Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Where Does Bush Fit As A Wartime President?

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting post from an anonymous reader that compares Bush's conduct, or more particularly misconduct, of the war in Iraq with the wartime performances of two sainted presidents, Lincoln and FDR. In this reader's analysis Bush looks as good, or as bad as his two great predecessors via an accounting of the mistakes made by each in wartime.

The difference for Bush is that we now live in a press environment that brooks no limit on its right to report on and criticize the President's conduct of the war. We are now also a society which wants immediate gratification and has no patience for the long slog through the muck and fog of war. We want results and we want them now.

Another condition of our society that will probably condemn Bush to the ash heap of history is that the academics who will write the history of our time have almost unanimously opposed Bush and the war. There is no way they will acknowledge that they might have been wrong.

Of course, the great unknown is the outcome of the war. If Iraq evolves into a functional democratic society with positive reverberations among its neighbors, then the reader's analysis applies. Unfortunately such success cannot be assumed at present. If a government of national unity is not formed quickly, within the next month or two at the outside, the country may indeed fall into the disarray that the insurgents and many anti-Bush types seem to hope for.