Talk:Elliott Abrams

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Systematic deletion of content regarding middle east[edit]

There has been some systematic removal of content from this article referring to Abrams positions, activities and ideas on middle eastern issues.

If you look at the NYT most of Abrams’ recent work has to do with the middle east. http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/a/elliott_abrams/index.html yet there is no section of this article allocated to this.

The reason is because this content has been systematically deleted. Maybe it needs to be re-worded but it should remain in some format. Here is some of it recovered.

Involvement with Project For the New American Century[edit]

During the 1990s, Abrams worked for a number of think tanks and eventually became head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he wrote widely on foreign policy issues. He remained an integral part of the tight-knit neoconservative foreign policy community in Washington that revolved around one of his early mentors, Richard Perle, and former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick at the American Enterprise Institute. Abrams is a member of the staunchly neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and was one of the signatories of the 26 January 1998, PNAC Letter sent to President Bill Clinton which called for regime-change in Iraq. Critics of the Bush administration see the letter as evidence that a second Gulf War was a foregone conclusion.[1]

Like Perle, Abrams favors a Middle East strategy based on the overwhelming military power of both the United States and Israel and a military alliance between Israel and Turkey against what are considered hostile Arab states, such as Syria and Iraq, in order to create a "broader strategic context" that would ensure whatever state might emerge on Palestinian territory would be pro-American.[this quote needs a citation] Abrams is a staunch defender of Israel, and has publicly assailed the "land-for-peace" formula that has guided US policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict since the 1967 war. James Zogby, the director of the Arab-American Institute, said Abrams' appointment sent "a very dangerous message to the Arab world" and asserts that the neocons have control of "all the major instruments of decision-making except for the State Department." In 1997, Abrams published a book, Faith or Fear, which warned American Jews that assimilating within the secular U.S. culture posed the danger of a gradual loss of Jewish identity.

Israel[edit]

When Abrams was appointed Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs, Ha’aretz’s Nathan Guttman described it as "a gift from heaven" for the Israeli government.[2]

He has been described by former US president Jimmy Carter as "a very militant supporter of Israel".[3]

Blocking Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations[edit]

According to Jim Lobe in an article he wrote for Asia Times, Abrams has been working systematically to undermine any prospect for serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.[4] "The Bush administration has done nothing to press Israel to deliver on its commitments, beyond Washington's empty rhetoric about a two-state 'political horizon'," Henry Siegman, the long-time director of the U.S./Middle East Project at the influential Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in the International Herald Tribune in February 2007. "Every time there emerged the slightest hint that the United States may finally engage seriously in a political process, Elliott Abrams would meet secretly with Olmert's envoys in Europe or elsewhere to reassure them that there exists no such danger," he complained.[4](Inter Press Service, February 22, 2007, archived version at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB23Ak04.html and at http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0222-07.htm last visited 2/22/07.)

Support for attacking Hamas[edit]

According to an article written by Mark Perry and Alastair Crooke at www.conflictforum.com and reprinted in Asia Times,[5] since at least January 2006, the United States has supplied guns, ammunition and training to Palestinian Fatah groups, allegedly to overthrow the democratically-elected Hamas government in the Palestinian territories. However, a U.S. government statement says that the supplies and training are for "assist[ing] the Palestinian Authority presidency in fulfilling PA commitments under the roadmap to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and establish law and order in the West Bank and Gaza".[5] Under the direction of Elliott Abrams, the U.S. supply of rifles and ammunition has increased, and a large number of Fatah men have been trained at two West Bank camps, allegedly to attack Hamas supporters in the streets.[5] The Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz reports that the U.S. has designated US$86.4 million for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security detail.[citation needed] According to an article written by Mark Perry and Alastair Crooke at www.conflictforum.com and reprinted in Asia Times,[6] since at least January 2006, the United States has supplied guns, ammunition and training to Palestinian Fatah groups in order to overthrow the democratically-elected Hamas government in the Palestinian territories. At the urging of Elliott Abrams, the U.S. supply of rifles and ammunition, which started as a mere trickle, has become a torrent and a large number of Fatah men have been trained at two West Bank camps to attack Hamas supporters in the streets. The Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz reports that the U.S. has designated an astounding US$86.4 million for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security detail. Abrams has also publicly advocated a "hard coup" against the newly elected Hamas government.

