Cross Jeb Bush off my list?
I may be able to cross Jeb Bush off the list of potential candidates for whom I would vote. The Wall Street Journal reports that Bush's foreign policy is more likely to be like his father's than his brother's. George W. Bush may not have been perfect (although between 2002-05 he was awfully close to it), but he was far better than his father, George H.W. Bush
, whose hostility to Israel has only been exceeded by Barack Hussein Obama and Jimmy Carter since Israel gained its independence in 1948 (Hat Tip: Memeorandum
One early indication suggests he is leaning toward his
father’s more pragmatic and restrained philosophy. The former Florida
governor is considering naming Meghan O’Sullivan as his top
foreign-policy aide; several people familiar with the deliberations
describe her as the front-runner for the post.
In many ways, the 45-year-old Ms. O’Sullivan, who now teaches at Harvard, bridges the two Bush worlds. She
served as deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan for
much of George W. Bush ’s second term and was heavily involved in
carrying out his Iraq policies. But she wasn’t among the neoconservative
advisers who drove the initial decision to invade Iraq, and she is more
closely aligned with—and is being promoted by—the kind of pragmatists
who dominated George H.W. Bush ’s presidency.
Daniel Larison doesn't believe it
If that is supposed to be a sign that Bush’s foreign policy won’t
be like his brother’s, what would be evidence that it will? Choosing
someone “heavily involved” in carrying out George W. Bush’s policy in
Iraq to be a “top foreign policy aide” is practically an endorsement of
that policy. It certainly doesn’t suggest that Bush thinks there was
very much wrong with how his brother’s administration handled things.
O’Sullivan served as an assistant to the staggeringly incompetent Paul Bremer at the CPA in the early days of the occupation. She was an early advocate
of the “surge,” which should make it clear that she isn’t as much of a
“pragmatist” as this article would lead us to believe. Short of choosing
a leading Iraq war booster, Bush could hardly be making his agreement
with his brother’s policies more obvious.
No one should be fooled when someone claims that Jeb Bush is
following in his father’s footsteps on foreign policy. George W. Bush
indulged in some rhetoric about “humility” and realism as a candidate,
too, and he relied on his father’s reputation on foreign policy to make
up for the fact that he knew nothing about it. It turned out that there
was no substance to Bush’s rhetoric, and the country endured the effects
of one of the most incompetent administrations on foreign policy in our
modern history. We have the benefit of that experience, so there is no
excuse for falling for the same con twice.
So Larison is arguing that Jeb Bush is 'as incompetent' on foreign policy as his brother? What could go wrong?
Labels: foreign policy, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Iraq, Jeb Bush, realism, realists' fantasy