Alex Massie

The Seriousness of “The Decider”

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No need for comment, is there?

Mr. Bush has often said that will be for historians decide, but he said during his sessions with Mr. Draper that they would have to consult administration documents to get to the bottom of some important questions.

Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”

But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.

Maybe Iraq was doomed from the start. Maybe even a better, more serious, Secretary of Defense or Commander-in-Chief would not have been enough to save the mission. But it's hard to see how it could fail to have been an upgrade over what we have, um, enjoyed these past four years.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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