Quick quiz. Of whom was the following said:
“The [national leader] made up his mind without a second thought…The [national leader made up his mind hastily, despite the fact that no detailed military plan was submitted to him and without asking for one. Also, his decision was made without close study of the complex features of the [the country invaded] and of the military, political and diplomatic options available to [his own country]. He made his decision without systematic consultation with others, especially outside the [military], despite not having experience in external-political and military affairs. In addition, he did not adequately consider political and professional reservations presented to him before the fateful decisions [to go to war]. . The[national leader] is responsible for the fact that the goals of the campaign were not set out clearly and carefully, and that there was no serious discussion of the relationships between these goals and the authorized modes of military action. He made a personal contribution to the fact that the declared goals were over-ambitious and not feasible. The [national leader] did not adapt his plans once it became clear that the assumptions and expectations of [his country’s] actions were not realistic and were not materializing. All of these add up to a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence.”
(a) Napoleon for his decision to invade Russia.
(b) Emperor Hirihito for his decision to attack America.
(c) Bill Clinton for lying about Monica Lewinsky.
(d) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his invasion of Lebanon last summer.
(e) George W. Bush for his invasion of Iraq.
If you said (e) – oh, so close. And you should be forgiven for your confusion, as just about all of the conclusions of the Israeli independent Winograd Commission Report on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his invasion of Lebanon last summer could be said of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. With two important differences. First, to date, President Bush has not been formally criticized for his handling of the war in Iraq by any independent commission– the Republican Congress has guaranteed him four years free from real public scrutiny and oversight. Second, it is very likely that Olmert (and his defense minister) will soon be forced from office because of this fiasco (a member of his cabinet has already resigned in protest, with more likely to follow) by a vote of “no confidence” in the parliament. George W. Bush however, will likely stay in office for the remainder of his term no matter how bad things get in Iraq. Democrats do not have the votes in the Senate to remove him even if articles of impeachment are voted by the House. And no Bushite has resigned from his government in protest of the war (though Rummy was offered up as scapegoat for it.)
Parliamentary system, any one?
(Oh, and if you said (c) what are you doing reading this anyway. You’re missing Sean Hannity’s show….)