US media is reporting that President Obama has selected Robert Malley, the program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group (ICG), as the senior director at the National Security Council responsible for devising US policy in the Middle East. According to a New York Times report:
February 18, 2014 WASHINGTON — The last time Robert Malley went to work for the White House, it was as a Middle East peacemaker, advising President Bill Clinton during his futile effort to broker an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians at Camp David in 2000.
Now, Mr. Malley is coming back to the White House, administration officials said on Tuesday. This time, he will manage the fraying ties between the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf, a job that says a lot about how America’s role in the Middle East has changed.
As a senior director at the National Security Council, Mr. Malley will help devise American policy from Saudi Arabia to Iran. It is a region on edge, with the Saudis and their Sunni neighbors in the gulf fearful that the United States is tilting away, after decades of close ties with them, toward a nuclear accommodation with Shiite Iran.
With his many contacts throughout the Arab world, Mr. Malley, who has been program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, would seem well suited for such a post. But he has also been something of a lightning rod in a field that can be culturally and ideologically treacherous.
In 2008, Mr. Malley was forced to sever his ties as an informal adviser to the campaign of Barack Obama when it was reported that he had met with members of Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, which the State Department classifies as a terrorist organization.
The meeting, Mr. Malley said in a letter to The New York Times, was hardly a secret and came in the course of his work with the I.C.G., a nonprofit group focused on preventing conflict. Still, he felt obliged to distance himself from Mr. Obama to avoid misperceptions of the “candidate’s position regarding the Islamist movement.
Read the rest here.
Reporting by the GMBDW raises serious questions about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas within the ICG, founded in 1995 as “an international non-governmental organization on the initiative of a group of well known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia.” The ICG is currently chaired by former US Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and former UN official Mark Malloch-Brown. Notable members of the board include former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, financier George Soros, former Nato commander Wesley Clark, and former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer. In 2008 our predecessor publication reported that International Crisis Group (CG) had issued a report recommending that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood be integrated in Egyptian political life and that Brotherhood posted a statement on its website saying that the group agrees with the recommendations. The GMBDW has reported since 2007 on the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas background of two of the ICG Trustees which may help to explain the ICG position on the Brotherhood.
- Robert Malley and the Shift to Appeasement (commentarymagazine.com)
- Discover the Networks profile on Robert Malley
Adviser Fired by Obama for Hamas Meeting Gets Top WH Security Job (judicialwatch.org)