[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>... It's getting to be a trite cliche.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Speaking of cliches - recycled, tired cliches - the "Bush is dumb" one shows even less intellectual involvement than the cartoon image that it attempts to evoke.
" target="_blank">The Way Bush Sees the World</a>
By Steven Mufson
Sunday, February 17, 2002; Page B01
[quote]Last March - long before the events of Sept. 11 - President Bush spent part of a weekend at Camp David reading a book called "Eastward to Tartary," a political travelogue through the little-known but volatile region stretching from Romania and Bulgaria to the shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea.
Bush immersed himself the book, which described a realm haunted by the specter of conflict over Caspian pipelines, war between Iran and Azerbaijan, instability in Syria, chaos in Georgia, and stagnation in Romania and Bulgaria. The book, more conversational than the analytical briefings from the diplomatic community, meshed with his evolving view of the world. He asked his staff to invite the author to the White House.
Bush's interest in the book - and the somber views of its author, Robert Kaplan - reveals something about the intellectual journey of a president who nearly a year later is consumed with a campaign against "evildoers" and the dangers posed by the "axis of evil." Though Sept. 11 may have altered Bush's presidency, it probably didn't fundamentally alter his view of the world as a place populated by complicated, ancient feuds and dozens of dangerous groups. These groups must be confronted and, if necessary, vanquished, Bush has made clear.
Or as Kaplan wrote, "The human landscape is grim, but great powers throughout history faced grim landscapes and were not deterred from pursuing their goals." How should a great power respond? According to Kaplan, with "leaders who know when to intervene, and do so without illusions." ...
... Bush had plenty of other things on his agenda the day of Kaplan's visit. The president was to meet the Japanese prime minister to smooth over the accidental sinking of a Japanese fishing boat by a U.S. submarine. Later that week, touting a policy of "realism," the administration would reproach a Chinese vice premier over religious freedom and expel dozens of Russian diplomats in a tit-for-tat over espionage allegations.
But first, Bush wanted to discuss "Eastward to Tartary," a sequel to Kaplan's influential "Balkan Ghosts," a sobering political history that Clinton's aides said he read before deciding not to intervene in Bosnia. Bush, soon to embark on his first presidential visit to Europe, wanted to hear what Kaplan had to say about the stability of Romania and Bulgaria. "Tell us what you think, that's why you're here," Bush said. For 45 minutes, he and Kaplan talked, while Rice, NSC director of European affairs Daniel Fried and White House chief of staff Andrew Card mostly listened...<hr></blockquote>
[ 02-18-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>