Saturday, June 09, 2012

I Hate The War

Naftali Bendavid (Wall St. Journal) reports, "An aide said Republicans have been discussing the matter, exploring whether Mr. McGurk was inappropriately discussing access to officials or information with Ms. Chon even as the two were embarking on a romantic relationship. Mr. McGurk has never headed an embassy, and some Republicans said the emails underline questions about his suitability to lead what is now the largest U.S. embassy."  That's in reference to Brett McGurk who is Barack Obama's third nominee in four years to be the US Ambassador to Iraq.  McGurk's qualifications were in question back in March when the nomination became official.

Then the issue of lack of experience in management and supervision, the inability to speak Arabic, his youth, his lack of success in all the time he'd worked in Iraq and the fact that the most popular political slate in Iraq (Iraqiya) was against his nomination were some of the key strikes against him.

That was before the e-mails and the rumors emerged.   The e-mails are from 2008 when the newly married Brett McGurk met the Wall St. Journal's Gina Chon and began pursuing her in Iraq.  And hiding the relationship from his boss, then-US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker.

Yes, he refused to follow rules and policies while working for the US Embassy in Iraq -- less than four years ago -- but now he's being proposed to head that mission.

This is beyond ridiculous.  And the latest news (which also includes rumors of his engaging in oral sex in public in Iraq) should kill the nomination.

His reputation guarantees that Iraqi women are not going to be able to bring their issues to an Ambassador McGurk.  Can you imagine how their enemies would speak of them?  The accusations that would follow them?

This is who gets sent to Iraq?  Well then the White House must really hate Iraqi women.  Why in the world would you nominate someone who wouldn't be able to engage with half the population?

And considering all the sexual harassment issues the State Dept had from 2001 through 2009 -- with Iraq one of the key trouble spots -- why would you put someone like McGurk in charge?

How's he going to discipline anyone over inappropriate behavior when they can refer to his e-mails about masturbation and blue balls to a female reporter?

Then there is the issue of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee  hearing on Wednesday.

His testimony on al Qaeda in Iraq contradicted the testimony of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the public remarks of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.  His testimony on Sahwa (Sons of Iraq, "Awakenings") contradicted everything that has been reported about Sahwa since 2008.   He claimed credit for the surge.  General David Petraeus oversaw the military aspect of the surge -- the only part that was successful.  McGurk was among those who were supposed to be using the "space" (safety) created by the surge to help Iraqi lawmakers pass needed legislation (largely the benchmarks).  In that regard the surge was a failure.  And someone should have told McGurk that it was not only dishonest but also cheap to take credit for the work of Petreaus and US service members.

McGurk is a lousy nominee.  That's reality.  Nothing about his hearing Wednesday silenced questions about his abilities or intellect.  And now the e-mails and the rumors.   

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

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