Monday, July 24, 2006

Buckley Again Chastises Bush For Being "Incapable" Of Ending Iraq War "Failure"

William F. Buckley, the father of U.S. conservative political philosophy, told CBS News yesterday that he finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.

"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley said for the July 22 interview, from his home in Stamford, Conn.

In particular, Buckley said he views the Iraq War as a failure, because he was "incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge."

It's the latest in a series of stinging comments by Buckley, who was honored by Bush in October, for the 50th anniversary of Buckley's legendary conservative magazine, National Review.

Such is life when you're fighting an increasingly unpopular war, with no satisfactory end in sight and the number of U.S. dead at 2,500 and counting. If a Democrat were to say the things Buckley has been saying, he would be blasted by conservative pundits and called a hero by the left. When Buckley is the one doing the talking, the conversation is much more serious.

Buckley has not minced words this year on the state of the Iraq War, and who he was blaming.

Back in March, Buckley told Bloomberg News: "(I)t's important that we acknowledge in the inner councils of state that it (the war) has failed, so that we should look for opportunities to cope with that failure.''

Asked who was to blame for what he deems a failure, Buckley told Bloomberg, "the president." Buckley also called Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a longtime friend, "a failed executor'' of the war.

A month earlier, Buckley wrote in National Review: "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. ... Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. ... A problem for American policymakers — for President Bush, ultimately — is to cope with the postulates and decide how to proceed."

***

Speaking to CBS News yesterday, Buckley took the argument a step further, suggesting that because of Iraq, the Bush Administration has ignored other problems, such as those that led to the recent blow-up between Israel and the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Because the administration has been "engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody (in the administration) other than Iraq," Buckley said the administration has failed to have proper perspective "with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular."

Given that, it should be no surprise that with regard to foreign policy, Buckley said, "There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush."

11 Comments:

Anonymous Erika said...

Buckley strings up the bushbots and rightly so

Buckley had true love of our country and our constitution. He felt America was the dream of all the world.

W has made the perception of America as a nightmare.

2:53 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Buckley and a few others have finally connected the dots. Will anyone listen?
The focus has indeed been taken off the real threats in the region.
Bush's failed experiment in Iraq has only fueled the cause for the Shiite's to rebel and join in Hezbollah's drive to spawn a Shiite empire.
Some like Clinton's former secretary of state Madeline Albright have repeatedly spelled out how the Bush policy to shove the neocons' nieve simplistic version of good and evil down Middle Easterners' throats instead of pursuing compromise between the complex fanctions has only resulted in spurring widescale hatred towards the U.S.
As conditions in Afghanistan and Iraq grow even worse, as the entire Middle East flares up in war, as the U.S. treasury grows bankrupt funding this mess, as the neocons watch their worst-laid plans go up in smoke, however, it only appears to egg on Bush and his apologists to continue the same tired rhetoric like, "Yes, there are challenges. We must stay the course. We must win the global war on terror...the war on terror...the war on terror."
It's a real-life commercial for a real-life horror movie.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous yurbud said...

Buckley is a relic of a bygone era when Repubs at least made nods to reality.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous jaxx said...

Too bad the congress is a bunch of wusses who will not censor him and go on to impeachment. Instead they'll vote to send more arms to Israel so they can add to the mideast mess.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous no_hypocrisy said...

I'm waiting for Ann Coulter to comment on Buckley criticizing the Boy King. Make that excoriate.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous whistle said...

It is about time, a strong denunciation when asked the question of what will President Bush's legacy be to foreign policy, Buckley replied very bluntly with raised eyebrows, "There will be no legacy....no subsequent president with repeat any statement made by George Bush in his State of the Union speech because...it is indecipherable."

Unfortunately, most neoconservatives now view William F. Buckley with contempt and disdain and see him as insignificant and extinct among conservative thinking.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Montauk6 said...

This is all horse hockey

What, when the going gets tough, simply deny Bush is a conservative??? In that interview, WFB praised him, it said, as a "decisive leader." So??? What does that mean? All *'s decisions sucked, what's the point?

(Crazy analogy time)

Look, if you've got a group of slaughterhouses, and most of them are kept clean on the outside—lawns impeccably groomed, exteriors brightly painted and kept clean—but you've got one slaughterhouse that's dingy, filthy, doors wide open so you can see/hear the carnage going on within; you can't say that that one hellhole is NOT a proper slaughterhouse. True, it may not be well-managed but it's still a slaughterhouse; what goes on in there is no different than what goes on in the others.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous gratuitous said...

Now that it's safe to do so Buckley comes slithering out to shoot the battlefield wounded, and claim that George W. Bush never was a "real" conservative.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Craig R. Harmon said...

Buckley's a smart guy and Conservatives ignore him at their peril. This isn't the first time that Bill has declared Iraq lost. Also, no one will get any complaints from me by calling into question Bush's conservatism. His brand of "big spending/intrusive" governing is the very opposite of what it once meant to be a Conservative.

Also, Buckley's "Iraq is lost" stance is looking more and more true. I'm not at the point of joining Bill in this, but I can't deny that we're very far from any
kind of good resolution in Iraq and I don't see that Bush is bringing us any closer to that.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous landcomm1 said...

If we were facing basic conservative policy as opposed to extremism, I might still be a republican, rather than a recovering republican. I
value the basic ideologies, which allowed for this great nation to form, which is not to say I do not lean progressive or on occasion further left than center. Religion, protectionism, defense and even offense have their place
in virtually every nation. The problem with our current national situation beyond the obvious history of incompetence on the part of George W. Bush is that we have strayed so far from being conservative. We have allowed
ourselves to stray so far right, we are aggressive and our aggression threatens not only other countries but our own as well. There will always be sellers of snake oil and big tent evangelicals. They should however not be allowed to run our country.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous JerseyMcJones said...

Craig, there NEVER was a time when conservatism did not manifest itself, projected by power, as big spending/intrusive.

Read your history books.

JMJ

5:00 PM  

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