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WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY: ‘Our Mission has Failed’

Democrats have taken the lead on national security.

William F. Buckley proves this to be true.

I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes, it is America.” The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. “Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America.”

One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samara and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “The bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

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. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

It
Didn’t Work
, by William F. Buckley

That’s huge news in itself. But when I heard that William F. Buckley had pronounced the mission a failure, then saw his op-ed, what I have been saying for a long time passed through my mind.

George W. Bush is the Republican Party's Vietnam.

The bombing of the “Golden Mosque” may turn out to be the insurgents' Tet Offensive, if you will.

The Republicans have their Vietnam:
the presidency of George W. Bush.

The Republican Party will not easily recover from George W. Bush's naive, mistake ridden, “stay the course – victory” laden talking points that didn't contain the critical element of all wars since we went into Southeast Asia. If you go in, you sure better know how you're going to get out. President Bush still doesn't know and refuses to visit any alternative because he cannot admit to realities. For the Republicans, it is already too late to make up for George W. Bush's lost, failed and incompetent leadership.

The National Review's John Podhoretz, had this to say earlier:
PAGING KARL ROVE–EMERGENCY! The all caps is all Podhoretz.

Today on “Hardball,” Richard
Haas
was talking about what to look out for in Iraq. If police start leaving
their posts and joining their respective groups, we're done.

Juan Cole believes the
civil war has already begun.

However, all this misses the point, I believe. Buckley is right,
our mission has failed. It's failed because of what it has done to brand America.
It's failed because we are more hated in the one region of the world that is
most dangerous to have these feelings unleashed. It's failed because the intense emotions
of the Muslim world are trained on the West, on the United States.

We've reached an apocalyptic moment in Iraq, our presence more
of a hindrance than help. President Bush's failed leadership on this war and
everything having to do with our foreign policy is something that
will take years, maybe even a generation, from which to recover. But for the foreseeable future, George W. Bush's presidency
will be a Republican reminder of a headstrong, arrogant, willful foreign policy,
which the Congress backed, but which Bush incompetently managed by remaining out of touch with reality from start to finish of the war, provided it ends in his term.

You can't blame the troops, who have performed above and beyond
every expectation and hardship imaginable, including lack of armor that killed,
wounded and seriously maimed hundreds, some
estimates
in the tens of thousands. The families who have pleaded and pleaded
for a change of course, but who were only met with lectures on terror and fantastical
talks of “victory,” concocted by Karl
Rove and his college professors
.

You can't blame the American people, who have been very patient
amidst nothing but voting hopes, followed by bad news and more installments in Osama bin laden
greatest hits.

You can't even blame the media, who helped push the war, embedded themselves
and died for the war, then kept the war off the TV sets, away from cable, while
flag-draped coffins
came flying home alone. There are exceptions to the press as propaganda rule,
especially Michael
Ware
, the most courageous and frank of all the brave journalists risking
their lives to bring us the truth.

The only person to blame is President George W. Bush, whose incompetent
leadership elicits an out of touch grasp on reality that harkens back to the
days when a little war in Southeast Asia became the Democratic Party's albatross for years to come. Don't look now, but the Republicans have their own Vietnam.

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