Congressional Democrats go to meet with the president about the Iraq Study Group get lecture about Harry Truman: “Instead, Bush began his talk by comparing himself to President Harry S Truman, who launched the Truman Doctrine to fight communism, got bogged down in the Korean War and left office unpopular.”
This would seem to explain a lot. Rather than learning any specific lessons about Truman’s policies, Bush obviously decided that the ticket to being admired by history is becoming very unpopular. And nothing will make you unpopular like get mired in a losing war. Hence, Bush had to find a war for us to lose. And that finally provides the answer to the question of why he was so eager to invade Iraq and why he’s been so loathe to defining our goals there in any sort of remotely achievable goals. It was the only way to guarantee failure.