The Obama administration — combining gracelessness with a bad memory

President Obama apparently has not figured out what he’s going to do in response to mounting difficulties in Afghanistan. But he and his flacks are sure of one thing — he’s going to do it better than President Bush would.
As one of those obnoxious “senior administration officials” assured the Washington Post’s veteran left-wing correspondent Karen DeYoung:

The President’s view is that there are a lot of good ideas out there and we should hear them all. When you come down to the questions of governance, we’ve seen what happens when one viewpoint is not particularly debated or challenged or reviewed or measured.

This, DeYoung helpfully adds, is a reference to the Bush administration in which, she says, questions “were discouraged and quickly discounted.”
It happens that the Bush administration in early 2007 faced a situation in Iraq similar in some important ways to the one that now confronts Obama in Afghanistan. Bush, far from failing to entertain debate or challenges to the prevailing policy, ordered a comprehensive review of American policy and considered a broad range of options. The result was a dynamic new approach – the surge – which was instrumental in turning the tide and crushing al Qaeda in Iraq.
Let’s hope that Obama manages to identify and implement an approach as well-suited to Afghanistan as Bush’s surge was to Iraq.

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