Sunday, February 08, 2004

Russert Grills Bush:

russert has some nice interview styles. the president unneccessarily opened himself up to something that i didn't consciously note before. he ties in, by osmosis, the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the iraqi war...still saying that tenet did a great job and he's not in trouble. something has to give, here.

this is a massive intelligence failure..on both counts by the cia. why? not that i really think that all the reasons for attacking were put on the table....but....we have to find out what happened with the weapons. its possible syria has them, yes....or they were destroyed...possibly still hidden...etc.

but, the imminent threat thing doesn't make sense now. did they rely too much on the ex patriots from the country? its good that they have McCain on the inquiry because he won't pull punches. he'll tell the truth, and he won't hold back. whatever political reasons there are for this, its good that McCain is there.

funny that the commission will be 5 months after the election. if bush is re-elected, it will be so early in his second term no one will remember when the republicans come up in 2008....just a random thought.

russert is quite effective in this interview. he doesn't dodge issues, pitch softballs or avoid anything...went a little soft maybe on the "vietnam" thing. russert had an opportunity to go after bush on his vietnam views. check this out.

Russert: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go.

President Bush: No, I didn't. You're right. I served. I flew fighters and enjoyed it, and we provided a service to our country. In those days we had what was called "Air Defense Command," and it was part of the air defense command system.

The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War.

Russert: Let me turn to the economy.


bush is basically saying that he disagreed with civilians making war descisions. this is the philosophy of every modern western society. the forces must be lead by civilians because a general, colonel, etc...will have very different motivations.

also, he opens himself up to criticism from kerry, who was really a war veteran. he actually killed people in vietnam....russert didn't press it. but.....that's one way it could be construed...

another is that he actually thinks that the objectives are set by politicians, and the means and ends are carried out by the military. which is okay, but sometimes those means and ends are unacceptable.

for instance, the military might not care how the general fire bombing of baghdad will look to the rest of the world. it would be efficient, and probably save american lives in a war, but the politicians would object. the very fact so many iraqis were saved was by the political nature of the war. the politicians knew a mass killing of iraqis would not sit well. and it is for political reasons (and i guess moral) that they didn't kill so many people.

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