January 8, 2007
-- by John Emerson
(A response to Krugman's column, excerpted here.)
Bush's stubbornness doesn't require a psychological explanation. He's a cornered rat with no other choice. Yes, he's throwing good money after bad, but it's not his money. His money has been gone for a long time - he's using our money to try to win his own money back.
The people on the Bush team have all staked their reputations and their careers on this war, and they cannot afford to admit that they were wrong. If they did, they'd have to admit that they are failures and that their adventurism has done serious damage to the nation they led. (In old Japan they would all have been expected to commit suicide, but we don't work that way.)
Someone with a solid reputation and good credibility can admit a mistake and still remain respected, but before the war few of the Bush people had accomplished anything. Bush, Cheney, Perle, Ledeen, Feith, Rumsfeld , Wolfowitz, Kagan, Libby, Frum .... before the Iraq war they were nothing much. This war was their shot at the big time, but it failed. Instead of the heroes they planned to become, they are now worse than nobodies -- they're object lessons in the perils of arrogant adventurism.
We should not try to change the minds of the people in government, in the media, and in the world of ideas who gave us this war. What we need to do is to displace them and make them harmless. They're going down, and we can't let them take their nation down with them.
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