What Was W’s Biggest Mistake? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 17 2012 @ 11:43am

A reader writes:

What does it say about the narrowness of Jennifer Rubin's worldview that she identifies GWB's biggest mistakes as ones that damaged him or the Republican party politically and not ones that had significant impact on the American people or the world?  How about ignoring the memo that alerted him to an imminent terrorist attack?  Interesting that the one mistake involving the war in Iraq that Rubin names is Bush's failure to respond to "accusations" that he lied about the existence of WMDs.  The problem is, he did actually lie about several things related to WMDs.  He lied about yellowcake uranium.  He lied about the intelligence that said there were no WMDs.  And he lied about the connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. 

His intelligence officers contemporaneously knew that there was no yellowcake uranium and  that there were no such connections even as he made those claims, in case Ms. Rubin doesn't recall.  Was it not a serious mistake that he lied to the American public about the reasons for going to war?  Was it not a serious mistake that he had no strategy for winning the war?  Was it not a serious mistake that he sent in troops who were significantly under-resourced?  Was it not a serious mistake that he essentially abandoned the hunt for a dangerous-but-difficult-to-get enemy in exchange for going after a powerless-but easy-to-get target?

One can identify mistakes that any president – or virtually any person – made without tarnishing his integrity or moral character, if one is squeamish about raising those questions, but Rubin instead acts as if those decisions didn't exist, that they were mere inevitabilities. 

Seriously? Rubin's argument for GWB's "mistakes" is akin to saying that Pope John Paul II's biggest mistake was failing to effectively refute the claims of those who suffered abuse at the hands of his priests, not in presiding over a hierarchy that systematically protected the abusers and hid the truth.