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2006-02-25 Iraq
WF Buckley Counsels Defeat in Iraq
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Posted by Nimble Spemble 2006-02-25 11:23|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6469 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 I don't always agree with Bill even though I appreciate his legency.

I also take issue with the timing of his conclusion. A terrorist inspired set-up in Iraq, yes; but that doesn't mean we head for the hills.

We should follow the example of Churchill.

Is Bill offering up a better alternative? No. Giving in to the terrorists is no alternative at all.
Posted by Captain America 2006-02-25 12:05||   2006-02-25 12:05|| Front Page Top

#2 Like the man said, failure is not an option.
Posted by Matt 2006-02-25 12:20||   2006-02-25 12:20|| Front Page Top

#3 Steve,

This war will not be won or lost in Iraq; it will be won or lost in the living rooms of America. Bush has done an abominable job of fighting that war. The reaction to the Dubai Ports World is one indicator. This column is another.

I too disagree with what Buckley is saying in the micro view of what is going on in Iraq. But in the macro view of what is going on in Ameican living rooms, I am very worried; and this column is just one more indicator that things are not headed in the right direction. My real fear is that it may be too late for Bush to actually demonstrate the leadership necessary to continue this war to final victory.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2006-02-25 12:21||   2006-02-25 12:21|| Front Page Top

#4 Much as I have always admired WFB, I think he's way off base on this one. My subscription to NR is running out in a couple of months. After reading this article I'm going to have to think real hard about it before I renew. If I want defeatism I can go to DU or Kos and get it for free.
Posted by mac 2006-02-25 13:01||   2006-02-25 13:01|| Front Page Top

#5 Buckley is a very smart cookie but he's been wobbly on Iraq since the get-go. I think he just has no faith at all that Arab culture will make the right choice for a change. I hate to say it but the Arab historical record backs him up, still I'm optimistic.

Arabs, more than almost any other culture seem unwilling to back any horse until they are absolutely positive which one is the strong horse. That will grow more apparant as time goes on and we'll get a cascading effect. I'm hoping the latest Mosque attacks will be the start of it.
Posted by rjschwarz">rjschwarz  2006-02-25 13:17||   2006-02-25 13:17|| Front Page Top

#6 Gotta agree on the characterization of WFB as a wobbly with regard to Iraq. I am a subscriber to NR and I can attest that every jot and tittle from the old sage has been nothing but pessimism and failure on Iraq, and the WOT, since before OIF. Strange stuff, but WFB has been pretty fixated on the gathering gloom in pretty much anything that grabs his attention. Maybe it is a function of his age.
Posted by Red Lief 2006-02-25 13:30||   2006-02-25 13:30|| Front Page Top

#7 My real fear is that it may be too late for Bush to actually demonstrate the leadership necessary to continue this war to final victory.

Ah yes, 7 steps to blaming Bush. I don't think anyone in Western society could have understood the backwards nature of the Islamic world. But I think that Bush took the right course in Iraq and in his quest for promoting Democracy world-wide. Hamas is the perfect example. The people got what they wanted and now they have no complaint when they get what they asked for - war. And they will lose, as anyone with half a brain can see. Apparently the palestinians believe otherwise and so now they have the leaders they asked for and now nobody will feel sorry for them when they lose their war. It's what they wanted, an opportunity to attempt to push the Jews into the sea.

Before they could hide behind the poor-poor-pitious-paleo's, because their plight was the responsibility of bad decisions by leaders other than their own. Now they chose their leaders and they can demand results. When the Israelis smite them, hey, they wanted war, they got. it. Too bad so sad for them.

I think the idea that we let people elect the leaders they want and suffer the consequences of the actions is a far better idea than any other we have had to date. It may not be perfect, but it's certainly better than the Arafat era where nations don't get to learn from their own mistakes and the people don't have the ability to hold their leaders accountable for their fate.
Posted by 2b 2006-02-25 13:47||   2006-02-25 13:47|| Front Page Top

#8 I think Bill misses his old debating friend, Ronald Reagan, much more than he realizes. Prez Reagan wouldn't have back off either.
Posted by Captain America 2006-02-25 14:59||   2006-02-25 14:59|| Front Page Top

#9 The Gods themselves..., Mr Buckley.
Posted by gromgoru 2006-02-25 15:01||   2006-02-25 15:01|| Front Page Top

#10 "I think the idea that we let people elect the leaders they want and suffer the consequences of the actions is a far better idea than any other we have had to date."

-Spot on imho brother. Which is why I concur w/you on the Paleo's voting like they did. No more excuses for when they get dealt with.
Posted by Broadhead6 2006-02-25 15:04||   2006-02-25 15:04|| Front Page Top

#11 Remember that Buckley is still a Yalie schoolboy at heart, and is probably part of the extended clique at CIA that is being seriously purged right now.

Those guys are as bitter as hell at Bush.
Posted by Anonymoose 2006-02-25 16:00||   2006-02-25 16:00|| Front Page Top

Posted by bgrebel 2006-02-25 17:58||   2006-02-25 17:58|| Front Page Top

#13 It can defend itself historically, standing by the inherent reasonableness of the postulates. After all, they govern our policies in Latin America, in Africa and in much of Asia. The failure in Iraq does not force us to generalize that violence and anti-democratic movements always prevail. It does call on us to adjust to the question, What do we do when we see that the postulates do not prevail -- in the absence of interventionist measures (we used these against Hirohito and Hitler) that we simply are not prepared to take?

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.

