Sunday, December 04, 2005


David Brooks is sure that the Bush Administration finally knows what it's doing.

The president's Annapolis speech last week marks the start of the third phase of the Bush administration's efforts to function amid the fog of the Iraq war. John Burns and Dexter Filkins wrote that the speech was a watershed; for once the Iraq Bush described matched the Iraq his generals confront every day. ...

Now when you ask administration officials about how the Iraqi government is doing, you get complex and informative answers...

When you ask about the Sunnis, you also get answers that acknowledge the contradictory nature of reality. ...

There's also more internal debate. For example, some administration officials believe primordial sectarian passions threaten to rip Iraq apart. Others believe that Iraqi politics are sectarian but that Iraqi society is not so bitterly divided.

I still wouldn't say deliberation is this administration's strong suit. ...

But just as our troops and the Iraqis have learned to fight better, the White House has learned to think and communicate better.
All this comes, mind you, nearly three years into a war they had been planning for a year prior to that!

Nearly three years into this godforsaken mess and they appear to have no more idea of what is driving the people in the country they invaded than they did when the tanks rolled in.

But it's not Bush's fault:
... a bewildered newcomer to the Bush administration interrupted an interview to ask me why I thought there was such a big difference between the probing and realistic President Bush he would see in the Oval Office, and the pat and repetitive Bush he would see at press conferences and on TV.
You see? The dumsquizzled look and the unresponsive rote non-answer answers were merely a clever ruse, meant to hide the sizzling intellect and keep the everyman facade in place. Reminds me of the Saturday Night Live routine where Phil Hartman played Reagan as the amiable dolt in public, but the razor-sharp super genius out of the public eye.

Only that was meant as comedy.


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