October 19, 2004

by Reb Yudel
A war hawk for Kerry

www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish

THE COMPETENCE FACTOR: The Gordon piece bears re-reading. It addresses a major issue in the debate we're having over the election. Sarah Baxter, Greg Dejerejian and others rightly point out the superior worldview of the Bush administration in response to terror.

But that really isn't the issue this time around. The issue is: even if they see the world the right way, are they capable of pursuing their policies competently?

I cannot believe that anyone fairly reviewing the shambles that is the Iraq occupation can have any real confidence in this administration's ability to meet logistical means to ideological ends.

It hurts me to say it, but Rumsfeld is clearly the main man responsible for ignoring early advice, refusing to heed the military, creating an intimidatory atmosphere in which important criticism cannot be heard, and for sticking to theories when cruel, hard experience has debunked them. Here's Garner again:

"John Abizaid was the only one who really had his head in the postwar game. The Bush administration did not. Condi Rice did not. Doug Feith didn't. You could go brief them, but you never saw any initiative come of them. You just kind of got a north and south nod. And so it ends with so many tragic things."--NYTimes

Do you really trust these people to protect us in the months and years ahead?

Do you trust them to make the right decisions?

Do you trust them to subject their own beliefs to scrutiny?

That's the first issue in this election, before we get to the question of Kerry. I say this as someone who did once trust them, and who found himself unable to marry the reality on the ground with the words coming from the White House. I trusted but couldn't verify. And the stakes are too high for me to trust again.

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