Posted tagged ‘Carter’

Right Turn Opinion Our ‘Baghdad Bob’ president

October 7, 2015

Right Turn Opinion Our ‘Baghdad Bob’ president, Washington PostJennifer Rubin, October 7, 2015

(Ms. Rubin is WaPo’s token conservative. Do go to the link and read the generally unfavorable comments about her article. — DM). 

So it has come to this: We now can recognize that Carter was not malicious or indifferent to American influence; he was simply slow to catch on. If Carter, widely regarded as the weakest foreign policy president of the second half of the 20th century, looks good in comparison, you can understand how daft is Obama’s worldview. Had he been in Carter’s shoes, I suppose he would have cheered rather than take steps to mitigate imperialistic aggression. Umm, thank goodness Carter was in the White House and not Obama? Yes, it has come to that.


Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, better known as “Baghdad Bob,” was the unintentionally hilarious Iraqi information minister who, no matter what evidence to the contrary, emphatically predicted evisceration of U.S. forces during the Iraq war and denied any news suggesting otherwise. As NBC News recalled, “His last public appearance as information minister was on April 8, 2003, the day before the fall of Baghdad, when he said that the Americans ‘are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks. They will surrender, it is they who will surrender.’ ”

Baghdad Bob now seems to be the model for the Obama White House. Ramadi falls to the Islamic State? No bother, we are winning! Russia invades Ukraine? Russian President Vladimir Putin — take this! — is on the “wrong side of history,” is only going to “wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation,” was “desperate” to talk to Obama (and the next day commenced bombing U.S.-backed rebels in Syria) and is about to get “stuck in a quagmire” in Syria. Russia moves more forces into Syria, changing the dynamic in the Middle East? President Obama brushes it aside. Putin is acting out of “weakness,” you see. Next thing you know, the Russians will have to “surrender or be burned in their tanks.”

One is tempted to assume, is hopeful even, that the president and his spokesmen don’t believe what they are saying. It is less frightening to imagine this is ham-handed excuse-mongering for a failed foreign policy than to imagine Obama thinks things are going swimmingly. If Obama actually believes we have Putin just where we want him, why not concede all of Ukraine — or the rest of the former Soviet Union, even. If it’s to our advantage to have Russia prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and destroy the U.S.-backed rebels, then we should be thrilled Russia is now being invited into Iraq to bomb the Islamic State. For that matter, why not welcome Iranian domination of Iraq and a new Shiite-Russian-Iranian crescent?

This is the bizarre parallel universe in which U.S. marginalization is good, chaos is nothing to worry about, the worst human rights offenders are our partners and traditional U.S. allies (Israel, Sunni states, even Turkey) will just have to lump it. It’s a world in which the system of nation-state sovereignty is subsumed to zones of influence — without the United States getting a zone. About the only politician willing to buy into such insanity is Donald Trump, who thinks it is a swell idea to have Putin fighting the Islamic State (except he is not fighting the Islamic State).

You can see why conservatives consider Obama a sharp departure from decades of American foreign policy under Democratic and Republican presidents. Instead of acting as a guarantor of the West’s security, the friend of free peoples and a check against rogue states, we rationalize weakness and abandon innocents. We tend to describe the president’s foreign policy as “feckless,” but it is worse: It is monstrous.

Even Jimmy Carter woke up, it is said, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. He did not think it was a good thing that the Soviets were invading an independent nation or that the West should huff and puff but take no action.

To the contrary, in what was surely the best speech of his presidency, Carter told the country: “This invasion is an extremely serious threat to peace because of the threat of further Soviet expansion into neighboring countries in Southwest Asia and also because such an aggressive military policy is unsettling to other peoples throughout the world. This is a callous violation of international law and the United Nations Charter. It is a deliberate effort of a powerful atheistic government to subjugate an independent Islamic people.” Unlike Obama, Carter grasped the danger in letting aggressors succeed: “The United States wants all nations in the region to be free and to be independent. If the Soviets are encouraged in this invasion by eventual success, and if they maintain their dominance over Afghanistan and then extend their control to adjacent countries, the stable, strategic, and peaceful balance of the entire world will be changed. This would threaten the security of all nations including, of course, the United States, our allies, and our friends.” He went on to announce a series of concrete steps — “defer further consideration of the SALT II treaty,” “delay opening of any new American or Soviet consular facilities, and most of the cultural and economic exchanges,” “halt or to reduce exports to the Soviet Union,” suspend licensing of “high technology or other strategic items,” end grain sales, pull out of the Olympics and “provide military equipment, food, and other assistance to help Pakistan defend its independence and its national security against the seriously increased threat it now faces from the north.”

