An NCS appointment that spells nuance
With this appalling appointment the Bush admistration sends mixed signals on its determination to win the war on terror. Just as the president finally came out and said that we are at war with radical Islam, his administration turns around and appoints a woman to a powerful NSC position who is famed for her policies promoting "understanding" and conciliation towards rogue terrorist regimes. Apparently having failed to appease his democratic enemies in Washington by repeated capitulations, the president is going to try the diplomatic route with Iran and perhaps North Korea. By all means, let's not hurt the bully's feelings and call him a "rogue". Joel Mowbray has the story.
A dubious NSC choice -- Op-ed The Washington Times
While most of Washington was preoccupied with playing the Plame game late last month, the Bush Administration took an apparent turn toward appeasement -- or as its advocates would call it, "nuance" and "realism" -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the appointment of a high-level National Security Council official whose worldview more resembles that of the former President Bush than the current one.
As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was winding down the investigation that resulted in the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, on Oct. 28, Meghan O'Sullivan was elevated to the lofty position of Deputy National Security Adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan. This makes Miss O'Sullivan equal in rank to fellow NSC staffer Elliott Abrams, and arguably gives her more influence than many assistant secretaries.
The timing of the promotion was particularly curious, as it came just weeks after the president made a bold step in the direction of moral clarity when articulating on Oct. 6 -- for the first time -- that the enemy we face is not just terrorism, but radical Islam. Yet if Miss O'Sullivan's career is defined by anything, it is a worldview colored with thousands of shades of gray, with barely a hint of black and white.
Before the Iraq war, Miss O'Sullivan was the co-creator of the so-called "smart sanctions" that Saddam easily manipulated time and again, and after his regime fell, she was one of the most passionate defenders of senior Ba'athists. At other points in recent years, she has tacitly supported Islamists' attempted takeover of the post-Saddam Iraqi education system, and she is widely seen as a leading advocate for engaging the Iranian mullahs.
[...]At a July 2000 Brookings press conference moderated by Mr. Haass, Miss O'Sullivan noted her sharp distaste for the "rogue regimes" designation because it was "pejorative," and she complained that the rogue label suggested that countries that sponsor terrorism "were beyond rehabilitation and that the policy options (were limited) to only punitive ones.