July 2006 CBS News article:
7/22/2006, "Buckley: Bush Not A True Conservative," CBS News, Amy Clark
"President Bush ran for office as a "compassionate conservative." And he
continues to nurture his conservative base-even issuing his first veto
this week against embryonic stem cell research.
But lately his
foreign policy has come under fire from some conservatives — including
the father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley....
finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a
decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative
principles in his foreign policy.
In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.
you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've
experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign,"
Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley
says "I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other
subject interests anybody other than Iraq... The continued tumult in
Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have
entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with
respect to Iran in particular."
Despite evidence that Iran is
supplying weapons and expertise to Hezbollah in the conflict with
Israel, Buckley rejects neo-conservatives who favor a more
interventionist foreign policy, including a pre-emptive air strike
against Iran and its nuclear facilities.
"If we find there is a
warhead there that is poised, the range of it is tested, then we have no
alternative. But pending that, we have to ask ourselves, 'What would
the Iranian population do?'"
Buckley does support the
administration's approach to the North Korea's nuclear weapons threat,
believing that working with Russia, China, Japan and South Korea is the
best way to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table. But that's
about where the agreement ends....
Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence
of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up
being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of
excesses by Congress," Buckley says. "And in respect of foreign policy,
incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary
to conclude the Iraq challenge."
Asked what President Bush's
foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says "There will
be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would
re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because
they were too ambitious. So therefore I think his legacy is
"At 81, Mr. Buckley still continues to
contribute a regular column to the National Review, the magazine he
started 51 years ago."
Thursday, March 2, 2017
William F. Buckley said George W. Bush Iraq war failure if committed by a European PM would've caused his or her resignation. Buckley rejected neocon interventionist foreign policy, said Bush single problem is lack of conservative ideology-CBS News, 7/22/2006
Posted by susan at 5:06 PM