More important, unlike Obama, who is emphatic that we stay on the path of slashing our military, Carter began repairing our military and extending covert efforts, as historian Arthur Herman recalls:

The first was pledging that US defense spending would rise by 4.6 percent per year, every year for five years, starting in 1980. This shocked and infuriated his fellow Democrats — and greased the wheels for President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup. (In the event, Reagan wound up increasing defense outlays less than Carter had planned.)

The second step came in the 1980 State of the Union Address, with announcement of the Carter Doctrine: The United States would use military force if necessary to defend our interests in the Persian Gulf.

To back this up, the president authorized the creation of the first Rapid Deployment Force — the ancestor of US Central Command or CENTCOM, the wheelhouse from which the United States would direct Desert Storm in 1991 and the fall of Saddam Hussein a decade later, and which keeps the Straits of Hormuz, vital to global energy markets, safe and open today.

The last step was authorizing the first covert military aid to Afghan guerrillas fighting their Soviet occupiers. That marked the start of the Soviet quagmire in Afghanistan — a major landmark in the ultimate undoing of the Soviet Union.

You see, a “quagmire” happens only when a power is confronted, stalls and undergoes unjustified losses. Otherwise, it is called a successful invasion.

So it has come to this: We now can recognize that Carter was not malicious or indifferent to American influence; he was simply slow to catch on. If Carter, widely regarded as the weakest foreign policy president of the second half of the 20th century, looks good in comparison, you can understand how daft is Obama’s worldview. Had he been in Carter’s shoes, I suppose he would have cheered rather than take steps to mitigate imperialistic aggression. Umm, thank goodness Carter was in the White House and not Obama? Yes, it has come to that.

The Holocaust Museum defends Muslim Brotherhood Nazis

September 25, 2015

The Holocaust Museum defends Muslim Brotherhood Nazis, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 25, 2015


Despite the constant threats to destroy the Jewish State, Iran is also rated at low risk. Instead the Holocaust Museum claims that the real threat of genocide is in Egypt which is “experiencing a mass killing episode perpetrated by the current regime against the Muslim Brotherhood and oppositionists.”


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was tainted from the start.

Carter created the President’s Commission on the Holocaust to pander to the Jews after endorsing a PLO state. Then Carter complained that there were too many Jews on the Commission. One of the Jews he was complaining about was a Presbyterian with a German last name, but he was too bigoted to care.

The Museum hit a new low when the Clinton administration pressured its chairman to invite Arafat, a protégé of Hitler’s Mufti who had been trained to kill Jews by a former Nazi officer. It hit an even lower low when it brought in John K. Roth who had compared Israel to the Nazis.

Now the Holocaust Memorial Museum has rolled out an “Early Warning Project” to warn of the risk of mass killings and genocide.

According to the “Project,” Israel is not at risk of genocide. Its risk assessment is lower than the UK or Panama. If another Holocaust happens, it’s more likely to take place in London or Brazil. (But the EWP also claims that America and New Zealand are at a higher risk of mass killings than Cuba even though the Castro regime, unlike New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, actually engaged in mass killings.)

Despite the constant threats to destroy the Jewish State, Iran is also rated at low risk. Instead the Holocaust Museum claims that the real threat of genocide is in Egypt which is “experiencing a mass killing episode perpetrated by the current regime against the Muslim Brotherhood and oppositionists.”

Jews don’t face genocide in the Middle East. The Nazi-influenced Muslim Brotherhood does. Muslim Nazis are the real victims of a new Holocaust.

The Muslim Brotherhood was allied with Hitler. It distributed Arabic translations of Mein Kampf. Hitler’s Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliate in Israel, had personally met with Hitler, encouraged the extermination of the Jews and visited the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

The Mufti had preached genocide, encouraging Muslims to “get rid of this dirty race… Kill the Jews, burn their property, destroy their stores” making him one of the earlier promoters of BDS.