I believe we are winning in Iraq as well, but the road would have been easier because of "...the absence of interventionist measures (we used these against Hirohito and Hitler) that we simply are not prepared to take?" I think THAT is what is depressing Buckley, and I am forced to agree with him: we know what worked for Japan and Germany, and it worked beautifully. We simply were NOT prepared to do in Iraq that worked in Japan and Germany.

Buckley is not prepared to abandon American Idealism: read that last sentance I quoted. That Idealism is what properly led us into Iraq. It is that Idealism that shames the Canadians into spitting envy and the Euros into pusillanomous (sp?) sniping. We practice the virtues that leftists, liberals, and democrats seem to believe is their birthright, but which they do not deserve because they have not followed up words with actions.

He will certainly face the current development as military leaders are expected to do: They are called upon to acknowledge a tactical setback, but to insist on the survival of strategic policies.

Yes, but within their own counsels, different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat.

Buckley is talking about TACTICAL defeat, not strategic defeat. Professor Hanson has said that the loss of the Turkish front prevented the spectacle of American Armor rolling through Sunni territory shattering illusions that they could defeat the Americans in the end, and that happened right at the beginning of OIF. THAT was the sort of measure we used against Japan and Germany, but not in Iraq.

All is not lost, of course, and Buckley is not saying that. Our military is wonderfully adaptable, and Buckley believes in them. But they won't change tactics if they don't believe they're working.

Buckley is saying, "things are bad, so change your tactics and win." The fifth column is saying, "Things are bad, so retreat."

Yeah, he may be mislead, but he's a mislead patriot who wants us to win, not a pretend-patriot who secretly wants us to lose. Give him credit, at least, for THAT.
Posted by Ptah">Ptah  2006-02-25 18:43||]">[]  2006-02-25 18:43|| Front Page Top

#14 But they won't change tactics if they don't believe they're working.

Ugh. omit the "don't" above. PIMF.
Posted by Ptah">Ptah  2006-02-25 18:45||]">[]  2006-02-25 18:45|| Front Page Top

#15 One of my personal sayings:
The weighing of facts, pros and cons, the gnashing of teeth and hand-wringing engaged in by the conscious mind is merely cover to justify the decision made subconsciously the instant the need arose.

In other words, some (many?) people actually make up their minds long before there are sufficient facts to do so with any certainty. I've heard it referred to as a "maybe gate" in the brain that allows us, sometimes to our chagrin, to sum a few thousand bits of incomplete fluff and believe we have "analyzed" the issue and our position makes sense.

Effectively, I believe, in these people the subconscious makes a snap judgment - based upon an array of personal foibles and maybe the very few actual facts available - often merely just following the wind of conventional wisdom, and thereafter the conscious mind works to justify it. It is most apparent when contrary facts come long, yet you can see the person's position taken doesn't weave them into the equation for recalculation... No... In fact, for these sad individuals, their position usually hardens and they cast as far afield as needed to explain away these inconvenient new bits - and reaffirm their original brain fart. Challenges to, and derision of, the position often further calcify it and a bunker mentality necessarily follows.

Those who are not afflicted marvel at the cognitive dissonance required.

We see it every day, for example from the Hollyweird types who ramble on about being muzzled, lol, about imagined lost constitutional rights, also demonstrably untrue, and on and on. I think of it as a mental illness process, a dysfunction that is sometimes localized to a certain group or class of issues.

Perversely, it seems to be most common among those who demonstrate an unhealthy need for external validation. More cogdis, lol.

The UAE port management issue is a classic example.
Posted by .com 2006-02-25 20:09||   2006-02-25 20:09|| Front Page Top

#16 Methinks what Buckley is trying hard NOT to say, vv maintenance of US "strategic policies", is for Dubya and Rummy to attack Iran and Syria, sooner than later. Might as well - MadMoud is all but officially demanding Arrogant Male Brute GOP-led Congress pass a joint resolution = formal declaration of war authorizing invasion anyways. The IRGC and alllied US Motherly Desperate Waffen MarxFrau Commies demand Iranian "People's War".
Posted by JosephMendiola 2006-02-25 21:30||   2006-02-25 21:30|| Front Page Top

#17 Perversely, it seems to be most common among those who demonstrate an unhealthy need for external validation

that is sooooo true. In fact, it is something that I have been noticing over the last 3 years. Nice people with Cog D. becoming sad individuals as their position usually hardens and they cast as far afield as needed to explain away these inconvenient new bits

and they all have in common that need for external validation. One other thing - if what the perceive as external validation suddenly requires that they do a 180 (such as cartoons and free speech, or it's ok for Clinton to provide interns with plum positions in exchange for sexual favors) they have no problem doing the 180, and simply see no Cog D in their positions - because they really don't have any positions of their own. They just say what they think will get them the validation they seek.
Posted by 2b 2006-02-25 21:58||   2006-02-25 21:58|| Front Page Top

#18 Yep, I can see that, 2b. I guess that, somewhere within their psyche, they know they've abandoned reason - so other leaps of illogic (lol) are not that difficult - they have nothing to lose, such as integrity or honor, both jettisoned when they left reality behind.

It's sad, but what we're calling validation morphs into mere attention, faux fame, I think - and I'm pretty sure you're saying something similiar, no? I presume there's some addictive quality, there.

Sheehan might be the example of the ages. A more pathetic creature is, IMHO, rather hard to imagine.
Posted by .com 2006-02-25 23:00||   2006-02-25 23:00|| Front Page Top

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