Max, in addition to the determination to evade the world’s threats as well as the president’s own stated objectives in Afghanistan, Dionne’s column is noteworthy for its endorsement of sloth as a desirable characteristic of foreign-policy formulation.
When the Iraq war was bogging down, he and others on the Left were screaming, rightly so, for a change of course. Quagmire was the oft-repeated characterization. George W. Bush was clueless, unaware that brave young men and women were being sent out to die with no rhyme or reason while precious time and lives were lost. It was immoral, they argued, to have forces in the field engaged in combat with a losing strategy. Time is of the essence when we’ve determined that the current approach isn’t working, because those fighting on our behalf shouldn’t be sent out to risk their lives in an ill-conceived strategy.
But like so much of the Left’s rhetoric (the “good war,” “don’t fight wars on the cheap,” etc.), everything changes with the occupant of the White House. All that heartfelt sense of urgency is now gone. There is a higher priority — shielding the president from the tough call he must make. Take your time, Mr. President. You’ve got all the time in the world. Don’t rush yourself. You have many things on your plate. Well, it’s enlightening to find out that’s how Dionne and his ilk think about national security. Unfortunately, one suspects that’s precisely how the White House sees it, too.