Kathleen Christison wrote in anarticle called The Siren Song of Elliott Abrams - Thoughts on the Attempted Murder of Palestine in CounterPunch about Abrams work to bring down Hamas.

citation for judicial decisions[edit]

So my changes are, covering up >> downplayed. Personally, I don't see how Abrams covered anything up. To cover something up, you'd need irrefutable proof that it happened, and then hide that proof from the press. I think, while there may have been some coverup allegations, what HRW and the like were accusing him of was downplaying the atrocities. Then I just gave the specifics on which groups the U.S. opposed -- don't see much wrong there.

Then I removed the "fabulous achievement" quote and replaced it with "strong support." The intent of the quote is to say "wow, what a moron, he's calling the Reagan policy a fabulous achievement when a battalion just massacred 900 people." But this ignores that the administration was frustrated with the incapability of the civilian government to control the military -- this is why we threw our support to Duarte in 1984, rather than caudillo death squad extraordinaire D'Aubuisson.

Then "knew about El Mozote and human rights abuses all along." All I'm asking for here is a good source that proves such an assertion. J. Parker Stone 22:51, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Mumbo-jumbophobe: "Irrefutable prooof," eh? Yeah, the Holocaust deniers also require that item, just like the global warming deniers and the cigarette manufacturers and sundry other weasels just like you. Otherwise it's "junk history", right? Elliott Abrams offered me the same job but I turned him down. Mumbo-jumbophobe (talk) 18:04, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I believe Abrams was fined $250,000 as part of his sentence, not $50. See "The Forty Years War" Colodny and Shachtman, Harper Collins, 2009, NY NY —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.70.203.157 (talk) 11:10, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

YPSL?[edit]

What's the source on his membership in a socialist organization? Bruxism 01:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Here are a couple pages that state and document the fact: [1] [2] -David Schaich 02:55, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
David, that is an unreliable source. I caution you to review the BLP policy, which you seem to have frequently violated with POV-pushing edits.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 14:39, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

THERE IS AN INTERNAL CONTRADICTION IN THE INFORMATION PRESENTED:

The intro says: "pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress."

THe Body say: In order to avoid a trial and a possible jail term, he pleaded guilty to two lesser offenses, both felonies, of withholding information from Congress

Not a trival difference. I'm pretty sure they were felonies. Anyone know a source to confirm that?

Today I added the following fully sourced sections:

Blocking Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations[edit]

- According to various sources, Abrams has been working systematically to undermine any prospect for serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. ....

and

Support for attacking Hamas[edit]

- Since at least January 2006, the United States has supplied guns, ammunition and training to Palestinian Fatah groups in order to overthrow the democratically-elected Hamas government in the Palestinian territories. ...

Each of these was fully supported by Asia Times articles, to which I provided a cite and a link. They were completely deleted however on the ground that these are not top notch sources. The Asia Times is a major source of news and qualifies as RS under WP rules. Please explain why I should not restore.--NYCJosh 20:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

As I have received no satisfactory response for the reason for their deletion, I am prepared to restore these two contributions. The sources describe that EA is THE key figure in the US gov't orchestrating the support for the assault on Hamas and the scuttling of the Syrian track. --NYCJosh 22:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the entire section has neutrality issues, but I took out the weasel phrasing and made it clear where the criticism came from. MoodyGroove 00:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

When you say that Abrams "publicly advocated" a coup, what do you mean by "publicly"? If your source is the Perry/Crooke article, I'm not sure that this phrase can be justified. The article says Abrams brought up the suggestion of a coup in a meeting "in his office" with Palestinian business people. I have no sense that this was a public meeting or that members of the press (or, indeed, Perry or Crooke) were present. Also, the article suggests that Abrams later retracted his suggestion as something he had said "in a moment of frustration". If he were truly advocating a coup publicly, one would expect to be able to find some reference to it in a press release or public communication, and not just from an unnamed source first published on a web forum.PeasantScribbler 01:26, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Iran-contra 2.0.[edit]