Five years after the Holocaust, Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading thinker, wrote a pamphlet titled, “Our Struggle with the Jews”.  Qutb’s Muslim Brotherhood had been heavily influenced by Nazi Germany and the title and theme were deliberate echoes of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Qutb claimed that the Jews were the source of all evil. Like Hitler, he insisted that there was a struggle for world domination, except instead of a struggle between Aryans and Jews, it was a struggle between Muslims and Jews. He echoed Hitler’s claims that the Jews had invented sex and materialism and blamed them for everything from the Sunni-Shiite split to the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood even insisted that Hitler had been an instrument of Allah to punish the Jews. The claim was recently repeated by Sheikh Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s current Qutb, who said, “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.”

The “believers” are the Muslims. As opposed to the unbelievers who are everyone else. The Muslim Brotherhood likes what Hitler did to the Jews, but it wants to carry out the next Holocaust on its own.

Or as Qaradawi put it, “count their numbers and kill them down to the very last one.”

If the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Early Warning Project were really concerned about “genocide” in Egypt, it might have noted the Muslim Brotherhood attacks on Christians and churches.

It might have spoken up when video emerged of the Muslim Brotherhood’s former Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, urging his followers “to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.”

Egyptian children, “must feed on hatred; hatred must continue,” he said. “The hatred must go on for Allah and as a form of worshiping him.”

The Early Warning Project might have noted that the charter of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate in Gaza, the terrorist group Hamas, states, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews”.  And Hamas is doing its best to advance that date.

But instead the front page of the Holocaust Museum focuses on Syrian refugees. The piece on the Muslim migrants invading Hungary begins with the statement that, “In the 1930s, the world watched as Nazi Germany forced its beleaguered Jewish population to leave their homes.”

The piece is written by a Syrian who served as the Holocaust Museum’s Director of Special Events.

The Holocaust Museum has spent a good deal of time on Syria. It even hosts a paper describing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sheik Moaz al-Khatib as “a well-respected, moderate Sunni cleric”. It leaves out his statement that Saddam Hussein’s positive legacy was “terrifying the Jews”.

The Museum obsesses over false Muslim claims that they are being persecuted by Buddhists in Burma and Hindus in India. It takes the time to visit Syria, but not Sderot. It puts up photos of Syrians, but not Jewish families murdered by members of genocidal Islamofascist terrorist organizations.

Despite all the propaganda, the Muslim Rohingya illegal aliens in Burma are not being exterminated. Muslim terror against Jews in Israel however is part of an ongoing campaign of genocide.

Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, warned, “If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.”

“Kill the Jews wherever you find them,” the Mufti of Jerusalem had proclaimed. “Allah is with you.” Hamas declares that, “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah”.

There was a reason why Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, turned for sympathy to the Muslim world. “You 360 million Mohammedans to whom I have had a strong inner connection since the days of my association with your Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. You, who have a greater truth in the surahs of your Koran. I call upon you to pass judgment on me.”

The Holocaust Museum’s Early Warning Project is ignoring Muslim genocide aimed at Jews while promoting the bizarre myth that the Muslim Brotherhood is at risk of genocide. It couldn’t be any stranger if the Holocaust Museum had begun insisting that Neo-Nazis face genocide in Germany.

“Either this place will be a sanctuary, or it will be an abomination,” Elie Wiesel had said of the museum.

It did not take long for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to become an abomination. From its early days, a museum dedicated to teaching about the evil of the Final Solution instead became a platform for promoting the newest attempt to solve the “Jewish problem” with the Two-State Solution.

Now it approaches the final phase of the left’s Post-Holocaust Anti-Semitism where Muslims are transformed into Jews so that Jews may be transformed into Nazis to justify another Holocaust.

After all this time, the Holocaust Museum has decided that the Nazis were the real victims.

