Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brooks's "Bush Paradox"

In today's New York Times, columnist David Brooks writes of the "Bush Paradox," where a frequently wrong George W. Bush this time got it right by relying on his instincts (and his own stubbornness), overruling most of his advisers (and most prevailing opinion), and pushing forward with the surge. The results, happily, are an Iraq with dramatically reduced violence compared to pre-surge levels.

Unconvinced, I sent the following brief note to Mr. Brooks:

Is it possible that it wasn't really the surge that actually made the difference, but instead that the violence of necessity burned itself out? That the Iraqis wearied of the destructive al Qaeda and foreign jihadist presence? That with a million or more displaced persons fleeing to Syria and Jordan, and neighborhoods cleansed along sectarian lines, the violence accomplished what it intended and was no longer needed? Since the drop in violence coincided with the surge, it's impossible to answer with any certainty. Sometimes you just get lucky. But it seems that Bush nevertheless remains what he is: a shallow thinker with a proven record of failure and an unwarranted reliance on his "gut."

Copyright (C) 2008 James Michael Brennan, All Rights Reserved

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