Hawks seek revival with new group

Hawks seek revival with new group

As senior director for Near East and North African affairs from 2002 to 2009, Abrams played a key role in encouraging the U.S. invasion of Iraq and urging other interventions in the region and supported an armed coup attempt against the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza, touching off a brief civil war that left the Islamist group stronger than ever. His advocacy as special envoy for Venezuela and Iran of ever-stronger sanctions against the governments in those two countries succeeded only in strengthening hard-line forces in both nations and pushing much of their middle classes into poverty. Given that record, why Vandenberg’s backers would choose him as the group’s chairman and public face, is intriguing, to say the least.