The Corner

What a Pair

Rand Beers, who had a job fighting terrorism at the NSC, quit over his disagreements with the Bush administration and went to work for John Kerry. A Washington Post profile today leaves you thinking that this action was admirable, in its way. But it also leaves you guessing about the substance of his disagreements.

Reporter Lauren Blumenfeld writes: “The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brainpower and money, he said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States’ counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an ‘ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy.’”

But in the very next line, we learn that Beers “did not oppose the war but thought it should have been fought with a broader coalition.” So if we had France on board, nobody would be moved to join al Qaeda? If we had France on board, we would have freed up tons of manpower and brainpower to fight al Qaeda? It would have made an ill-conceived strategy smart? It sounds like Beers is trying to have it every which way. He’s certainly found the right candidate.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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