Renee Montagne talks to two guest about two different issues this morning, and lets just say NPR doesn't go very far afield for expert opinions:
On Russia and the UN sanctions against Iran we get to hear from Mark Fitzpatrick, only identified as director of the Non-Proliferation Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. His and Montagne's opinions are strictly within the approved State Department view of Iran. It's no surprise though if you look at Fitzpatrick's bio. Notice that it states, "Mr Fitzpatrick comes to IISS from a distinguished 26-year career in the US Department of State...." I had to laugh at the following: "In previous State Department postings, he headed the South Asia Regional Affairs Office, responsible for non-proliferation and security policies regarding India and Pakistan." I don't think I'd put that on my resume!
Then on the Khalilzad appointment to be UN ambassador Montagne turns to Richard Haass, who was - as she puts it - "an advisor to former Secretary of State Colin Powell." Excuse me, but I'm not interested in hearing from yet another advisor to a disgraced, dishonest public offical. The man offers nothing new--surprise. He hammers on Iran and asserts that Syria assassinated Hariri in Lebanon (no challenge from Montagne), but there are a few laughers:
He says of Khalilzad, that "he’s someone who comes with a good reputation from his experiences in both Iraq and Afghanistan ." Ah, yes, I'd say he's done a "heckuva job." Then later he describes the role of John Bolton at the UN as someone who used "it as something of a podium, and they use it as a way to speak to the world from the position of the United States." Not exactly how I would have put it!