A miracle, and then some gossip (Updated June 12)
Well, it is nothing short of a miracle. The one thing that could have happened to halt—even if ever so briefly—Iraq’s descent into darkness did indeed happen: Zarqawi was killed. And to sweeten the deal, mysterious forces conspired to keep his face intact even after registering what two 500 lb. bombs can do. Not only that, but Zarqawi lived to see himself surrounded and manhandled by “Crusaders” and Iraqi soldiers.
This happy news came at the worst of times for Iraqis, and I personally have faith in the redemptive power of hope. I think some powerful forces have decided that Iraq will work itself out after all. Bombs will go off, and violence will continue, but the most terrible part of the storm has passed, I believe. I look forward to the future.
And now, unto some gossip:
Washington: I don’t know how Zarqawi’s death will change Meghan O’Sullivan’s imminent plans for a career switch. As of a week ago, she seemed intent on jumping ship at the most dire time for the Bush administration. This is especially worrying given that she is the last stop when it comes to explaining what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan (two places that have been in the news lately…) to President Bush and then transmitting his directives to the various agencies that deal with both countries.
Meghan O’Sullivan’s big flashy title was “Special Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan” and she had been offered the now-vacant post of Director of Studies at the Council for Foreign Relations by her ex-mentor Richard Hass. According to several sources, she was seriously considering the new job.
But that was all before the news from Iraq turned positive yesterday, and she may opt to stay at the White House and claim authorship over any successes there.
God bless opportunistic bureaucrats.
Baghdad: Well, it just goes to show you how much I know about how things are really working in Baghdad: I was told on June 7 that everyone had settled on Gen. Abdel-Qadir Jasim for Defense and Jawad Al-Bolani for Interior. I responded, “No way! Hakim would have none of it.”
But I was wrong. Let’s also keep our fingers crossed that I also turn out to be wrong about Bolani’s administrative prowess, and let’s hope both gentlemen succeed.
UPDATE (June 12, 2006):
There is a puff piece by Elisabeth Bumiller in today's New York Times on Meghan O'Sullivan (see full text in the comments section) that seems to indicate that O'Sullivan is going to stay at her job at the White House. Although cashing-in her "source-reporter" favors in return for a favorable profile in the Times instead of the Washington Post is an act interesting in itself...Maybe she is preparing Manhatten for her stint at CFR...and putting out the word to eligible New York bachelors that she is on the market (...the Bumiller piece goes out of its way to point out that O'Sullivan is single and on her way up in the world).
All I have to say is, interesting timing.