Perspective

Two Oinks for Democracy

In the year 2000, many conservatives, with or without holding their noses, turned out to vote for George W. Bush.  One of the Republicans’ strongest selling points during the campaign was Governor Bush’s oft-repeated declaration that his administration would not engage in nation-building experiments.  After eight years of President Clinton’s busybodying in the Balkans, where he capped his folly by launching an unjustifiable war against what little we had allowed to survive of Yugoslavia, George Bush’s pronouncements fell upon conservative ears like rain on the parched desert floor.  Hopes were confirmed by his promise to name Colin Powell as secretary of state.

Some conservatives, including several of us at Chronicles, were disturbed by the men of evil omen who assisted the campaign and were likely to play a major role in a Bush administration: the sinister Richard Perle and his bumbling apprentices, Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith; the naive and inexperienced Condoleezza Rice; and, worst of all, the dark lords of the Republican Party, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.  Rumsfeld’s management style and commitment to high-tech warfare had, even then, made him an object of suspicion to experienced military men.

As everyone knows, our suspicions turned out to be justified—in spades—and, six years after George Bush’s inauguration, we are bogged down...

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