Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mr. Buckley Gets To The Point

William F. Buckley, as usual, gets right to the point about the GOP's situation in Iraq. He makes an excellent case for the the war being lost without using those exact words.
But beyond affirming executive supremacy in matters of war, what is George Bush going to do? It is simply untrue that we are making decisive progress in Iraq. The indicators rise and fall from day to day, week to week, month to month. The political fallout will be worse. The president's veto of the supplemental spending bill will certainly firm up pubic opinion against the war.
The political problem of the Bush administration is grave, possibly beyond the point of rescue. The opinion polls are savagely decisive on the Iraq question. About 60 percent of Americans wish the war ended — wish at least a timetable for orderly withdrawal. What is going on in Congress is in the nature of accompaniment. The vote in Congress is simply another salient in the war against war in Iraq. Republican forces, with a couple of exceptions, held fast against the Democrats’ attempt to force Bush out of Iraq even if it required fiddling with the Constitution. President Bush will of course veto the bill, but its impact is critically important in the consolidation of public opinion. It can now accurately be said that the legislature, which writes the people’s laws, opposes the war.

The publicity around George Tenet's book is not helpful to Bush and the republicans. It shows clearly the rush to war and the grasping for any excuse.
Meanwhile, George Tenet, former head of the CIA, has just published a book which seems to demonstrate that there was one part ignorance, one part bullheadedness, in the high-level discussions before war became policy. Mr. Tenet at least appears to demonstrate that there was nothing in the nature of a genuine debate on the question. What he succeeded in doing was aborting a speech by Vice President Cheney which alleged a Saddam/al Qaeda relationship which had not in fact been established.

Mr. Buckley goes on to wonder what if anything can be done to defeat an insurgency that's like an endemic disease. A good question.

General Petraeus is a wonderfully commanding figure. But if the enemy is in thenature of a disease, he cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can’t see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, "I want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort."
The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma.

This is certainly Mr. Bush's war and the republicans in this and past congresses have accepted, with Mr. Bush, majority ownership of this disaster.

I keep waiting for some moderate republicans in congress to distance themselves from this mess but I think they're going over the cliff together.

What happened to the common sense of conservatism? The republicans in congress call themselves conservatives, but if you think of Goldwater, Reagan and Buckley there is certainly no comparison.

I know how I would refer to them, I would use a baseball term: bush leaguers.

Jim M

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5 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

"There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma."

buckley is the one who promoted this war and still promotes it in his magazine.

in fact he was the one who got conservatism on the big government machievellian track it's on. I read "enemy of the state" a biography of murray rothbard which chronicles alot of the old right. buckley was the first to abandon principle to get power

2:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jim M said...

Lester
You are so right. I just love to watch the rats jump the ship.
Check this link to see where the republcan base is today.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/29/AR2007042900948.html?hpid=topnews

2:29:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

they are more anti democrat than pro america. back in the 90's the weekly standard supported clintons war in kosovo. they got letters saying basically how can you support clinton. it had nothing to do with a difference of opinion or on the clinton policy of interventionism.

I was against kosovo but not because it was a democrat intiative. that's pathetic way to go through life.

3:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jim M said...

Lester
The modern, non-conservative right is only Pro-Bush. If he's for it, they are for it. They are opposed to everything else.
This is the greatest mystery of my life.

4:20:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

I've seen this particularly in discussions of iran. no matter how many pictures of downtown tehran you show them, Iran is a desert burka al queda state. who are totally responsible for the insurgency

4:33:00 PM  

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