William F. Buckley on Iraq: It didn’t work

Conservative icon and NRO Editor-At-Large William F. Buckley, Jr. has written a piece for National Review today that has the conservative blogosphere abuzz. In it, he explains why he believes the war in Iraq has been a failure. He writes:

“I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes β€” 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 β€” 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.

The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that Americans aren’t on the scene to protect them and to punish the aggressors. And so they join the clothing merchant who says that everything is the fault of the Americans.

Read the whole thing.

While I respect Mr. Buckley a great deal, I disagree with his assessment that we’ve failed in Iraq. The jury is still out. Making the best ‘jury is still out’ case is Jeff Goldstein.

What do you think? Was the Dome blast the straw that broke the camel’s back (no pun intended) for you in terms of whether or not we are succeeding in Iraq?

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