Buckley On Petraeus

Reading between the lines, you can glean his conservative mind reeling at what we are doing. It violates every conservative insight into the importance of culture (the militias of Basra will never become pillars of democracy), into the proper role of the military (warfare not nation-building), and into simple fiscal prudence and perspective. Nonetheless he urges lawmakers to cover their asses with the public:

U.S. elections are around the corner. And there are voters who are not persuaded by the analysis of Ambassador Crocker, or those of American newsmen. And this is of course the final branch of government: the voters. The critical questions in the halls of Congress: Will they understand if you do? And if you don’t?

If the vote were mine, I’d say: Stick it out. You can’t, by doing so, be accused of thoughtlessness, certainly not of perfidy.

The best lack all conviction, don't they?