He describes Bush as "messianic" and a man who thinks he has an obligation to "do something" about Iran (that's the messianic part), fears that even if the Democrats win one house of Congress Bush will do what he wants to do (who in Congress would stop him?), and points out that Cheney has a staff of 50 people of whom Hersh knows only 6 or 7, and can't even get a list of who all those staff members are.
And apparently, Hersh has a point:
National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley said in an interview yesterday that such criticism is misplaced, adding that victory in Iraq is crucial to success in fighting terrorists and in creating a new democracy that could serve as a beacon to other Middle Eastern countries. "Is it a major investment? Yes," he said. "The stakes are high [in Iraq], but we think the rewards are commensurate to the effort, and the consequences of lack of success are sobering."Still no answer to the question: how do you "win" an occupation? And, as the article notes:
Hadley agreed that there are "a lot of issues in motion right now" on the international front. "In some sense, it was destined to be, because we have a president that wants to take on the big issues and see if he could solve them on his watch."
Even in the context of a post-Sept. 11, 2001, world, the array of tough, seemingly intractable foreign problems is spreading. Renewed violence has expanded to major cities throughout Afghanistan, as Afghan rebels adopt tactics of Iraqi insurgents and as President Hamid Karzai's popularity has plummeted. Iran is balking at demands to come clean or compromise on its nuclear program, despite new U.S. and European incentives. Palestinians launched longer-range missiles into Israel, while Israel has authorized its army to invade part of northern Gaza.Hadley's response? Basically: Remain calm! All is well! Which puts him within seven degrees of Kevin Bacon; but not much more useful than that.
As Samuel L. Jackson said in Jurassic Park: "Hold on to your butts."