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"What effect must it have on a nation if it learns no foreign languages? Probably much the same as that which a total withdrawal from society has upon an individual."
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Monday, March 31, 2003
 
Advisers split as war unfolds

This WaPo article, detailing some of the divisions within the executive branch, contains this interesting paragraph:

Bush, who appears to value tension among his top advisers, "has been very Delphic on this and hard to read" on the emerging internal debate, a Bush adviser said.

Why would he value tension? Well, it could mean that he likes to see evidence of his people, with their various backgrounds and perspectives, fighting for what they believe in, and presenting their president with a variety of options. Or it could mean that he enjoys having lots of accomplished and intelligent people fighting for his favor, because he is the Leader. Perhaps he doesn't understand any of the substantive considerations behind various policy decisions and the tension is the only thing about the process that captures his attention.

During the 2000 campaign we were told that, despite Bush's evident utter lack of relevant education and experience, everything would be fine because he'd appoint the best people who would give him the right information to make good decisions. But it all breaks down when these people give him differing recommendations.

Tension among his top advisers should scare the living hell out of him.

Did nobody think these advisers might have their own constituencies and agendas? Did nobody think they might have honest differences of opinion?

It's all up to Dubya and his empty, disengaged head to decide which of the positions put forward by these highly intelligent and experienced men and women is best for the country. Does anyone have confidence in his ability to make the right decisions about war and world diplomacy all by himself?