• McGurk Pulls Out

    June 18, 2012

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq

    For perhaps the first time, ambassador nominee Brett McGurk has withdrawn himself. In a letter sent Monday to Obama and Hillary, McGurk said he was removing himself from consideration for the job with a “heavy heart.” He said he was doing so after consulting with his most recent wife, Gina Chon, because he believed it was in the “best interests of the country, and of our life together, to withdraw my nomination and serve in another capacity.”

    And with that pull out, we conclude our double-entendre jokes in this matter.

    Brett, all joking aside, I feel for you man. I know how it is to have State turn on you, push you out of a job and all that. Despite some water under the bridge between us, I think maybe we could get along, you know, maybe hang out now that both of us have afternoons free. Whattaya say, we leave the wives at home and hit a few rooftop bars, see what comes up, um, goes down, aw dammit, I just did it again didn’t I?

    But we’re moving on. Who’s next to claim the head job at the world’s largest and most expensive embassy? The previous landlord, Jim Jeffrey, quit the job so quickly that he didn’t even wait for his replacement to arrive. Now everyone else in Iraq falls under a State Department policy requiring the outgoing person to stay on for a week overlap with his/her replacement, but like lots of things at State, that only applies to the little people.

    So who will it be? One rumor is that Obama will nominate Meghan O’Sullivan. Sully, like McGurk, is another Bush administration left over covered in Iraqi blood. She was an assistant to Paul Bremer in the Coalition Provisional Authority, Senior Director for Iraq at the National Security Council and Special Assistant to Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. Like McGurk, she was deeply involved with all the wonder and goodness that US accrued in nine sad years of occupation in Iraq.

    Let’s collectively hope the rumor isn’t true. While there is certainly some cosmic karmic justice in making all the bright young things that dragged us into the Iraq War clean up their own mess out there, isn’t there anyone Obama can find who might bring some new thinking to the task? Right now we have a white elephant embassy that is too expensive ($6.5 billion a year), too huge (16,000 staff) and too useless, because the Iraqis want no part of us and it is too dangerous for State’s warriors to leave campus and visit nearby Baghdad. At the same time Iraq has devolved into a de facto Malaki dictatorship, with growing ties to Iran at no extra charge.

    Oh– and if anyone has any saucy Meghan O’Sullivan emails to share, please forward them to the usual suspects.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Wait for it…blowback is his bitch.

      06/19/12 12:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Obama pick for next ambassador to Iraq, Brett McGurk, withdraws … said...


      […] McGurk Pulls Out | We Meant Well – Peter Van Buren […]

      06/19/12 1:22 AM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...


      Well-done, maestro. I’d sure want you on my team.

      And Rich, Mr. Van Buren has been facing strains of Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back” for some time now; seems State’s chocked full of both the male and female variety.

      06/19/12 3:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      In Baghdad the leaks came from the top.

      06/19/12 12:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Meloveconsullongtime said...


      Is Coach McGuirk’s name just a coincidence?


      06/19/12 2:20 PM | Comment Link

    • marc said...


      You have to feel just a little bit for President Obama since Bush holdovers are just about all he has ever been able to get past Republicans in Congress. Plus since Cheney packed the bureaucracy with Regent University whack jobs is it any wonder that maintaining most of the Bush/Cheney problematic foreign policy would seem the path of least resistance? After all any President has only so much political capital to spend on knock down drag out fights. Of course even given that, McGurk was a breathtakingly poor choice. The Iraqis quite understandably hate our guts with white hot furry and don’t want or need our further incompetent interference in their affairs. The huge white elephant Baghdad embassy should be mostly closed down to save money and a boring drudge of a career ambassador with no Iraq war baggage should be assigned to oversee a very small staff maintained to process visas and advise Americas who come to Iraq.

      06/19/12 5:12 PM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...


      Peter wounder if McGurk or his succer willforming teams to teach Iraqi as US team in Afganstan makeing
      “a class that was teaching a bunch of local widows how to raise chickens“!!

      06/20/12 1:52 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Thanks for this link, I’ll be posting about it soon. We never learn.

      06/20/12 3:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Tearing down sovereign nations & replacing them with global system administrators. « truth.valor.freedom said...


      […] McGurk Pulls Out (wemeantwell.com) […]

      06/20/12 10:10 PM | Comment Link

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