Monday, October 24, 2005

Brent Scowcroft on George W. Bush

Thanks to Steve Clemons at The Washington Note, we have this:

Jeffrey Goldberg has written a critique in The New Yorker of the Bush White House that equals Ron Suskind's devastating critique of Bush before the last election titled "Without a Doubt."

In "Breaking Ranks: What Turned Brent Scowcroft Against the Bush Administration?", Jeffrey Goldberg coaxes Brent Scowcroft to delineate his differences with the foreign policy proclivities of George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Cheney, and others.

And in the piece, George H.W. Bush is interviewed about Scowcroft -- and while Bush 41's comments are more elliptical, he stands clearly by Scowcroft's side in clear criticism of the decisions his son made.

The article isn't yet available online (it may soon be, I'm not sure), but Steve posts "some longish excerpts to give insight into some of the most intriguing and useful commentary".

This post is a must-read (see also the thoughtful comments from readers), but so, too, is the full article.


Around the blogosphere:

Kevin Drum at Political Animal: "Since Scowcroft is a close friend of George Bush Sr., it's a significant piece." Absolutely. Although we've known for a long time that Scowcroft, one of America's leading realists, isn't terribly enamored of neocon idealism.

Digby at Hullaballoo: "I have often felt that the real story of this time will be written as a family history between a father and a son. If only Shakespeare were alive to write it."

Et tu, Brentus? Yes, only Shakespeare could truly do (literary) justice to this family drama.

Emptywheel at The Next Hurrah: "It appears the Sunday shows and Brent Scowcroft's scathing condemnation will have to tide us over until the indictments start popping up on Fitzgerald's website. So I'd like to take a moment, before the New Yorker piece comes out, to consider how closely the comments may coincide with the impending indictments (if any)." Scowcroft may be one of the missing links in The Plame Game. Interesting post.

Matt Yglesias at TPM Cafe criticizes Scowcroft and other Republican dissenters like Larry Wilkerson and Richard Haas for coming out too late in the game: "Everything they say could have been said 12-18 months ago when it would have made a difference for the future of the country. But that would have meant taking fire from the then-intact conservative attack machine, and gotten them labeled as bad party men. Instead of speaking out when Bush was strong and trying to weaken him, they've waited until Bush is weak and decided to pile-on in an effort to save their own reputations."

But Armando at Daily Kos rightly points out that Scowcroft said much the same thing in August 2002.

Not that Matt's wrong, however. Republicans are known for their blind loyalty, but there isn't much left to which to be loyal -- and now the smart ones (including Colin Powell) are abandoning ship. Harriet Miers may be the right's Yoko Ono, but Iraq, Katrina, and scandals galore (Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Plamegate, etc.) have also contributed mightily to the demise of the Bush presidency and the cracking up of the conservative movement.

Credit Scowcroft for putting truth above friendship, principle above party.

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