Rose, David (2008-04). "The Gaza Bombshell". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  -- Jeandré, 2009-01-25t11:13z

Nicaragua[edit]

I've read Undue Process, and I know the section being referenced. It reads: "It had all been arranged with great secrecy through the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Brunei. I had traveled to London, using my own passport, and registered at the Hilton in my own name. I had called the Sultan's suite at the Dorchester and asked for the aide I was supposed to meet with, using a code name we had agreed upon so he would know who was calling, but the British--whom he assumed were monitoring his phones--would not. ..." p. 89. I think it's pretty clear that Abrams used the code name at the behest of the Bruneians because of their own domestic political concerns--they wanted to keep the donation secret more than the Americans did. (After all, the modifications Congress had made to the Boland Amendment the previous December allowed Abrams to funnel donations from foreign countries to the Contras--he didn't have to keep it secret because it was illegal or unsupported by Congress, it wasn't.) However, I think describing the use of a code name as "standard procedure" is a bit misleading. Abrams didn't really have a "standard procedure" because this was the one and only time he (or anyone in the State department) asked a foreign government for aid. I think we should substitute "at the request of the Bruneians" or "for security purposes" for "as a standard procedure".PeasantScribbler 21:54, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

After some consideration, I think that the whole question is only marginally relevant. I edited the section to say that the meeting was secret, which is true enough. The discussion of the Boland Amendment in the section should make it clear that 'secret' doesn't mean 'illegal'.PeasantScribbler 17:55, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Jimmy Carter[edit]

How is Carter's view of Abrams relevant to this article? If we give a quote by such a controversial figure, there needs to be a mention of some views on Carter. Overall, Carter's personal opinion has no place here. The role of Wikipedia is not to describe one thing from 100 points of view, but lay out facts. Lizrael (talk) 19:23, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Unclear sentence[edit]

From the opening paragraph: "Although Abrams is considered a leading neoconservative,[1][2] his appointment by Bush was controversial due to his conviction in 1991". Is the fact that Abrams is a neoconservative makes his nomination less controversial? This just doesn't make sense. Lizrael (talk) 07:39, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Previously the modifying phrase was as follows: "Considered a leading neoconservative, Abrams' appointment ... ". This was ungrammatical because the phrase should modify Abrams, not his appointment. Also, at the time, I thought that the intention of the modifier was to smear the term neoconservative with criminality. Probably the modifier could be dropped without controversy. Still, it might be important information that major news media wrote features about him highlighting his leading role in neoconservatism.PeasantScribbler (talk) 19:32, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
The label of a neoconservative seems fine to me, but we should separate the fact that the appointment by President Bush was controversial from the fact that Abrams is often labeled as a neoconservative. I'll edit the first section, and you tell me what you think of the result. Lizrael (talk) 18:01, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. It's fine now.PeasantScribbler (talk) 01:38, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Panama[edit]

I propose deleting the entire Panama subsection. It has been unreferenced for a long time. Furthermore, it doesn't make much sense. Abrams concurring with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would not make a policy official. Bureaucrats have some policy-making power (including the power to make "unofficial" policy), but they don't have the power to make policy official--that's what the politicians do. If anyone was making the policy official, it was the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.PeasantScribbler (talk) 18:21, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

