Saturday, June 04, 2011
Decision Points by George W. Bush
The book is organized thematically, rather than chronologically, but it does focus key chapters on Afghanistan and Iraq. Its key feature is to focus each chapter on some decisions the President made, and to argue that the country or the world is better off because of that decision. The stories usually start in the middle of a crisis or problem, as most good stories do, and resolve nicely with a set of facts or figures that are helpfully reassuring. The more disturbing aspects of Pres. Bush's time in power are sometimes ignored, sometimes deflected -- the potential for abuse in the Patriot Act is acknowledged, but Pres. Bush says that the one big flaw with the act is its name, for example. The ending of many of the stories is really still being written, though, and Pres. Bush seems content to "let history decide."
Overall, I did feel I got a better sense for how Pres. Bush arrived at some of his decisions in office. The overall strategy of the Iraq war and Pres. Bush's sense that he was always speaking to the military as one of his audiences, for example, come through. I'm not sure that he really makes a case for his decisions being right, but no one can deny that his decisions were important.