And yet McPeak will tell you, before the next coffee refill, that President Bush has botched the crucial process of building a coalition, of enlisting the United Nations and of rebuilding Afghanistan as a model of reconstruction. McPeak, who served four years on the Joint Chiefs of Staff advising Bush’s father and then President Clinton, says the younger Bush should publicly admit personal failure and start the diplomacy over.
“The world would breathe a sigh of relief, and we’d go back and do it right,” says McPeak, 67, brown eyes flickering from a weathered face. “I mean, the world would fall in love with this guy. It’s not that hard to fix.”
….He says the test in Iraq will be whether, the day after a U.S. victory, the United States is more secure than it was before. He’s not convinced it will be.
….McPeak and some other retired generals caused controversy by abandoning their officers-corps’ neutrality during the last presidential campaign and supporting Bush, an endorsement he regrets. Aside from Powell, whom he still respects, McPeak dismisses members of the current administration as ideologues who favor big business over the middle class, boost the federal deficit and damage the environment.