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Answering Bush’s Question by tristero

Answering Bush's Question

by tristero

NY Times:

More than four years after leaving office, former President George W. Bush has a question for America: So what would you have done?
In a new brick-and-limestone museum, visitors to an interactive theater will be presented with the stark choices that confronted the nation’s 43rd president: invade Iraq or leave Saddam Hussein in power? Deploy federal troops after Hurricane Katrina or rely on local forces? Bail out Wall Street or let the banks fail? 
The answer is simple: Hire people who can frame better questions. 

One example:

"Invading Iraq" versus "leaving Saddam in power" is a classic false dichotomy - as if it was so black and white, as if there were no other choices.  The question as Bush framed it is too loaded to be useful.The sensible question back then was,

What are the best responses, in terms of the United States' self-interest, to the regional and global problems caused by the Saddam Hussein regime?

When you put it that way, the notion of invading Iraq clearly looks like the stupidest idea since, well, since dismissing the pre-9/11 intelligence that bin Laden was determined to strike the US. And it's equally obvious that to "leave Saddam in power"is a ludicrously simplistic and misleading formulation, implying among other absurd things, that Saddam served as leader of Iraq only at the pleasure of the US government).

And what were alternatives? Well, there were many that fell under the rubric of "regime change." They weren't perfect by any means - sanctions fell very hard on the Iraqi people, for example. But they were much more clearly in US's interest than Bush's misbegotten invasion.

As his latest exercise in egomania demonstrates, the Bush administration asked the wrong questions. Over and over again.

And then proceeded to address them with the worst possible answers. Over and over again.