Daniel Larison, in the American Conservative, writes “We have the benefit of that experience [George W. Bush’s foreign policy], so there is no excuse for falling for the same con twice.”
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 advocateof 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.