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.Well, Mr. Buckley, it is because Bush is a decisive leader that he has strayed from "true conservative principles" in dealing with the world the United States of America is stuck in (as opposed to the world that some people would like to have).
It is satisfying for me to note that President Bush has not been anyone's sock puppet in his term of office. It is doubly satisfying to note that the three top contenders for the 2008 nomination (Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney) have shown signs of being leaders as well.
Sometimes, a leader needs to make decisions that irritate supporters. It's a good thing, not a bad thing, and something that conservatives had better learn to live with.
One other point that deserves a response.
In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.
Failure? We took a state sponsor of terrorism off the board. Less than three years after its liberation, it has joined Israel and Turkey as democracies in a region far more known for monarchs and/or various flavors of dictators. Has it been tough? Yes. A failure? Not by a long shot.