Cut Your Losses, Save Your Legacy

In Iraq, the decider needs to learn to un-decide

President Bush is taking the long view.  He has been reading biographies of George Washington. He recently bemoaned "short-term historians." He keeps mentioning Harry Truman, a President reviled when he left office but rescued by posterity. Bush says he doesn't think about his legacy, but more and more, it's what he seems to think about most.

I wish he wouldn't. In theory, thinking about your legacy should be humbling. But in Bush's case, it's making him increasingly reckless. Bush knows that historians will see him through the prism of Iraq: if the war is a failure, so is he. So he's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!