Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Kinsley on Bush

I hope this piece gets a wide readership. Kinsley is often just bitter or snarky, but I've long found him capable of producing, on occasion, just about as intelligent and thoughtful a piece of writing as the op-ed format allows. This short essay, on Bush as a mover of history, is certainly one of his best; familiar subject + different perspective = a very reflective take. Here's the best bit:

"Bush's decision to make war on Iraq may have been visionary and courageous or reckless and tragic or anything in between, but one thing it wasn't was urgently necessary. For Bush, this war was optional. Events did not impose it on him. Few public voices were egging him on. He hadn't made an issue of the need for "regime change" during the presidential campaign or made it a priority in the early months of his Administration. If he had completely ignored Iraq through the 2004 election, the price would have been a few disappointed Administration hawks and one or two grumpy op-eds. But something or someone put this bee in his bonnet, and from a standing start, history took off. Thousands died, millions were freed from tyranny (we hope), billions were spent, a region was shaken to its core, alliances ruptured, and the entire world watched it all on TV."

As always, read it all.