Monday, January 17, 2005

Should Conservatives Re-Think Iraq....No.

William F. Buckley Jr. tackles a challenge to conservative "tergiversation" and decides that
What concerns a proud nation is not only moral obligations, but the consequences of a failure to stand by them. In another perspective, to bargain with the criminal is not only to temporize with dishonor, but also to embolden the criminal in his powers to threaten and to intimidate and to extort.

Such considerations argue in the abstract for seeing it through in Iraq. But they do not advise us when the moment should come to say that honor has to give way to a recognition that success is not in sight and not at any point in the future predictable.

Only Bush, not his critics, can coalesce these considerations. This isn't merely because he has up-to-date information. It is that the force of the leader is required in order to escape the conundrum with confidence. . . The force of any argument for disconnection requires the prestige and dominance of the leader. There is no point in arguing for withdrawal, unless Mr. Bush beckons us to do so.

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