Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bushies Have Lost Both Bill Buckley and George Will on the Iraq War

Trouble in paradise for the White House.

William F. Buckley Jr. wrote this about the Iraq war on National Review Online this week:

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. 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.

George Will said something like this to the roundtable on This Week with George Stephanopolous:

What does a civil war in Iraq look like? It looks like this...Bill Buckley wrote in National Review that there are latent democractic tendencies in Iraq. I think Bill may be too optimistic on this point.

The Buckley article has been much discussed on the progressive blogosphere ever since it went up on NRO.

Buckley is the grandfather of the conservative movement, of course, so when he comes out and says pretty much what Howard Dean said back in December about the Iraq war, it's both remarkable and worriesome for the Bush administration.

But now that a second influential conservative, George Will, has publicly agreed with Buckley that the Iraq war is a failure and has gone even further than Buckley by saying the Bush policy of bringing democracy to Iraq is an impossible fantasy, the Bushies have to be worried about a full-scale rebellion coming at them from the right on their Iraq policy.

And some of the criticism from the right is pretty harsh.

Will even questioned the legitimacy of the Iraq government on This Week.

He noted that a government only has power in so much as it has an exclusive monopoly on the ability to use violence.

According to Will, when a government cannot keep its people safe, it is not much of a government.

Will then used the City of Los Angeles as an analogy to the current situation in Iraq: if Los Angeles could not keep its citizens safe from violence and the Bloods and the Crips took up the slack from the government in order to protect areas of the city and the people who live in them, the government of Los Angeles would have no legitimacy to exist.

Will's implication was clear: since the Iraqi government cannot protect its citizens and has abdicated its security responsibilities to Shiite and Sunni militias, the Iraqi government has no legitimacy.


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