Blogs > HNN > The Curious Passivity of Mr. Bush

Sep 20, 2006 1:36 pm

The Curious Passivity of Mr. Bush

Week after week the evidence piles up indicating that our generals in Iraq do not know how to win (however winning is defined).

And week after week Mr. Bush insists he will not replace them.

I do not know if anybody can achieve "victory" in Iraq but I am struck by Mr. Bush's passivity in the face of tragedy and defeat. Almost any other president by now would have held his generals accountable for failure and replaced them. Lincoln famously replaced general after general until he finally found a general who would fight (Grant, of course).

But not Mr. Bush.

This is curious.

Several explanations are possible.

1. Mr. Bush is so convinced that he has God on his side that he feels he need not worry about the outcome; victory is assured.

2. Mr. Bush is simply passive by nature.

This second explanation seems wholly at odds with his bellicose rhetoric. But passivity was a part of his father's makeup and may be part of his, too. Remember that his father had to be pushed into war against Saddam by Maggie Thatcher, had to be pushed to fire John Sununu, had to be pushed to abandon Gorbachev.

It is not inconceivable--indeed it is likely--that both 1 and 2 are true.

If that's the case, it is hard to imagine Mr. Bush shifting course any time soon.

Note: It may be that Mr. Bush's passivity is related to his stubborness. Rigidity is a characteristic of the dry drunk, as explained by Katherine van Wormer in this 2003 HNN piece,"Is George W. a 'Dry Drunk' ?"

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Stephen Kislock - 9/22/2006

War Profiteers, can't profit in Peace Time.

The Bush/Cheney Neo-Con agenda Demand War, it matters not how Incompetently it is Waged, just keep Wage one War after another!

War is good Business, for the Stock Holders.

Grant W Jones - 9/21/2006

The current rules of engagement would have a U.S. Grant, W.T.Sherman and Phillip Sheridan pillored by the MSM and quickly retired or tried for crimes against terrorists.

It doesn't matter who the general is if his hands are tied. Of course, Bush himself is partly responsible for hamstringing our military during time of war.