graham
Elliott Abrams is reportedly under consideration to be deputy secretary of state—setting up a strange third act for the longtime Republican foreign-policy figure, and a strange No. 2 for the Trump State Department. Politico’s Michael Crowley reports that Abrams is meeting with President Trump on Tuesday, and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supports him for the job. Josh Rogin previously reported that Abrams was in the running for the job. Abrams declined to comment for this article.
If selected and confirmed by the Senate, Abrams would occupy a peculiar role: the most prominent neo-conservative, and most experienced foreign-policy professional, in an administration that has promised to repudiate nearly everything that neo-conservatism stood for, and which has disdained foreign-policy professionals as bumbling fools.

Joining the administration would also require both Abrams and Trump to get over some longstanding differences. Trump is notoriously fond of revenge, and Crowley writes that presidential adviser Steve Bannon is vetting Abrams to see if the White House can get past his past criticisms of the now-president. Abrams advised both the campaigns of  Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. In March, he told Politico he wasn’t sure whether he could vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton, and in May he wrote a piece for The Weekly Standard likening the election to 1972’s Democratic nomination of George McGovern: “The party has nominated someone who cannot win and should not be president of the United States. We anticipate a landslide defeat, and then a struggle to take the party back from his team and his supporters and win the following presidential election. Meanwhile, we need to figure out how to conduct ourselves.”

Many neoconservatives opposed Trump: As a candidate, he blasted the Iraq war and lied that he had opposed it from the start; called for pulling back from American involvement overseas; and showed little interest in national defense, though he paid lip service to building up the military. But Abrams is not just any neoconservative. He’s a member of one of the movement’s first families. His late wife, Rachel Decter, was the daughter and stepdaughter, respectively, of the neoconservative progenitors Midge Decter and Norman Podhoretz. While Norman eventually backed Trump, reluctantly, his son (and Abrams’s brother-in-law) John Podhoretz has remained a vocal Trump critic.

Taking a job as the No. 2 diplomat for a president whom he wouldn’t support as the GOP nominee would be a remarkable third act for Abrams’s career. His first big job came in the Reagan administration, where he was assistant secretary of state, including terms overseeing humanitarian affairs and the inter-American policy. That brought him into the Iran-Contra affair, in which the federal government secretly sold weapons to Iran—in violation of an arms embargo—and then funneled the proceeds to fund the Contras, the right-wing militias opposing Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista government, also contrary to federal law. The independent counsel investigating the scheme considered charging Abrams with several felonies, but Abrams agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor cases of withholding evidence. He was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush in the last days of his administration.

When Bush’s son became president eight years later, he appointed Abrams deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, supervising U.S. policy in the Middle East. Abrams was a supporter of the Iraq war and took a lead on Israeli-Palestinian issues. He’s now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for a variety of outlets, including items posted on The Atlantic.

It’s a sign of how much Trump has shifted the center of the foreign-policy discourse that one of Abrams’s signal virtues for the job appears to be that he might be widely acceptable to a range of constituencies. That’s remarkable, given his Iran-Contra record and his time in the Bush administration, the Middle East record of which is, to understate things, contested—not least by Trump.

But bringing Abrams on would help reassure the more hawkish and neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, which has slumped uneasily toward Trump since his election but hasn’t fully embraced him. And it might win over liberals, too, who see in Abrams someone they don’t agree with, but an adult with experience in foreign policy—a commodity that is conspicuously absent in the Trump administration. Tillerson, for example, spent his entire career until this month at ExxonMobil. The suggestion that Tillerson is pushing Abrams is intriguing, given Abrams’s past criticism of Trump and reports of tension between Tillerson and the White House over Trump’s immigration executive order.

Matt Waxman, a former Bush administration State Department official who worked with Abrams and is now a professor at Columbia Law School, signed a letter from GOP national-security experts assailing Trump during the campaign. In an email, he wrote that Abrams could be a strong asset to the administration.
“Secretary Tillerson needs a strong #2 who knows the State Department and the inter-agency process, as well as the Washington and global diplomacy arenas,” Waxman said. “Elliott is masterful at working the levers in all of them.”

Abrams does have some areas of agreement with Trump. He seems to align with the president, at least in broad strokes, in his approach to Israel; Abrams wrote in support of David Friedman, Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel. He also has pointed to the persecution of Christians around the world, and has written that Western nations should grant refugee status to endangered Christian communities—a position that’s in line with Trump’s own views on the matter. In other areas, they differ. Abrams wrote—too optimistically, in retrospect—in 2011 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s “vicious regime” was likely to fall, while Trump has shown little interest in Assad’s departure, leaning toward the Russian approach of keeping the Syrian president in power nearly six years after the civil war erupted. Abrams has also been critical of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who early on appears to be Trump’s closest friend in the Arab world.
Of course, not everyone would be on board with an Abrams pick. Eric Alterman rips Abrams in The Nation, indicting Abrams not only for Iran-Contra but his role in a grab-bag of other Latin American adventures, as well as his work in the Middle East under Bush. In the right-of-center, intervention-skeptical The National Interest, Daniel DePetris zeroes in on some of the same issues, writing, “Is the neoconservative, unilateral interventionism that Abrams has advocated for throughout his career—and that led directly to the second Iraq War—the kind of foreign-policy doctrine that President Trump wants in his State Department?”
The reported former leading candidate for the deputy secretary’s job was also a neoconservative—John Bolton, who served as ambassador to the UN under George W. Bush. But Bolton has always been something of a man apart, a figure too wild-eyed and warlike even by the hawkish standards of the neoconservative movement. According to some theories, it was Bolton’s trademark mustache that torpedoed his chances at the secretary of state’s job, but he also hit a roadblock in the person of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who made clear that neither Bolton nor Rudy Giuliani would earn his confirmation vote because of their advocacy for the Iraq War. Abrams has criticized Paul in the past, and the senator wrote on Rare that “Abrams would be a terrible appointment for countless reasons.”
As always, it’s impossible to tell whether Trump might move forward on Abrams. He has been known to change his mind mercurially, and the matter of the old slights may still create a barrier. If those can be patched over, however, the men could strike an unexpected deal that would give Trump some credibility with neocons by bringing one of their to the administration, and give Abrams a chance to steer the untutored Trump team toward his own views.

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