the least worst option

andrew sullivan reminds us that more people died in iraq in the last two weeks than in lebanon and israel combined, and that conditions in the middle east continue to deteriorate. he notes that william buckley is sour:

Don’t rely on me. Ask William Buckley, the father of American conservatism, an intellectual pioneer who almost singlehandedly created the conservative movement that gave us the presidencies of Reagan, Bush and Bush. “I think Mr Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology,” Buckley told CBS last week, “with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending . . . and in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge.” Buckley has described the Iraq venture as failed, adding to the conservative chorus of dismay at Bush.

The US military, in response to what can only be called anarchy, announced a new deployment of US troops to the capital city. Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, described this latest manoeuvre as “phase 2” of the previous effort to stabilise Baghdad. The only problem, as other Bush officials conceded to The New York Times off the record, is that there was never a phase 2 in the original plan. “This is more like plan B,” anonymous colleagues explained.

“Six weeks ago we were talking about pulling American troops back from the city streets, not putting more of them out there.”

he calls bush bewildered, which i think is the perfect adjective to describe him at the bush/blair press conference, and notes it would be difficult for rumsfeld to be any more detached.

elsewhere, william gibson believes we are in a new paradigm, a fourth generation war that cannot be won with classic military action. i agree with him.






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