Richard Cohen’s Washington Post column today (4/14/09) is about how the new George W. Bush Policy Institute should focus primarily on Bush’s managerial errors:
Conventional wisdom holds that the bungling of the Iraq war was a consequence of ideology run amok. Maybe. But it was also an example of awful management. Whether you supported the war or opposed it, you have to concede that it should have ended years ago and, along with the invasion of Grenada, be a fit dissertation subject for a desperate PhD candidate and not, as it remains, a festering debacle.
I don’t follow the logic. First of all, ifone opposed the war, then one actually doesn’t “have to concede” that it should have been a quick war. Some war opponents (you know, the people Cohen maligned– “only a fool– or possibly a Frenchman” could argue with Colin Powell’s WMD presentation, he wrote) were against the invasion precisely because they thought it wouldn’t work, and would lead to a bloody occupation.If people like Cohen had spent more time listening to the war’s critics– and less time insulting them– he mightbe less inclined to conclude that George Bush was mostly aninept manager.