“Piggy-eyed wonder”

Conservative columnist (and novelist) Mark Helprin continued The Wall Street Journal’s hammering on the Bush administratin’s conduct of the war with a genuinely thoughtful column on Monday, saying that the present mess is “the consequence of a fiscal policy that seems more attuned to the electoral landscape of 2004 than to the national security of the United States.” He asks,

Why do the generals, in patently identifiable top-down-speak, repeatedly state that they need nothing more than the small number of troops (for occupying such a large country) that they are assigned? Why do they and the administration steadfastly hold this line even as one event cascading into another should make them recoil in piggy-eyed wonder at the lameness of their policy?

He of course lambastes Democrats as well, and he’s on point in a few respects.

Just as many Republicans detest the idea of international governance but glow at the prospect of empire, many Democrats are reliably anti-imperialist yet dewy-eyed about world government.

I’m encouraged that Bush’s misconduct is finally having some consequences, but I heard a radio interview with a right-winger who said that he does not approve of Bush, but feels that he’s not being strong enough in defending the conduct of the soldiers in Abu Ghraib and so on. So how many of the people who are currently disgusted with Bush would vote for Kerry? And, as the NY Times pointed out yesterday, it’s not October yet.

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