Bill Quick delivers a devastating (and, alas! only too accurate an) evaluation of George W. Bush’s fundamental failures of leadership.
Bush’s proud words of five years ago stand revealed as hollow and meaningless. What happened?
What happened was one of the biggest failures of leadership in Presidential history. Bush supporters will claim that Bush was done in by a liberal media and the ferocious hatred of liberals and leftwingers, but that is one of the things true leadership is all about: Managing and overcoming opposition in order to achieve the necessary goals – in this case, the destruction of world Islamist terrorism and the regimes that support it.
Bush turned out to be singularly ill-equipped for this task, both by skill and by temperament. His public relations management was curiously hesitant and badly timed, and, of course, his inabilty to speak effectively in public was a gigantic handicap. His temperament, it eventually became clear, was hesitant, overly calculating, timid, and “compassionate.” Compassion has its place, but not in warfighting. The Bush we know would not have pulled the trigger on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He abdicated the hard decisions in favor of political maneuvering and meaningless gestures.
Looking back, it becomes obvious that Bush never intended, or, perhaps, never intended with any conviction to actually do what he said he would do. His own brave promises reveal their hollowness with the passage of time. The world is a far more dangerous place for the United States, thanks to Bush’s failures. Today, we stand threatened “by the world’s most dangerous regimes with the world’s most destructive weapons.” And the Wahabbis of Saudi Arabia continue to fund a global terror support machine the likes of which we have not seen since the Soviet regime financed and trained every two-bit communist terror organization it could find.
That is unlikely to change under the Bush administration and, indeed, I expect it to grow worse, as I don’t believe Bush has any intention of keeping an effective US military force in the region capable of giving pause to Iran, or to Saudi Arabia.
Instead, we are treated to distractions that give the impression that somebody (in this case, Israel) is doing something about some Islamist terrorists (in this case, open Iranian surrogates), and the US is “doing its part” by “protecting” Israel against the likes of France. And Bush’s vaunted “political credit” (which probably never existed in the first place) has dribbled down the drain of his own incompetence.
As for me? I’ve moved on. The first administration of the first century of the American Third Millennium will, in my estimation, be remembered as one of the biggest failures of that century. Bush’s great failure was, not invading Iraq, but not weathering the adversity that followed through acts of real leadership, and then pressing on with the necessary military destruction of the other regimes he, himself, named as most dangerous five years ago.
I’m hoping we can get through the next two years without any major disasters, and then I’m looking to elect a real war leader to the White House – somebody with a warrior’s temperament and a leader’s skills. George Bush has neither. He is a dangerous failure, and America will be well rid of him.
America’s last great war leader was a man from New York. Hmm. Is anybody like that running for President in 2008.
This last reads to me like a hint in favor of Giuliani.
Phooey! Giuliani certainly has a lot more truculence and brazen personal ambition than George W. Bush, but I wouldn’t call that leadership. Inspired by the chap whose portrait used to hang in Rudy’s boyhood social clubs, no doubt, Giuliani proved capable of providing a dose of cleaning-up-the-streets fascism, which was sufficient to pass for big-time reform in New York City’s perennial cesspool of corruption and incompetence. But what passes for good government in 1920s Italy, or today’s Gotham, is not going to attract the GOP’s national base. Giuliani will never survive, either personally or politically, the close scrutiny applied to presidential candidates.
Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.