This does not surprise me but I still find it deeply depressing that the most powerful nation on earth can be led by a complete and utter moron. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=1N551X2JIAC5BQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2006/10/29/wbush29.xml&page=5 Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph "Only a minority of voters will read Bob Woodward's best-selling State of Denial, it's true, but those who do will be staggered by the picture he paints of an administration hobbled by a combination of delusion, ignorance and obstinacy. Early on, in Bush's first term, Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state, characterised the decision-making process in Washington as FUBAR (F***** Up Beyond All Recognition). How right he was. The president after 9/11 was deluded by the notion that he had been divinely "called", just as his father's generation had been called to fight the Second World War. Believing he was "here for a reason", Mr Bush Jr was open to the argument that invading Afghanistan was not a sufficient response to the "Islamofascist" version of Pearl Harbour. Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defence, also wanted another war: one that he, rather than the CIA, the State Department or the Joint Chiefs of Staff, could control; one that would prove his theory that the US military could be run like an armed version of the computer company Dell. Mr Rumsfeld deluded himself that Iraq fitted the bill. George Tenet, the director of the CIA, deluded himself that the intelligence on Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction provided a "slam dunk" case for war. The neo-conservatives with whom Mr Rumsfeld surrounded himself, notably Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith, deluded themselves that American forces would be welcomed as liberators, as their forefathers had been in Paris in 1944. Mr Cheney deluded himself that a new government could be formed for Iraq by the discredited exile Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress. As head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Paul "Jerry" Bremer deluded himself that he would be to Iraq what Douglas MacArthur had been to Japan, purging the civil service and disbanding the army, measures that led directly to the 2004 insurgency. It's not that expert advice was unavailable about how many troops would be needed to police post-war Iraq (between 300,000 and 500,000). It was simply ignored. As were the warnings of those (including the president's own father) who feared a civil war in Iraq if Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Bad news from Baghdad was hushed up. When no WMD were found, the subject was hastily changed. As the violence escalated relentlessly in 2005, Mr Cheney went on CNN to declare: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." We're not leaving," Mr Bush told Republican congressmen seven months later, "[even] if Laura [his wife] and Barney [his dog] are the only ones who support me." According to Woodward, Mr Bush once complained bitterly about the difficulty of finding a reliable Iraqi to lead the new democratic government in Baghdad. "Where's George Washington?" he exclaimed to his chief of staff, Andy Card. "Where's Thomas Jefferson? Where's John Adams, for crying out loud?" This is a question many Americans have been asking themselves about their own leadership deficit, as the debacle of Mr Bush's second term has unfolded."