Bush wants somebody to take charge of war; exit surrender monkey Meghan O’Sullivan

Commander in Chief George W. Bush is looking to hire a commander in chief. Or Czar. Someone to prosecute the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and other places, undoubtedly). Someone who can tell everyone what to do. This is somewhat comedic, as can be seen in Jon Stewart’s short commentary.

Apparently Mssrs. Bush and Cheney are going to devote their attentions to conducting the War on the Constitution. They seem dissatisfied with the current holder of the “all other wars” portfolio, Meghan O’Sullivan, who “does nuance” aka a “surrender monkey.” From SourceWatch:

“Meghan O’Sullivan — the co-creator of so-called ‘smart sanctions’ that loosened restrictions in 2001 on what Saddam [Hussein] could purchase — has long argued that not all terrorism can be ‘lumped together,’ as she put it at a press conference in July 2000. At that event, she complained that the ‘rogue regimes‘ designation was ‘pejorative’ and bemoaned the fact that the rogue label suggested that countries that sponsor terrorism ‘were beyond rehabilitation and that the policy options (were limited) to only punitive ones.’ On another occasion, she argued, ‘[L]esser penalties (should) apply to lesser levels of state sponsorship (of terrorism)’,” Joel Mowbray wrote in the June 9, 2003, National Review Online.

“O’Sullivan was just as adamant in her support for a ‘nuanced’ view of terrorism after 19 terrorists killed 3,000 Americans. At a press conference ten days after 9/11, O’Sullivan went to great pains to differentiate the different levels of support for terrorism, emphasizing that the ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ designation is counterproductive for fighting terrorism. She stressed that some of the countries the U.S. considers state sponsors weren’t that bad, since their support ‘involves simply letting groups come in and out of their territory to operate.’ O’Sullivan’s ‘nuanced’ views, in fact, were actually strengthened by 9/11; she opined: ‘I would say that this new environment provides an opportunity to unlump this category of countries.’ In her current post — where she’s supposed to be working on a humanitarian crisis that has yet to materialize — she has been entirely supportive of [State Department administrator Robin] Rafael and other State officials chafing under Bremer’s insistence on moral clarity,” Mowbray wrote.

“In another foreign policy publication, the Washington Quarterly, Meghan O´Sullivan points out that declaring a job lot of enemies ‘failed states‘ was pointless. They are hardly serious threats. Sanctioning and bombing them seems to do little good, and widespread harm. Since most threats to world peace, such as drug dealing and terrorism, are from already weakened states, ‘it makes sense to pursue an approach that seeks to minimise state failure, rather than exacerbate it as sanctions do’,” Simon Jenkins wrote April 18, 2001, in The Times (UK).

O’Sullivan had barely escaped destruction in the early days of the Iraq War:

The State Department’s meticulously thorough ‘Future of Iraq Project‘ was not welcome in [Donald] Rumsfeld‘s Defense Department. Even less welcome were the seventy-five State Department experts who had done the study and might, in a less crazily parochial situation, have been expected to be in the vanguard going into Iraq. [Secretary of State] [Colin] Powell was enraged to learn that the leader of the team, Thomas Warrick, and another expert, Meghan O’Sullivan, had been ordered by Rumsfeld to leave the Pentagon by sundown. ‘What the hell is going on?’ Powell said in a phone call to Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld said that as they got into postwar planning, the work had to be done by those who were truly committed to this war and supporters of change and not those who had written or said things that were not supportive. Powell took this to mean that his people didn’t support ‘exiles like [Ahmed] Chalabi.’

“After a strident top-level row, O’Sullivan was allowed to return to the Pentagon, but not Warrick. In the bloody shambles that the Iraq occupation has become, this absurd interdepartmental tiff on a supremely important subject seems criminal.”

O’Sullivan’s outlook had already cost her the Iran portfolio:

“New National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley‘s decision to remove Richard Haass protégé Meghan O’Sullivan from the Iran portfolio (she retains her position as senior director for Iraq at the National Security Council) also bodes well for a more activist policy, especially as the new National Security team again reviews Washington’s policy – or lack thereof – toward Tehran. O’Sullivan had long been both dismissive of Iranian dissidents and a proponent of engaging the Islamic Republic,” Michael Rubin wrote February 12, 2005.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, dogs, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista

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