Well, I’m still unpacking and cleaning, so I probably won’t get a chance to post anything major until tonight or tomorrow.
It seems that the President has chosen conciliation instead of force in Fallujah; but given that the situation is still so hazy over there, and we’re still fighting there despite the so-called truce, it’s hard to say just what is going on. Tacitus is absolutely ticked that that’s what the President has supposedly chosen to do, and tears him a new one.
I’m not so sure that that’s a bad thing, and even if it is, what could we have done about it? The more I think I look at this administration, the more I’m convinced that they’ll sacrifice anything, to include our national honor, on the altar of political expediency.
I’m currently reading, among other books, Richard Reeves’ study of Richard Nixon (President Nixon: Alone in the White House), and I’m struck by the similarities between the two Presidencies. It’s not just that the younger Bush has hired many of Nixon’s hands (though he has–even Rove was a member of the White House staff back then); but one thing that you come away with from reading Reeves is that darn near everything was subordinated to politics in the Nixon White House. Bush’s is worse; at least, there were some truly accomplished individuals in the White House staff (folks like D. Pat Moynihan, for example), who came up with some truly policy-based decisions; Bush’s staff lacks even that.
I’m nearly certain that at the end, if in fact Bush has chosen conciliation over confrontation in Fallujah (and, more importantly, Najaf), it wasn’t because of the wisdom of such a decision; it was because he feels that the political implications of Americans seeing even more valorous Americans on their tragic final journey, to a home they’ll never see again, were far too dire to suffer.
Republicans like comparing Bush to Churchill, saying their stewardship of a nation at war with a mortal enemy is the same. It’s significant that Churchill, right from the beginning, offered nothing less than blood, toil, sweat, and tears; Bush offered us shopping, leisure, lies, and fear, and nothing more.