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Sunday, September 21, 2003

Why didn't Buchanan write some of this stuff into Nixon's speeches?
As I recall, both William Safire and Pat Buchanan were speech writers for Richard Nixon. Safire must have written "peace with honor" and the other crap that kept us in Vietnam for four more years, at the cost of another million or so lives, including over 20,000 Americans. Buchanan, whatever his other faults, writes clearly and logically about foreign policy. He was consistently opposed to the war in Iraq, and answers the current arguments for maintaining the occupation very nicely:

Now we are in a sand trap. And the question the president and Congress must answer is: Do we go in deeper? Do we pour in whatever money and blood are needed to fight on to victory in a land where we are not loved and where the enemy can fight the kind of war Islamic warriors have fought successfully against the French in Algeria, the Russians in Afghanistan and the Israelis in Lebanon. Or do we disengage, accept the humiliation of an American withdrawal and choose a different battlefield on which to fight al-Qaida?
The mistake Reagan made in Lebanon was not in pulling out, but in going in. There was no vital U.S. interest in Beirut, no threat to our security. The same was true of Somalia. When we moved beyond giving food to starving Somalis to deciding what warlord should rule in Mogadishu, we intervened in a civil war and paid the inevitable price.
But, like a bad marriage, the mistake was going in, in the first place, and now, there is no easy way out. If we pull out, Iraq could become a failed state and a haven for Islamic warriors. If we stay and fight, we may be plunging into an endless or unwinnable war.

Somewhere, Osama bin Laden is saying to himself, "Mission accomplished."