Commissar Among Diplomats

Lizcheneyannenbergdebate "At the very heart of U.S. Middle East policy, from the war in Iraq to pressure for regime change in Iran and Syria to the spread of free-market democracy in the region, sits the 39-year-old daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney, appointed to her post in February 2005, has a tongue-twisting title: principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs and coordinator for broader Middle East and North Africa initiatives. By all accounts, it is an enormously powerful post, and one for which she is uniquely unqualified. "  American Prospect.


One had thought that the "Day of the Neocons" (with subtitles) had left the theaters and was only available on the "History Channel," but apparently the phenomenon lives on (in its Cheneyesque variant) at the Department of State.  An unhappy retired ambassador sent me Dreyfuss’ article in "American Prospect" about the "eminence blonde" now in place in Foggy Bottom pursuing dreams of world-wide democratic (westernization) reform starting in the Middle East.  She apparently is ably assisted in this by the Wurmsers, Hannah et al from without the building.  Various vacuous Levantine (and other) aspirants to the role of "reformer" in chief in  "bilad al- ____" (the homeland) gather at her feet hoping for the magic moment in which Dad will bless them and they can launch forth (backed by US money) to become a more successful Chalabi.

This, too, will pass.

Pat Lang

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14 Responses to Commissar Among Diplomats

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, this too will pass but not before an enormous amount of damage is done. And yes, she is eminently unqualified but that never stopped any one before.

  2. ckrantz says:

    The commissars are all over the federal goverment from what I have been reading even if they are not as well connected. A good example is the talking points sent to USDA Career appointees saying things such as “President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq” to be included in every speech they give for the department.

  3. McGee says:

    I wonder if the Rendon Group is starting up an Iranian National Congress, with a Syrian sub-chapter, even as we speak….hmmm. Where are Francis Brooke and Margaret Bartel these days?

  4. nadehzda says:

    Indeed, this too shall almost have passed — she’s leaving to have her fifth baby. Via PHK at WhirledView, Liz “is being replaced by Jim Jeffrey, a career Senior Foreign Service Officer, who is currently Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Coordinator for Iraq. Jeffrey was previously the number two, or Deputy Chief of Mission, in the US Embassy in Baghdad. This is important, because Jeffrey – as capable as he undoubtedly is – is unlikely to have the intimate access to Cheney of daughter Liz. I hope, however, Jeffrey retains excellent relations with John Negroponte who was Zalmay Khalilzad’s predecessor since, if I remember correctly, Jeffrey was Negroponte’s deputy in Iraq when Negroponte was Ambassador there.”

  5. ikonoklast says:

    Nadehzda –
    Jeffrey might not be a replacement commissar, but he sounds like a fellow traveler. This is his Q&A from the March 2006 “Ask The White House.”
    “I personally do not believe that our troop presence is a major factor in the insurgency … Over the longer term, the only solution to this civil unrest, sectarian attacks, and ultimately much of the insurgency, is an inclusive, democratic political process that brings in all legitimate elements of the Iraqi population.”
    The process … the “legitimate” elements ….
    May this pass quickly.

  6. Mr.Murder says:

    Liz Cheney was the first appointment to the Department of near East Affairs when the Intelligencew Community was overhauled on May 03, 2001.
    She was the reason our Niger ambassador’s conclusions were being stonewalled, that the document was an obvious forgery.

  7. Serving Patriot says:

    Inside word among some of those real diplomats (known as FSOs in the field) is ‘Liz may not return after #5 baby….
    …And that Zoellick is definately leaving soon.
    Too bad ‘Liz and Bob’s loss will no doubt be made right again by the appointment of Bolton to DepSecState. Another recess appointment I might add. (Doesn’t Congress go away to campaign soon?)
    Even when one traveller leaves, they find a way to put another in a even more important position. And yes, the damage is incalculable.

  8. Norbert Schulz says:

    It is remarkable that the VP-wing in the Bush administration has always wanted to have their commissar at State.
    Before Lynne it was Bolton keeping the check on Powell – now at the UN he is engaging in hyping, as if he never left his post at state, only that his tasks now include demolishing the UN as well.
    Where- and whenever Lynne goes, they will find another one. There is a long cue of wannabes or ‘hopeful’ staffers around in the think tanks in Washington … they’ll go to AEI and pick a surrogate.
    The problem with Lynne is not she in person, but ‘the powers that be’ who put her there.

  9. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Yes, I met her once in a call at State. I remember her as a pleasant, cultivated woman, pl

  10. Eric says:

    Anthony Cordesman’s apparently in the business of reviewing books, now.
    Doesn’t seem he likes this one too much:

  11. Curious says:

    Man, these people sure are MILKING it for all its worth. talking about cronyism.
    jeebus. The country is going down the drain.

  12. Norbert Schulz says:

    I’m not surprised. I remember a German tv interview with Richard Perle, where he courteously ran circles around his interviewer, which I very much enjoyed watching, even though I profoundly diagreed with him. A charming person, and I would probably like him if I ever met him. Same for her.

  13. Curious says:

    Forget the clueless girl. Rumsfeld is picking up a fight with China and Russia in his spare time while not messing up in Iraq.
    We are so screwed. Can somebody put a real competent and knowledgable people in charge instead of corrupt Ford/Nixon hacks?
    If anybody needs me, I’ll be in my bunker preparing for WWIII armageddon.
    On other issues, Rumsfeld expressed concern about China and Russia’s role in forming the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a group of central Asian nations that has called for a withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.
    He said US relations with Russia are better than they have been in decades.
    “But in other ways Russia has been less helpful, as when they seek to constrain the independence and freedom of action of some neighboring countries,” he said.
    He also criticized a move to admit Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
    “It strikes me as strange that one would want to bring into an organization that says it’s against terrorism … one of the leading terrorist nations in the world — Iran,” he said.

  14. taters says:

    Thanks, Col. – From Dreyfuss’ piece
    She has been known to insist on seeing a head of state without inviting the American ambassador to accompany her, in violation of protocol, often threatening the ambassador with the power of her contacts. On at least one occasion, however, an ambassador called her bluff. “Liz Cheney comes out to this country, and she tells the ambassador — and she doesn’t outrank him — she tells the ambassador, ‘You’re not going in the meeting with me,’” recalls Larry Wilkerson, who served as Colin Powell’s assistant during his tenure as secretary of state.
    A page right out of the John Bolten book. Incompetence and mediocrity are rewarded.

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