... are supposed to know, above all else? I'll wait...
Give up? The answer is "History." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you John Kerry's personal biographer, Douglas Brinkley.
Nobody has accused Bush of flinching. After 9/11, he decided to circumvent the United Nations and declare war on Iraq.
Errr, no. I'll quote the relevent section.
Determined to secure full compliance with its decisions,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq's failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991);
2. Decides, while acknowledging paragraph 1 above, to afford Iraq, by this resolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council.
That the UN, being the UN after all, was unwilling to back up failure to comply with the obligations in this "final opportunity" with the resolve required is not George Bush's fault. This, however, is not the only area where Mr. Brinkley's memory lapses.
Already the United States has fought longer in the Iraq war than in World War II. As the death toll continues to rise, more and more Americans are objecting.
I'll first note that Mr. Brinkley doesn't give us the death tolls for the two wars, despite first drawing a comparison between the wars. They are listed for each country involved in WW II in this convenient chart. Maybe Mr. Brinkley didn't want to mention that the deaths in WW II dwarfed those in the Iraq war for US military personnel by about 150:1.
As for the "longer than World War II" bit, read Jay Tea's takedown of Michael Moore.
The US involvement in World War II did, indeed last 1,347 days, counting from the attack on Pearl Harbor until the surrender of Japan -- but that was the actual war-fighting. The "major combat operations." Because we were fighting three modern, industrialized, militarized nations, we had to crush each of them utterly. Italy fell when its own people turned on their fascist masters. Germany had to be almost literally bombed back to the stone age, then invaded and nearly every inch conquered. And Japan was bracing for a similar fate when they noticed that two of their cities had put up "gone fission" signs, and we were promising to continue doing that to more cities.
A truer comparison would be from the date of the US invasion (March 20, 2003) to the fall of Baghdad and the collapse of the Baathist government (April 9) -- three weeks.
Now, of course, Mr. Moore is conflating the major combat parts with the occupation and rebuilding. Since he brought up World War II, let's take a look at that.
Germany remained under Allied control until 1949, when the Western powers ceded their districts to the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviets created their puppet regime of the German Democratic Republic. This partitioning remained until 1990, when the German people finally took their fate back into their own hands -- and got away with it, because the Soviets were far too busy worrying about their own rapidly-dissolving totalitarian regime. That brings the total time of "war and occupation" to about 49 years, give or take a few months.
Unless, of course, you count "occupation" as "having US forces still present." In which case, we come up to the present day.
In Japan, the official occupation lasted until 1952 -- ten years and change after Pearl Harbor. And as in Germany, US forces are still present, so it can be argued that we are still stuck in the "quagmire" of World War II.
Of course, the other difference between WW II and Iraq is that in WW II both Democrats and Republicans worked together to win it, leaving only pacifists and communists to dissent. (snark omitted).
For any "expert" in a field to maintain the respect that they've earned it is mandatory that at least your factual utterances be verifiable. It is not a matter of opinion whether the US went to the UN giving Saddam Hussein one final chance to verifiably comply. It is not a matter of opinion whether the cold war extended for 50 years after the partitioning of Germany, or whether over 400,000 Americans died in WW II. He may, of course, hold the opinion that Iraq was a "war of choice" and that it's a failure. What Mr. Brinkley may not do is alter known facts to support that opinion.