There are major problems with the article. It is clearly meant to denigrate Abrams based on reports from sources that are known to have a political agenda like The Nation or wild allegation without substantiated proof (like the Observer report). Abrams is consistently described as a warmonger who doesn't care about human rights violations. The whole article doesn't rely on information from people who worked alongside Abrams (like Secretary Shultz's account of the Reagan presidency, Ronald Reagan's diaries, etc.), authors who interviewed him (like the book On The Brink by Jay Winik), or academic articles on the subject (for example, James Scott, "Interbranch Rivalry and the Reagan Doctrine in Nicaragua", Political Science Quarterly 112 (2): 237-260, 1997 and Daniel Drezner, "Ideas, Bureaucratic Politics and the Crafting of Foreign Policy", American Journal for Political Science 44 (4):733-749, 2000). Except for one quote from The Nation, the article doesn't include views espoused by Abrams in articles authored by him, statements before congress, books he wrote and interviews he gave. The result of this lack of serious research is an article of wild allegations, and rebuttals. Very few facts are established. Therefore, I have placed the disputed neutrality warning on the article. Please don't remove it until you've discussed it here or fixed the problems. Lizrael (talk) 00:09, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I removed the neoconservative label from the lead. If somebody thinks this belongs elsewhere, please discuss here, thank you. Tom (talk) 01:58, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the label "neoconservative" shouldn't appear in the opening. Lizrael (talk) 15:41, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Probably the article doesn't need the label at all. However, maybe we could restore the references to the 'external references' section. The referenced profiles were more neutral than several of the biased accounts that are currently included in 'external references'. PeasantScribbler (talk) 11:46, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Perceived Agenda in a publication is not a valid reason to repudiate an article contained therein. Recommend arguing against specific facts stated in the article rather than against the publication itself, or be seen as having a biased perception yourself. Dilapidus (talk) 00:49, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

VHeadline, a credible source?[edit]

The article that served as the reference to the sentence "Other sources have alleged that Abrams and Otto Reich played an active role in planning the coup" is full of wrong facts. Therefore, I removed the sentence and the source. The overwhelming amount of incorrect information in the article makes it a completely unreliable and biased source. Here are a few examples pertaining to Abrams alone:

  • Abrams is said to be a part of a pro-Israel lobby. Abrams was never affiliated with any foreign country's lobby.
  • Abrams is said to serve as Assistant Secretary under Nixon - lie.
  • Abrams is said to have been "also implicated in drug trafficking organized by the US State Department and the CIA to finance the Nicaragua contras, whose operative head was Colonel Oliver North". The Iran Contra investigations by Congress and the Independent Council never found any connection between Abrams, North, drug trafficking and the Reagan administration's support of the Contras. Lizrael (talk) 20:56, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
VHeadline is not a credible source. (The article in question is, frankly, ridiculous.) However, I think it an interesting part of Abrams' biography that he has inspired huge reams of paranoid conspiracy theory. If (or when) this article gets cleaned up, it should still make some reference to the vitriol and libel that Abrams has faced. Technically, the source backed up the statement: allegations were made (although they were bizarre allegations made by non-credible sources). PeasantScribbler (talk) 02:00, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Speaking of "vitriol and libel", check this line from another "credible" source, AlterNet: "Elliot Abrams emerged from Dick Cheney's dark nether regions of the federal government...". Jesus! Lizrael (talk) 17:16, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

PNAC[edit]

The one sentence in the "Involvement with Project For the New American Century" doesn't merit a whole sections. The fact that Abrams signed a letter is mentioned below as well. I removed the section. If you wish to reverse that, please discuss it here before that. Lizrael (talk) 22:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Nicaragua[edit]

This section contradicts itself and lacks sources: When Congress shut down funding for the Contras' efforts to overthrow Nicaragua's democratically elected Sandinista government with the 1982 Boland Amendment, the Reagan administration began looking for other avenues for funding the group.[14] Elliott Abrams was appointed in charge of this. Abrams said: "We want them to stop subverting their neighbours and repressing the people of Nicaragua. Now, does that require overthrowing the government? Well, it doesn't if they change their behavior. And that's the question. What do you need to do to get them to change their behaviour?"[15]

