We wrote here (per Eliana Johnson) about White House pushback against the selection of Anne Patterson for the position of undersecretary of defense for policy. As ambassador to Egypt in the Obama administration, Patterson strongly backed Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government.
I’m happy to report (per the Washington Post) that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has withdrawn Patterson as his choice for the Pentagon policy post. Mattis did so after Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, two key members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed strong opposition to Patterson’s selection.
In reporting this news, Karen DeYoung makes no effort to hide her disappointment. Her article contains a spirited defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, which she describes as “a longtime target of the U.S. far right.”
Arab and Muslim regimes are betraying their people by failing to confront the Muslim’s real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded. . . .
All Muslims are required by their religion to fight.
Yet, DeYoung tries to pass the Brotherhood off as “a widespread, loosely organized religious and social movement across the Arab world.” Nice try.
But even if the Brotherhood were the Muslim equivalent of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Patterson’s closeness with Morsi puts her at odds with the current Egyptian government. And her decided tilt towards the PLO puts her at odds with Israel. Being at odds with two key regional allies — as President Trump views the situation — made Patterson a bad choice for the top policy position at the Defense Department.
Secretary Mattis seems determined to fill at least one top position with a member of the center-left foreign policy establishment. Reportedly, he wanted Michelle Flournoy, who served under President Obama, to be deputy secretary. She is said to have withdraw from consideration after meeting with White House officials.
I don’t view Mattis’ desire as objectionable. There should be room in the administration for diverse vocies.
But Michelle Flournoy and the center-left foreign policy establishment is one thing. Anne Patterson would have been another.