Monday, August 20, 2007

Packer on Rove

Again not clear how much in terms of tone, particularly on foreign policy (not Rove's bag), belongs to Rove. Tough to separate him from Bush. Or Bush from him some would say.

But Rove or not Rove, the point about politicization of the GWOT is the central flaw of this administration. An unforgivable political sin if there every was one. Sure there is always some politics (there are still elections during wartime, ask Lincoln), but the degree with this administration is unprecedented I believe. Different in kind I would go so far as to say.
clipped from
Karl Rove’s resignation brought to mind a conversation I had a few weeks ago with an Administration official who genuinely wanted to hear my account of why the Iraq war has gone so badly. In a word, I said, “politics.” At every turn, the White House has tried to use the war, and the larger war on terror, to consolidate power, to reward ideological and political loyalists, to win electoral advantage, to push the Democrats into a corner, to divide the country into patriots and defeatists. President Bush insisted on pursuing a highly partisan domestic agenda rather than unite the country around the war in the spirit of F.D.R. (who said that “Doctor New Deal” had been replaced by “Doctor Win the War”). So many disastrous wartime decisions can be traced back to the original sin: policy mattered less than politics. The message in Washington was more real than anything happening in Iraq.
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