Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan is no fan of Bob Woodward’s books, which she describes as slipshod and opportunistic. But she praised his latest book, “State of Denial,” which she describes as “serious, densely, even exhaustively, reported, and a real contribution to history.” She agrees that the Bush administration made huge mistakes in Iraq, such as disbanding the Iraqi army. But she is more forgiving than Woodward about the motives. She wrote:
“Was the White House, from the beginning, in a state of denial? I doubt denial is the word. They were in a state of unknowingness. (I have come to give greater credence to the importance, in the age of terror, among our leaders, of having served in the military. For you need personal experience that you absorbed deep down in your bones, or a kind of imaginative wisdom that tells you even though you were never there what war is like, what invasion is, what building a foreign nation entails.) They were in a state of conviction: They really thought Saddam had those WMDs. (Yes, so did Bill Clinton, so did The New Yorker, so did I, and so likely did you. But Mr. Bush moved on, insisted on, intelligence that was faulty, inadequate.) They were in a state of propulsion: 9/11 had just wounded a great nation. Strong action was needed.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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