Ben Rhodes, Obama's Cuba (Iran) Policy & 'The Blob'

Saturday, May 7, 2016
Yesterday, we posted how to truly understand Obama's Cuba policy (and its dangerous duplicity), you had to read the NYT profile on his Deputy National Security Adviser (and alter-ego), Ben Rhodes.

One of the most interesting parts of the profile is Rhodes' purported disdain for the foreign policy "establishment", which he unkindly refers to as "the Blob".

But as columnist Eli Lake points out in Bloomberg, Rhodes doesn't hate "the Blob".  To the contrary, he's part of "the Blob". Who Rhodes really hates is the pro-Israel and anti-Castro lobby that has long dared to democratically challenge "the Blob".

Excerpt from Bloomberg:

[T]he Iran Project [key to Obama's policy] was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers foundation. Its participants included: Jessica Mathews, the former president of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace; Tom Pickering, a vice president Boeing and former undersecretary of state for political affairs; and Robert Silvers, the editor of the New York Review of Books. Does Rhodes think these people are not part of his establishment Blob?

And this gets to a very basic error that has become a feature of the Rhodes-Obama mind-meld on foreign policy. What they oppose is not the foreign policy establishment, but often the Americans who lobby Congress for policies that displease that establishment. First and foremost on this list is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

While it’s true that Aipac is influential in Congress, it has never had much purchase inside the State Department or other institutions of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. Some presidents have worked closely with Aipac and others have not. But whatever one wants to say about it, or the anti-Cuba lobby or dozens of similar groups, they all advance their policies through the democratic process, by petitioning Congress. The same cannot be said about the foreign policy establishment, which is an expert class that derives most of its power from the presidents who seek its members’ advice.