First, there's no proof that Abrams was in charge of looking for other avenues of funding the group. In fact, there is proof to the contrary - that the operation was carried out from the NSC (not State). Second, Abrams' quote says that the Reagan administration didn't support the overthrow of the Sandinista government, but aimed at changing the regime's behavior. The wiki article claims otherwise. Third, the claim that the Sandinista were democratically elected is correct, but the regime has changed it course after being democratically elected, and this at the heart of it - the nature of the regime (its behavior), not whether it was democratically elected. If you add those words, you need to address the repression and creation of a one-party state in Nicaragua in the 80s. Lizrael (talk) 22:00, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Sandinista were democratically elected, thus it is restored to article. The quote from Arbrams comes directly from his own mouth therefore restored. Vexorg (talk) 06:05, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Improved wording to be more accurateand in keeping with reputable source. Vexorg (talk) 06:08, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Bullshit. The 1984 election was conducted under a state of emergency where Sandinista thugs broke up opposition rallies and intimidated opposition leaders, with assistance from Cuban security forces. Those elections were about as fair and free as Saddam's election with 100% of the vote in 2003. RayTalk 15:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Vexorg, you can't just blurt out a sentence and go reversing. The talk page is for discussions. Abrams became the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American affairs in 1985, following the elections in Nicaragua in 1984, which were not democratic, and following significant "consolidation" done by the regime. I'm not saying that the article should say that the Reagan administration was pursuing the overthrow of a Marxist autocratic regime, but it should not say that the Sandinistas were democratically elected. What I'm proposing makes more sense - there would be no mention of the nature of the regime, that's it. An article about Abrams isn't the place to discuss whether the Sandinistas were democratically elected and whether it was a democratic regime. As for the quote from the talk show - it means nothing. Abrams is clearly trying not to say that the Reagan administration is pursuing a policy of regime change in Nicaragua, but the wiki article says otherwise. Lizrael (talk) 21:27, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Central American content now missing[edit]

Nicaragua[edit]

When Congress shut down funding for the Contras' efforts to overthrow Nicaragua's democratically elected Sandinista government with the 1982 Boland Amendment, the Reagan administration began looking for other avenues for funding the group.[7] Elliott Abrams was appointed in charge of this. Abrams said: "We want them to stop subverting their neighbours and repressing the people of Nicaragua. Now, does that require overthrowing the government? Well, it doesn't if they change their behavior. And that's the question. What do you need to do to get them to change their behaviour?"[8]

In early 1982, when reports of the El Mozote massacre of civilians by the military in El Salvador began appearing in U.S. media, Abrams told a Senate committee that the reports of hundreds of deaths at El Mozote "were not credible," and that "it appears to be an incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas." The massacre had come at a time when the Reagan administration was attempting to bolster the human rights image of the Salvadoran military. Abrams implied that reports of a massacre were simply FMLN propaganda and denounced US investigative reports of the massacre as misleading. He later claimed Washington's policy in El Salvador a "fabulous achievement."

In 1993, members of the Salvadoran Truth Commission testified about the El Mozote massacre in a congressional hearing of the House Western Hemisphere subcommittee. Chairman Robert Torricelli, Democratic Senator from New Jersey, vowed to review for possible perjury "every word uttered by every Reagan administration official" in congressional testimony on El Salvador. Abrams denounced Torricelli's words as "McCarthyite crap". Documentation eventually emerged proving that the Reagan administration had known about El Mozote and other human rights violations all along.

On 30 June 1987, the United States State Department demanded the ouster of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, made the announcement. Abrams took note of a resolution passed on 23 June by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanding the creation of a "democratic government" in Panama, and officially concurred, thus making the toppling of Noriega the official U.S. policy. Abrams also demanded that the Panamanian military be freed of "political corruption." --YakbutterT (talk) 08:55, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Ethnicity[edit]

Ethnicity should not be too much emphasized thus mentioning his ethnicity in the infobox is not appropriate and I will remove it. -- And Rew 03:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Not appropriate per what? Ethnicity should not be emphasized in the lead sentence per MOSBIO unless it is the reason for the person's notability. As far as mention in the family section or info box, that seems ok and usually isn't that big a deal unless their is more to it. Anyways, --Tom (talk) 16:06, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:39, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).