William F. Buckley was a huge man, not in size, but in influence. He was a brilliant force of nature who devastated those foolish enough to stand in his path with intellect, wit and style. He formed the vanguard af the conservative movement and gave it substance and substantive goals.
His son Christopher.....not so much. I mean he is a very funny writer, very funny. But he is simply not a thinker of any distinction. He proves that ably in a piece today about why we should leave Afghanistan. He takes the letter from Mr. Hoh, former Marine who resigned from the State Department, and elevates his missive to the status of strategically brilliant & world-changing document. Well umm no. While heartfelt and emotional his arguments were not particularly compelling unless, as is the case with the lesser Buckley, you were already inclined to cut and run and simply looking for credible, intellectual cover.
Since you are reading this post on a computer, you’ll be able to read Mr. Hoh’s letter yourself. I won’t recapitulate it all here—it demands to be read in its entirety. But to limn some of his more salient points….
In essence, he says, the U.S. is little more than a “supporting actor” in a long running tragedy of Afghanistan’s now 35 year-old civil war.
Reading his letter, I thought of the famous exchange between the Confederate soldier and his Yankee captor.
Why do you hate us so, Johnny Reb?
Because this is our land, and you’re on it.
Now I am not a historian, but I seem to recall that in the conflict he references the invading occupiers won. Right? Not much of an argument point. The rest of his piece consists of ovewrwrought quotes where he places Mr. Hoh on a pedestal as the conscience of this great nation who will lead us back from the brink, you can almost see the hands wringing and the tears welling up. Buckley ought to stick to funning on the tobacco industry, or inside the beltway insider jokes. He is well ought of his league on this one.