Bush in December 2003:

George W. Bush, when asked by Bob Woodward “how is history likely to judge your Iraq war?” replied, “History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.”

Bush now:

Seymour Hersh: “But the issue is, is this president going to be capable of responding to reality? Is he going to be able — is he going to be capable if he going to get a bad assessment, is he going to accept it as a bad assessment or is he simply going to see it as something else that is just a little bit in the way as he marches on in his crusade that may not be judged for 10 or 20 years.

He talks about being judged in 20 years to his friends. And so it’s a little alarming because that means that my and my colleagues in the press corps, we can’t get to him maybe with our views. You and you can’t get to him maybe with your interviews….

“But I’m talking about sort of a crisis of management. That you have a management that’s seen by some of the people closely involved as not being able to function in terms of getting information it doesn’t want to receive.”

I used to think it was really scary that Bush had such little concern for how History would judge him.  But now that it has finally dawned on him that people will be scrutinizing his actions for years after he leaves office, I am even more concerned.

The heavy weight of History will not sit comfortably on Bush’s narrow shoulders once he truly realizes just how disgracefully he will be viewed during the rest of his lifetime and beyond.  My fear is that such a  sudden, great pressure bearing down on his self-conscious and insecure character could very well lead George to do something extremely rash (and explosive?) in a final, futile attempt to redeem his failed Presidency. Viewed in this light, a Stalingrad scenario really does not seem that far fetched.

Ironically, at this stage of his Presidency, I’d feel much more at ease if Bush would simply continue NOT to care about History.  Of course, had Bush cared a little MORE about History’s judgment before he invaded Iraq, he (and we) would have a lot less to worry about now.

(Originally posted at HootAtTheDark.org)

Update [2005-11-28 18:50:51 by night owl]: More scariness from Sy Hersh:

“The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said.“He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’ ” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,” the former official said, “but Bush has no idea.”

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