February 19, 2003

Word circus fails to conceal

Word circus fails to conceal coherence deficit

Once again, the great Angelo Codevilla minces no words in this examination of the nature and reverberations of Bush's "unmade choices." The heart of this essay is a close-reading and analysis of the method and manner of the Bush team's decision-avoidance on strategy and aims, as detailed in Bob Woodward's Bush at War. "Excellent raw material for history," indeed:

In the few passages in which he states facts rather than his subjects' views, Woodward sums up what the reader has already grasped: The war cabinet had a loose grip on the basic facts, did not identify strategic goals, did not separate detail from key questions, made no attempt to relate means to ends, and acknowledged obvious, massive realities and choices only after having proceeded for weeks as if they didn't exist.

The desultory but plain conclusion: "like all human entities, the war cabinet reflected its leader."

As with each of his previous essays on the subject, I'm tempted to pull out and quote practically every single passage. I'll resist the temptation this time. If you're at all puzzled by, or concerned about, the incoherence and lack of resolve that the administration's words and conduct often seem to reflect, if you're tired of waiting for these guys to get their act together, you owe it to yourself to take fifteen minutes to read it in full. And if you're not so puzzled or concerned, or tired of waiting, you really ought to read it. (Podhoretz! Call your office.)

(via Bill Quick, who, mirabile dictu, really does seem to manage never to miss anything. Thanks, man.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at February 19, 2003 07:09 AM | TrackBack