Saturday, February 25, 2006

Postulates and Other BS From the Master

Everyone is posting that arch-conservative William F. Buckley has declared the U.S. efforts in Iraq to be a failure.
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.
I'm sure that all of the neo-cons over at the White House and across the river at the Pentagon have thrown in the towel. If Bill Buckley says its over, its over! Rightttt.

I doubt if George Bush has a clue as to who William F. Buckley is or was. And, the reason that we put the neo before the con is simple. The generation of so called "conservatives" that engineered the debacle in Iraq have virtually nothing in common with their nearly extinct predecessors. To put it in evolutionary teams, the relationship of today's neo-cons to their Buckley ancestors is much like the relationship of dinosaurs to birds. The have a lot of DNA in common, but functionally, tactically and strategically they are millions of years apart.

Buckley attempts wrap his bad news in the pretentious drivel that convinced a whole generation that the guy was an intellectual, instead of a right wing, racist ideologue with a good vocabulary.

Be that as it may, Buckley attributes the United States failure in Iraq to its failure to achieve the requirements inherent in two, what Buckley ascribes as, global American postulates. According to Buckley these postulates have been demonstrated all over the world and he urges the Bush Administration to hold true to them even in the face of this current set back.

Postulate #1 "was that the Iraqi people, whatever their tribal differences, would suspend internal divisions in order to get on with life in a political structure that guaranteed them religious freedom." Buckley fails to mention that virtually anyone with experience in the region was highly skeptical that this postulate was valid. Buckley simply assumes that it is.

Postulate #2 "was that the invading American army would succeed in training Iraqi soldiers and policymakers to cope with insurgents bent on violence." The failure to achieve the requirements of this postulate resulted in the failure of Postulate #1 in Buckley's version of the fall of Iraq.

Unfortunately, Buckley provides no evidence that the Bush Administration ever considered Postulate #2. Virtually every decision made before the invasion and after demonstrates that the Bush Administration was completely blindsided by the existence of an insurgency. The Bush Administration did not listen to a single voice that suggested that any Iraqis would resist an American invasion and take-over of their country.

Buckley admission of failure is really a weak attempt at justifying the goals of the Bush Administration while looking past the Administrations complete and utter failure to understand the actually policies and actions necessary to accomplish those goals.
The failure in Iraq does not force us to generalize that violence and antidemocratic 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) which 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.
The first and last sentences are key here. Buckley sets up a straw man argument that contends that those who oppose the Bush Administration will assume that "violence and antidemocratic movements always prevail." In Buckley's mind that's what us liberals will be thinking and saying. While Buckley reminds us that the neo-cons and Bushites are American idealists.

As always, Bill Buckley is full of crap. The neo-cons wanted Iraq to be a show of power - a projection of American military might into the heart of the Middle East. Iraqis' political structure was and is of no importance to them. There was no idealism in the Bush Approach, only imperialism.