Saturday, June 18, 2005

Buckley Sounds the Alarm On Iraq

Two posts have been swimming around my head for a while, and I hope to get to both of them sooner rather than later: one is a longish post on Iraq, a 'where we stand' type analysis, and the other is a post on the remarkable continued relevance of William F. Buckley's God and Man at Yale. As a forerunner, I present to you this op-ed by Buckley that, as usual, is sound of reasoning, and very cognizant of the big picture (by the way, many of my post ideas come from links posted at the very excellent RealClearPolitics, and I often take it for granted, so kudos again for such a wonderful collection of conversation starters day in and day out).

Buckley identifies a two-phase Iraq campaign, the military enterprise (a complete and total success), then a two-part occupation phase, one focusing on allowing Iraqis to begin the process of speaking for themselves through elections and sovereign governing bodies. This part, if not as complete a success as the military phase, was (is) a success nonetheless.

The second part, obviously, is providing an environment of security and civil order, and this has been, undoubtedly, a failure to date. I recommend the whole piece to you, and leave you with a taste:
A respect for the power of the United States is engendered by our success in engagements in which we take part. A point is reached when tenacity conveys not steadfastness of purpose but misapplication of pride. It can't reasonably be disputed that if in the year ahead the situation in Iraq continues about as it has done in the past year, we will have suffered more than another 500 soldiers killed. Where there had been skepticism about our venture, there will then be contempt.

No comments: