The Flight to History

One curious tick the Bush administration has developed is the habit of deflecting questions about its actual policies toward large-scale musings about the grand sweep of history. It’s a fairly pathetic dodge in a fairly obvious way, but George Packer hits the key points with perfect pitch in this week’s New Yorker: “By this light, Bush’s habit of declaring A to be B—for example, claiming that the surge reflects the public’s desire for a change in war policy, or interpreting increased violence in Iraq as a token of the enemy’s frustration with American success—becomes a sign of clarity and resolve, not delusional thinking.”