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Ear to the Ground

National Review Writer: Mea Culpa on Iraq

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Posted on Jun 13, 2006

We normally vehemently disagree with just about everything that John Derbyshire says. And we find much of this column truly despicable. But still, he’s calling the Iraq war for what it is: a debacle. And that’s worth noting.


John Derbyshire on the National Review:

So why am I eating crow? Because I think it was foolish of me to suppose that the administration would act with the punitive ruthlessness I hoped to see. The rubble-and-out approach was not one that this administration, or perhaps any administration in the present state of our culture, would be willing to pursue. The universalist dogmas that rule unchallenged in our media and educational institutions have fixed their grip on our foreign policy, too. When the Founders of our nation said ?all men? they had in mind Christian Anglo-Saxon men. Our leaders, though, want to bring the whole world under the scope of those grand Lockeian principles.

Perhaps this will work, or perhaps it won?t. My belief is, and always has been, that it won?t. My fault was in not grasping the scale of the administration?s multiculturalist ambitions. (Of which, to be fair to them, they had given plenty of hints, and even one or two frank declarations of intent.) George W. Bush believes that, to borrow and adjust a line from the colonel in Full Metal Jacket: ?Inside every Middle East Muslim there is an American trying to get out.? The effort to stabilize Iraq, and the reluctance to just leave the Iraqis to fight each other among the rubble, followed inevitably from that belief, which is, according to me, a false belief. I see all that now. I didn?t see it then. I am sorry.

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