Monday, October 02, 2006

Takeyh on Bush

An interesting quote from Ray Takeyh's "Hidden Iran":

"A president with an inadequate understanding of the complexities of regional politics and a propensity to view events in stark black-and-white terms spearheaded a foreign policy that was often self-defeating."

I do not think the President needs to be a scholar; but he does need to have intellectual depth - I should think.

I think it is the President's advisors (in the broadest sense) that need to have domain specific knowledge.

It is them that need to be able to give the President an as accurate as possible set of options and consequences.

Presently, it seems to me that the President is an intellectual lightweight and his advisors are not dispassionate in their analysis and recommendations.
You cannot have good advisors when the criteria is to say things the boss wants to hear. Does Bush surround himself with advisors who challenge him? No. I bet that the nuanced and thoughtful positions Kissinger advocates in public became " you're doing great Mr. President" in private so as not to affect his access.
Expertise is not wanted by this crowd--ideological purity and loyalty are more important. Look who staffed CPA in Iraq.
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