Richard Cohen and the Managerial Failure in Iraq

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.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.