Another reader dissents:
"Hamill wrote, "A son in rivalry with a father can be a very dangerous man."
Are lines like this (oft repeated by Maureen Dowd) really necessary? Isn't the Oedipal analysis really giving Bush far too much credit, almost saying this mess the country is in right now was pre-destined by the Gods?
Nonsense. If, in 2000, America had given Candidate Bush a mandate to rid the world of Saddam Hussein, he would still - in 2006 - be answering the same questions about lack of troops, lack of planning, alienation of allies, disclosures of classified intelligence to the press, torture… Tragically, the list goes on. It is not the policies that have gotten Bush to where he is now. It is the unparalleled dimwitted execution, the aloofness, the lack of reflection, and the stubbornly arrogant refusal to adjust to changes around him.
Historians are going to be arguing for a long time over what went on in the administration between 2001 and 2003 that made the Iraq War inevitable. But the White House rationale, no matter what it was, could never impact the intrinsically good nature of the mission: delivering the people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein. Americans, and the White House have nothing to apologize for on that count."
I agree. I don't buy the Oedipal expanation for the war in Iraq. There's a much simpler one: 9/11. But Hamill at least predicted such a thing in advance. And it's not nuts to speculate about the dynamics of the son of a president becoming president and facing the same problem from the same dictator. Dynasties beget these sorts of questions. Which is why we should avoid them if we can.