Andrew Sullivan: “Bush’s Failure”

And to think, only months ago he was Bush’s staunchest cheerleader:

What Bush doesn’t seem to understand is that in any war, people need to be reminded constantly of what is going on, what is at stake, what our immediate, medium-term and ultimate objectives are. The president has said nothing cogent about Karbala; nothing apposite about al Sadr; nothing specific about what our strategy is in Falluja. Events transpire and are interpreted by critics and the anti-war media and by everyone on the planet but the president. All the president says is a broad and crude reiteration of valid but superfluous boilerplate. This is not war-leadership; it’s the abdication of war-leadership.

Quoting a senior official who said the US was trying to “extricate itself” from Falluja as quickly as possible, Sullivan remarked pointedly:

So the initial goal of removing the insurgents has been abandoned. Meanwhile, the president says: “My resolve is firm. This is an historic moment. The world watches for weakness in our resolve. They will see no weakness. We will answer every challenge.” So is the president telling the truth or is the anonymous “senior administration official”? Or has the administration official declined to inform the president?

Sullivan is making a lot of sense. Are the “war bloggers” listening? Is it seeping through their heads that Americans are tired of the image Bush is constantly seeking to convey of strength of purpose and resolve — an image that is proven false by what’s actually taking place on the ground?

The Discussion: 3 Comments

As far as I’m concerned the only superpower in the world has only one weakness – attention deficiency. People can’t accept everything that is longer than 3 months. Mistakes are inevitable in any such long term adventures and it’s important to take a step back and look at the whole picture and think whether it makes sense to go to Iraq in the first place. I still think it is.

May 19, 2004 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

You know, MC, I always thought it was a noble idea to go into Iraq — provided we could get out fast, as we were promised. I wanted Saddam out, and we did the right thing in ousting him — but it was the wrong time and the wrong plan. I was dumb and I had trust in our leaders. I believed they had a viable plan. I believed what they told me — not without reservations and a lot of questions, but i really thought they knew what they were doing. Now, I wonder why I ever believed them

You talk about people’s attention deficiency, and it’s so true. If we could just go back to those days preceding the war and remember what we were told and how we were told it, and try to reconcile it with the reality 18 months later. What makes Sullivan a good pundit is that he really does remember, and he’s humble enough to go back and recall what he said at the time, and to let his readers know that he was wrong, that his praise for Bush’s initial plan for Iraq was misplaced. He still has hope, he still believes the cause was noble, but he sees the reality with all its nuances Unlike Instapuppy, who writes as though we’re right on schedule and as though the iraqis are throwing flowers and not artillery shells.

May 19, 2004 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

*Attention Bloggers*

I am currently compiling a sort of “War on Terror” primer to dispel commercial war propaganda and to quell the jingoistic neo-fascist tide that has adopted the Nick Berg beheading as its crest and shield.

I’m requesting substantive contributions from free-thinking bloggers and their readers, particularly related to the rampant and naked contempt for Arabs and Muslims expressed in much of our popular media…its roots, its application past & present, and its implications for the future. Some of the sharpest voices in the media are outside the media, as you well know. Perhaps with a single voice, we may be heard.

The first nodule, in rough, is linked to my name after this posting.

Full credit given, additional source material (potent quotes, images, etc.) welcome.

When fully compiled, I’ll submit the primer to a number of popular sites for publication under the name:

“Subverted Reality: A Primer on Terrorism, Western Foreign Policy, and the Latest Crusade”

Selections will be made in the interest of coherency under the umbrella of that heading.

The destination of any resultant proceeds is up for debate. The project may take a while, but I’ll update you at my site as we move along. Copies to all contributors.

Hope to hear from you,
Damon McNally
Subverted Reality
submissions by email please:

May 20, 2004 @ 10:11 am | Comment

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