“I’m a war president”

I’m a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn’t true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it’s important for us to deal with them. – President George W. Bush, Meet the Press, February 8, 2004

Exactly what war is that man talking about? If he wants to run for election on his record as a “war president,” I certainly hope it’s not this one:

The array of challenges the United States now faces in Iraq seems to have emerged almost overnight but is actually the accumulation of mistakes, miscalculations and missed opportunities since Saddam Hussein’s government collapsed a year ago, say U.S. officials and Iraq experts, including some who worked with the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.

So begins Robin Wright in her excellent piece “Series of U.S. Fumbles Blamed for Turmoil in Postwar Iraq” in today’s Washington Post. Here are some of the Bush administration’s mistakes, miscalculations and missed opportunities that Wright cites and analyzes in her article:

* failed to identify powerful Muslim clerics who might influence politics

* miscalculated the number of ground forces necessary to stabilize “postwar” Iraq (past peacekeeping and reconstruction missions have used a calculation of 20 men per thousand inhabitants; Washington calculated just over six per thousand Iraqis)

* failed to move quickly or decisively enough after Hussein’s sudden fall to fill the power vacuum

* appointed an Iraqi Governing Council made up largely of people who had limited following inside Iraq, with no outreach to the Sunni minority

* insisted that the Defense Department rather than the State Department run the postwar effort, something the Pentagon hadn’t done on this scale for at least 50 years

* abruptly disbanded the Iraqi military “leaving about 400,000 disgruntled men who were armed and trained” without jobs and, initially, pensions … and without any accounting of their arsenal of weapons

* summarily ejected all Baath party officials …

Well, you get the idea, though our “war president” doesn’t seem to. Maybe Bush was talking about Afghanistan and the war on terror?


Comments: 7


But it sure looked good seeing that statue get toppled!


There is no “right” answer to how to “deal with Iraq” because THE WAR WAS WRONG TO BEGIN WITH. Two wrongs (or a dozen) cannot make a right. The United States needs to get the hell out of Iraq NOW. Asking the question “what should Bush have done differently after he invaded Iraq?” is simply the wrong question. Who leads Iraq is no more the business of the American people than who leads Haiti, or who leads Venezuela, or who leads Cuba, or who leads Iran, or anyplace else. NO ONE DIED AND LEFT US BOSS.


There is no “right” answer to how to “deal with Iraq” because THE WAR WAS WRONG TO BEGIN WITH.

Much of life is doing the right thing after you’ve gotten yourself into a bad situation. Yes, invading Iraq was wrong. Maybe withdrawing is correct, but most likely not. Given that we’re there, some approaches to managing the situation will be better than others. Bush’s has been pretty bad.



Iraq’s US administrator Paul Bremer looked severely beaten down when he was working the Sunday talk show circuit this morning. During an interview on ABC’s This Week, George Stephasomethingsomething asked


Did you see where the “War President” had to cut his fishing short? Poor bastard, nothing but sacrifices

Ann (not Coulter)

I’m gonna say that pulling out immediately isn’t the answer. No matter how ill-advised and poorly planned this whole thing has been from the beginning, we’re in it now. For us to raze an entire government and destroy an infrastructure and then take off, saying, “Here’s your country back, a little bit of foxing around the edges, sorry about that” would be to invite anarchy.


(comments are closed)