Great article, but this had me scratching my head:
“You’ve got almost two extremes,” Henry Crumpton, who led the C.I.A.’s operation in Afghanistan after Sept. 11 and who later served as counterterrorism chief at the State Department under Bush, told me several weeks before the Christmas Day attempt. “You’ve got Bush 43, who aspired to have a warrior’s ethos. He was driven, I think, by that, and in some ways it hurt us with the lack of rigor and examination of some of the consequences of our actions, Iraq being the most horrible extreme. Obama comes at it from the other extreme. He comes at it like a lawyer would, someone who may not accept and may even reject this idea of a warrior’s ethos. And it is a war. You’ve got guys out there who want to kill us.”
So, Bush's "warrior ethos" was defined by a "lack of rigor and examination of some of the consequences of our actions..." and led to a moronic and disastrous war with people not at war with us, but Henry Crumpton still misses it and thinks that Obama needs a bit more of it because "You've got guys out there who want to kill us." Isn't there something in between stupid warrior tricks and the imaginary Spock Obama? Isn't there anything between the two? When you read the whole article you discover, of course, that Obama himself is somewhere between the two--somewhere good. But Crumpton's point reminds us of just how stupid our elite national discourse is that it could even bandy about pop psych terms like "warrior ethos" to describe Bush's political decisions. The man was a noted coward and member of the fighting chairborne brigade, and his political decisions were masterminded by "five deferments" Cheney. If any "ethos" could have been said to inform their actions it was not that of a "warrior" anymore than a couch potato can be described as having the "ethos of a great athlete."