Sunday, November 05, 2006


Historian Niall Ferguson argues that the Bush presidency has failed in its key mission statements, and its flagship effort - the War On Iraq to transform the Middle East - is set to cost the Republican Party their control over the American Senate, and possibly Congress as well.

Worst of all, failure in Iraq is showing the world that the United States under President George W. Bush is a fading giant on the world state of political and diplomatic influence.

From the UK Telegraph :

(Selected quotes)

The president after 9/11 was deluded by the notion that he had been divinely "called", just as his father's generation had been called to fight the Second World War. Believing he was "here for a reason", Mr Bush Jr was open to the argument that invading Afghanistan was not a sufficient response to the "Islamofascist" version of Pearl Harbour.

It's not that expert advice was unavailable about how many troops would be needed to police post-war Iraq (between 300,000 and 500,000). It was simply ignored. As were the warnings of those (including the president's own father) who feared a civil war in Iraq if Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Bad news from Baghdad was hushed up. When no WMD were found, the subject was hastily changed. As the violence escalated relentlessly in 2005, Mr Cheney went on CNN to declare: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

"We're not leaving," Mr Bush told Republican congressmen seven months later, "[even] if Laura [his wife] and Barney [his dog] are the only ones who support me."

According to (writer Bob) Woodward, Mr Bush once complained bitterly about the difficulty of finding a reliable Iraqi to lead the new democratic government in Baghdad. "Where's George Washington?" he exclaimed to his chief of staff, Andy Card. "Where's Thomas Jefferson? Where's John Adams, for crying out loud?"

This is a question many Americans have been asking themselves about their own leadership deficit, as the debacle of Mr Bush's second term has unfolded.

Failure in Iraq has exposed the limits of American power. The knock-on consequences have made a nonsense of the president's national security strategy. Having asserted the right of the US to act pre-emptively against potential threats, Mr Bush now finds himself impotent to prevent the two remaining members of his "Axis of Evil" – North Korea and Iran – from, respectively, testing and building weapons of mass destruction.

The administration that once rode roughshod over the United Nations now has to engage in horse-trading on the Security Council because unilateral military action is no longer a credible option.

Perhaps the supreme irony is that the Islamist terrorists continue to gather strength: financed by Saudi Arabia, trained in Pakistan and, increasingly, hatching their plots in Britain.

Axis of Evil? This sounds more like the Axis of Allies.

Go Here For The Full Story