May 23, 2006

Attention Deficit Disorder

It has become apparent to me that Bush himself, if not the entire administration, suffers from some kind of attention deficit disorder. They simply can't keep their minds and attention on one task with the purpose of completing it. Afghanistan is the perfect example.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush had us in his hand -- all of us, the world included. His attack on Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and the liberation of the Afghan people was virtually universally supported. Over three years later, the Afghan people are under siege from warlord thugs, organized gangs of drug exporters, and a renewed and renascent al-Qaeda and Taliban, and US troops and NATO are trying to figure out what to do.

"The Taliban and Al Qaeda are everywhere," a shopkeeper, Haji Saifullah, told the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, as the general strolled through the bazaar of this town to talk to people. "It is all right in the city, but if you go outside the city, they are everywhere, and the people have to support them. They have no choice." New York Times, May 3, 2006

When Afghanistan was "mission accomplished" in his mind, he went on to Iraq. After that was "mission accomplished," he has been focusing our attention on Iran as the next potential target. But because an attack on Iran would be so foolhardy even Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are probably advising him against it (I suspect the generals have probably been pretty frank about the nuttiness of such military action), he now has his sight set on the peasant terrorists coming up from Mexico. It will be interesting to see how long he can concentrate on trying to accomplish his mission with this new target.

Domestically, he has swept through any number of other priorities like reforming social security (he lost interest when he realized he could not win), a flag-burning amendment (another loser), and now the marriage sanctity amendment(which he will lose interest in soon enough).

His level of concentration is short and probably the reason he doesn't read. George Bush is a dilettante, suffering from attention deficit disorder. He can win arguments, he can bully his way through two Presidential campaigns, he can pretend to "hard work" and Presidential power, but he can't follow through with leadership potential as President, and he can't stay with one thing long enough to make it really successful.

His abject failure in Afghanistan will come back to haunt him more than anything else from his entire presidency. It is the cornerstone on which his entire Global War on Terror has been fought. A failure in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda will be what he is remembered for the most.


J.D. Ryan said...

There's something funny about you posting your 'Attention Deficit Disorder' post twice....Were you not paying attention?

Craig said...

Gail Sheehy did a good profile on Bush in 2000 that doesn't seem to have gotten the notice it deserved. Dyslexia and attention-deficit disorder are two possibilities she distinctly mentioned. Throughout his life, one of Bush's characteristics is also that he gets bored easily, particularly if he doesn't feel that he's winning.

Right on post.

Hume's Ghost said...

Eric Alterman wrote in his book on Bush that Donald Rumsfield and other neoconservative planned on tranforming the military into a kind of sleek hit-and-run force.

Knock over one country,install a pro-American gov't, and move on to the next.

Alterman speculates that why Rumsfield was reluctant to commit a large number of troops to Iraq, it would get in the way of moving on to other neoconservative dream targets like Iran and Syria.

Attention Deficit said...

Bush & co definitely talks a good global game, but seem to loose attention in the details.