Ray Close

Ray Close is from a long line of Middle East experts. From the outset of the Iraq campaign, he fearlessly organized fellow colleagues from the CIA to speak out against the misuse of intelligence. He has been a relentless campaigner to return professionalism to our intelligence community and to rebuild the firewall separating it from politics. Here is a short bio: Ray Close comes from a family with deep roots in the Middle East. He and many of his immediate relatives have been teachers, diplomats or businessmen in the Arab Middle East for four generations, since his maternal great-grandfather arrived in 1853 and began establishing schools in southern Lebanon. His father, Harold Close, was a professor and later Dean of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut from 1910 until 1955. His mother's brother, Colonel William Eddy, served as the interpreter between President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud at their historic meeting aboard a US Navy cruiser in the Suez Canal immediately following the Yalta Conference in February 1945. After graduating from Princeton University in 1951, Ray served for 26 years as a Middle East specialist with the Operations Directorate of the CIA. During his career, he served under cover as a political officer at American Embassies in Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. For seven years before his retirement in 1977, he was the CIA's senior representative in Saudi Arabia. Source: http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/syriablog/2004/05/more-dubious-def-dept-allegations.htm

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  1. An embarrassing display of subservience — 1 comments
  2. Straightforward common sense — 1 comments

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Revelant history

Dear Friends: A propos President Obama’s Middle East policy speech yesterday,  and the vigorous reaction that it provoked from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, I have recalled an Op-Ed of mine that was published in the International Herald Tribune in November 2002, a few months before the Iraq invasion.  I believe it retains striking relevance in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2011/05/20/revelant-history/

Been there, done that

Good advice. Been there; done that (1957).  Seemed like a good idea at the time, according to Eisenhower and two good old Presbyterian Princetonians named Dulles. Bad idea, however.  We don’t do intervention very well. Result: more harm than good!  Still paying the price! Ray Leave Syria to the Syrians By Charles Glass, May 02, 2011 … This is not a good time to be running …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2011/05/07/been-there-done-that/

Paradigm shift in Palestine-Israel situation?

  Note: John Whitbeck is a Harvard-educated American lawyer, now resident in Paris, whose international practice has focused primarily on the Middle East. – Ray Close Finally, some hope for a game-changing turn of events in the Palestine-Israel situation TO: Distinguished Recipients FM: John Whitbeck … Today’s ARAB NEWS editorial, transmitted below, notes, with justified optimism, the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2011/04/17/paradigm-shift-in-palestine-israel-situation/

Hizbullah’s man

From: Oliver Miles Sent: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 9:07 pm Subject: Lebanon MEC Analytical Group 1 February 2010 Lebanon  The Lebanese president has appointed Najib Miqati, former prime minister and billionaire, as Prime Minister after he received 68 votes in support in the Lebanese parliament including those of the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and his …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2011/02/01/hizbullahs-man/


Dear Friends: Below is the full text of an excellent (make that superior) speech delivered last week in Washington by Kathleen Christison to the annual meeting of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) on the subject of current U.S. policy toward the Israel-Palestine problem. Most of you will recall that Kathy is a retired …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2010/10/30/dismal/

No solution

“There can be no elegant solution to a poorly defined problem.” … Dear Friends: This past summer I was privileged to participate in a very small retreat with four friends who came from totally different professional backgrounds and walks of life — one a Christian minister who is president of a small liberal arts college, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2010/10/29/no-solution/

Sowing evil

People who cultivate the land and produce food for their fellow men share a special bond with all other “sons of the soil” who practice the same life’s work.  In all cultures and traditions, the farmer enjoys is a unique place in society, accorded a particular kind of dignity and considered worthy of a special …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2010/10/13/sowing-evil/