George Bush In Reverse

In response to my post, Andrew Sullivan responds:

But, yes, if Obama blindly insists nothing has changed, has no interest in reality on the ground, refuses to hear dissent, and does not acknowledge the surprising progress that has occurred there recently . . . he would be George W. Bush in reverse. I see no reason to believe he is, but share Jen’s hope that he isn’t.

Hope can spring eternal, but I think all the evidence to date indicates that the “George W. Bush in reverse” formulation is fairly accurate. The simplest first: he has disclaimed interest in facts on the ground. He has declined to meet with General Petraeus and, when he was bludgeoned by McCain into considering a possibility of an Iraq trip, it was not for the purpose of re-evaluating his position but to plot the immediate withdrawal.

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George Bush In Reverse

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Niger Ambush and the Neoconservative World

The demands of the post-9/11 world.

On October 4, four U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed amid an ambush by Islamist insurgents in Niger. In grief and shock, Americans are starting to ask why the United States is so extended abroad, even to places like Sub-Saharan Africa where our geopolitical interests are unclear. Something went wrong in Niger. It is incumbent on both the press and Congress to seek out answers as to what happened. Without jeopardizing it, American voters deserve to have a fuller understanding of the U.S. mission in North Africa. Some, however, have used these deaths to vindicate their preexisting antipathy toward American troop commitments abroad. The impulse to posture scandalized about U.S. forward positioning is not just logically flawed; it is reflective of a misunderstanding of America’s role in a post-9/11 world.

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$32 Million? Oh, Really? No, O’Reilly

Podcast: A misconception about the war on terror.

On this week’s first COMMENTARY podcast, we stand agog at the personal $32 million payout by former #1 cable news star Bill O’Reilly and what it means about the sexual harassment scandals and the way they are changing the rules. Then we move on to simpler matters, like American foreign policy and the ambush in Niger. Give a listen.

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John Kelly Changed the Game

When Trump fights on values, he wins.

For approximately 18 minutes, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly accomplished the impossible: He got America’s journalists and political opinion writers to shut up and listen.

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Bush’s Finest Hour

More than just Trump.

On Thursday, George W. Bush delivered a speech at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” event in New York City. Headlines are touting the speech as an attack on Trumpism. That’s accurate, so far as it goes. But it’s clear from Bush’s words that he was aiming for (and achieved) something loftier than yet another complaint about the 45th president. Bush was making the case against the pervasive discontent that’s driven many citizens throughout the Democratic West to a politics of grievance and revenge. Trumpism is but one example.

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The Danger of the Me Too Campaign

Denunciations.

Silence, Wordsworth wrote, “is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed. Let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves, take heed that he opens not his mouth without a sufficient sanction.”

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