A new metaphor has been ordered up for duty. Just as Bush has leapt from reason to reason for the Iraq war, from weapons of mass destruction to the "march of freedom," so he now jumps from slogan to slogan. His changeability, in the short run, according to Trainor, may be a hazard. "Bush has to keep up a brave front. If he shows any signs of changing course perceptually, that could be a problem for him not only domestically but also on the battlefront. Any backing off from the hard position has a strong chance of giving encouragement to those who wish us ill. What happens when you aren't seen as exercising control? What happens when you are seen as less than all powerful? That's the position they are in right now."
The undermining of democracy by sacrificing credibility to justify endless war was early described by the historian Thucydides in his "History of the Peloponnesian War": "The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things, but was changed by them as they thought proper. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing. Frantic energy was the true quality of a man."