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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

William F. Buckley Throws in the Towel

This is rather shocking. I don't know how I missed it, but apparently last week the esteemed Mr. Buckley wrote this Op-ed piece for RealClearPolitics.com arguing that we have lost the War in Iraq.

Buckley states his belief that the ancient animosities between the Shiites and Sunnis are simply unconstrainable by American military forces and that we should bail on the Iraqi experiment in order to save our larger foreign policy vision. As he puts it:
It is healthier for the disillusioned American to concede that in one theater in the Mideast, the postulates didn't work. The alternative would be to abandon the postulates. To do that would be to register a kind of philosophical despair. The killer insurgents are not entitled to blow up the shrine of American idealism.

Frankly, I disagree. I do not believe that all is lost in Iraq. There will certainly be some periods that are more difficult than others, but I believe that victory, stability, and democracy are still attainable goals in Iraq and throughout the greater Middle East. In fact, I recently received an e-mail from a friend in Iraq who informed me that the talk of "civil war" was exaggerated hooey. Granted that was before today's events, but even so my friend is not given to flights of fancy or even harboring any political agenda.

While I certainly don't think it's a bed of wine and roses, I'm also not ready to give up just yet. Not when we have so many brave men and women out there putting their lives on the line to ensure our success.

2 Comments:

Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

Timing is everything. Anyone's watch on Iraq that isn't set to 'decades' is off.

There could be a civil war today, tomorrow or 20 years from now.

There could be a dictator - strong man tomorrow, or 10 years or 30 years from now.

There could be a Shi'ite theocracy ruling under their version of Sharia 10 ro 20 years from now.

There could be a modest 'democracy' for an Arab Muslim majority country or not. The rule of law could be a bit more advanced than after the Magna Charta.

The dynamics are too volatile for anyone to call the game now.

What is happening is a force of fighters, bound in blood brotherhood with each other and the US Army, is establishing central authority (whose is TBD and flexible) across the country.

8:51 AM

 
Blogger criticallythinking said...

Saddam somehow kept them from killing each other using a half-million strong army, terror, fear, intimidation, and bribes -- along with a '1984'-style appeal to the "enemy", at various times using the kurds, Iran, and even the U.S..

My point being that if evil could keep these people from killing each other, I'm not ready to concede that good is powerless to do the same.

I am encouraged by recent events. It would have been easy for the country to break into civil war -- we did so over less. But somehow they didn't, and in the end fewer people died than died in the ferry tragedy.

And better still, it appears the violence was quelled largely by Iraqi's themselves, rather than us.

Because I believe we could send in another 200,000 troops and largely "stop" the violence, but that would be like keeping your children from hurting themselves by locking them in a padded room.

I'm actually hopeful that a sabre-rattling Iran will help the Iraqi people remember that they need to unite to defend themselves from their real enemies.

I find it hard to argue with Buckley when he discusses principles and programs, but I don't believe he is anything but an average prognosticator.

I also disagree that pulling out leading to failure would be less damaging than continuing the fight and failing. That's like saying a team losing badly should quit in the 8th inning rather than continue to try to win the game.

11:46 PM

 

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