Friday, March 24, 2006

Muddling Through

One of the odd symptoms of corneal dystrophy is being waked up from a deep, satisfying sleep by sharp pain. During the day, when the cornea is open to air, it settles down and feels natural. In fact, one of the ways to get comfortable is to hold a hair dryer at arm's length and allow warm air to waft directly on the eyeball, which helps take excess moisture from a swollen cornea and make it feel better. Believe it or not, it also makes the vision better as blurry becomes more in focus.

There must be some bizarre, symbolic connection here. Here I am in the middle of the night, waiting for my eye to dry out a bit so I can go back to sleep, and I come across these two wonderful quotes. Completely unrelated sources come to the same conclusion. Leon Hadar first:

If you accept the notion that the modus operandi of the Bush administration's foreign policy is muddling through, that it really does not have a "National Security Strategy," all the "inconsistencies" suddenly make a lot of sense.

He concludes with an obliquely optimistic stinger...

For some, it might sound like bad news. Perhaps we should regard it as good news if we recall that the only time that the Bush administration was not muddling through was when it decided to invade Iraq. It thought that it knew what it was doing. Now it finally recognizes that it does not. And that's progress.

Just before reading this I came across Churchill's great take on the Yanks...

"Americans always do the right thing after they have tried everything else".

...cited by M. Simon who concluded his assessment of the administration's foreign policy in exactly the same way.

It is a weakness and a strength. Why strength? Because eventually the right policy will be found. What is required is time.

The Brits BTW have a name for this managing style - they call it muddling through. We Americans put it in a fancy dress and call it adapting to circumstances.

Time to go back to bed. Maybe things will look better in the morning.

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