January 15, 2009

Analysis of President Bush must ultimately be literary..


This, by Orrin Judd, is right-on about President Bush...

...To that last point, one of the great ironies of George W. Bush's career is that while even his most devoted supporters--among whom we include ourselves--would not argue that he is eloquent, nearly every major set piece speech he has given rewards later reading. Of few modern politicians can it be said that they laid out as consistent, direct, and predictive a philosophy and policy program as the current president. For example, go back and read his 2000 acceptance speech at the Republican convention and you see the template for nearly everything he's done in domestic policy. What you saw then was exactly what you got. And, recall, that was just the first time that bewildered pundits puzzled over how far he'd outperformed expectations [their own, of course], how beautifully he'd expressed himself, and how moved they were despite themselves. The analysis of this not especially literary man's presidency must ultimately depend be literary, because he has explained himself so thoroughly to us as he's gone along.

This is particularly true of the decision to regime change Iraq, about which so much subsequent confusion arose, some of it Mr. Bush's own fault, much of it driven by his enemies (sadly, not just opponents). All of the contemporaneous accounts by participants in and reporters upon this decision confirm that as soon as 9-11 occurred the President determined to remove Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath from power in Iraq. His personal preference even seems to have been to do so prior to taking on the Taliban--which would have been the better tactic politically, the Afghan War being inarguable even for the Left. Nor did he have any apparent concern about whether we had any allies along with us nor UN approval. However, during the period when the US military was getting the attacking forces into place, he acceded to Tony Blair's attempt to sell the war to Great Britain and to Colin Powell's attempt to get a new UN Resolution. Whatever those two good men may have known or believed about Saddam's Iraq, they chose to use the threat of WMD as the basis for their respective sales pitches. President Bush graciously backed them up and the public focus did shift to this raison de guerre.

However, in his seminal speech, before the UN on September 12, 2002, George W. Bush himself treated WMD as a somewhat peripheral and based his own case for regime change on holding Saddam Hussein accountable for violations of the UN Resolutions that had ended the Iraq War his father and General Powell fought and upon the ongoing human rights violations in Iraq. He challenged both Saddam Hussein to adhere to the Resolutions he'd agreed to--which actually required the dictator to regime change himself--and the UN to enforce its own edicts, or we'd do so for them....

There's never been a president who has so openly and clearly said what he wants to do...and then did it. My guess is that Leftists--including almost all journalists and historians--are incapable of seeing this, because it is a state of mind they cannot even imagine. Their very existence is about hiding the emptiness inside them. Think of all those loopy theories about Bush as secretive devious mastermind. (Or as moron manipulated by masterminds.) Yet he's been open all along about what he wants to do. My guess is that they can only interpret that as idiocy or a subtlety unfathomably deep...

Posted by John Weidner at January 15, 2009 11:41 AM
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