Obama Must Explain Why the Iran Deal Isn’t North Korea Redux

March 1, 2015

Obama Must Explain Why the Iran Deal Isn’t North Korea Redux, Commentary Magazine, March 1, 2015

(There are additional parallels. North Korea and Iran have comparable views of human rights, both make loud and frequent noises about obliterating their perceived enemies and both have allies willing if not anxious to sneak around sanctions. There are also differences. Iran is far more powerful than North Korea was or is and Iran’s intention to dominate the Middle East transcends North Korea’s desire to “unify” with South Korea on North Korea’s terms. Iranian governance is based on Islam, an unfortunately powerful world religion seeking world domination. North Korean governance is based on the “religion of Kim,” supreme internally but otherwise of little significance elsewhere. Iran also presents a greater danger to the U.S. than North Korea did. However, Obama won’t explain why the Iran deal isn’t “North Korea redux” because he quite likely neither knows nor cares and because it is. — DM)

The State Department has never conducted a lessons learned exercise about what went wrong with the North Korea deal. Perhaps it’s time. Diplomatic responsibility and national security demand it.


As the Obama administration rushes into a nuclear deal with Iran, it pays to remember the last time the United States struck a deal with a rogue regime in order to constrain that state’s nuclear program and the aftermath of that supposed success.

Bill Clinton had been president barely a month when North Korea announced that it would no longer allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections, followed shortly thereafter by an announcement that it would withdraw from the NPT altogether within a matter of months. If Kim Il-sung expected Washington to flinch, he was right. The State Department aimed to keep North Korea within the NPT at almost any price. Chief U.S. negotiator Robert Gallucci and his aides explained in their book Going Critical, “If North Korea could walk away from the treaty’s obligations with impunity at the very moment its nuclear program appeared poised for weapons production, it would have dealt a devastating blow from which the treaty might never recover.” Unwilling to take any path that could lead to military action, Clinton’s team sought to talk Pyongyang away from nuclear defiance, no matter that talking and the inevitable concessions that followed legitimized Pyongyang’s brinkmanship.

As with President Obama relieving Iran of the burden of six United Nations Security Council resolutions which demanded a complete cessation of enrichment, Clinton’s willingness to negotiate North Korea’s nuclear compliance was itself a concession. After all, the 1953 Armistice required Pyongyang to reveal all military facilities and, in case of dispute, enable the Military Armistice Commission to determine the purpose of suspect facilities. By making weaker frameworks the new baseline, Clinton let North Korea off the hook before talks even began.

Just as Israeli (and Saudi and Emirati and Egyptian and Kuwaiti and Bahraini) leaders express frustration with the Obama administration regarding its naiveté and unwillingness to consult, so too did South Korea at the time chafe at Clinton’s arrogance. South Korean President Kim Young Sam complained to journalists that North Korea was leading America on and manipulating negotiators “to buy time.” And in a pattern that repeats today with regard to Iran, the IAEA held firmer to the demand that North Korea submit to real inspections than did Washington. The issue came to a head in September 1993 after the State Department pressured the IAEA to compromise on limited inspections.

In the face of Pyongyang’s defiance, Clinton was also wary that coercion could be a slippery slope to war. Just as President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel instructed U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf not to stand firm but rather to retreat if probed or pushed by Iran, Clinton sought to mollify Pyongyang, for example cancelling the joint U.S.–South Korea military exercise in 1994. Adding insult to injury, the Clinton administration criticized the South Korean government for being unwilling to compromise. Indeed, everything the Obama administration has done with regard to Israel over the past year—with the exception, perhaps, of the classless chickensh-t comment—was ripped right from the Clinton playbook two decades before when the White House sought to silence Seoul.

There followed months of baseless optimism in Washington, followed by disappointment quickly supplanted by denial. At one point, when it looked like Kim Il-sung’s intransigence might actually lead to war, former President Jimmy Carter visited Pyongyang and, whether cleared to or not, made concessions which diffused the situation. It was the diplomatic equivalent of Obama’s voided redlines. Nightlinehost Ted Koppel observed on May 18, 1994, “this administration is becoming notorious … for making threats and then backing down.”

On July 8, 1994, a heart attack felled Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-il, his eldest son, took over. Negotiations progressed quickly. Gallucci and his team promised an escalating series of incentives—reactors, fuel oil, and other economic assistance. They kicked inspections of North Korea’s suspect plutonium sites years down the line.

What had begun as North Korean intransigence had netted Pyongyang billions of dollars in aid; it would go down in history as the largest reward for cheating and reneging on agreements until Obama granted Iran $11 billion in sanctions relief just for coming to the table. Columnist William Safire traced the steps of concessions on North Korea. “Mr. Clinton’s opening position was that untrustworthy North Korea must not be allowed to become a nuclear power,” he observed, but Clinton “soon trimmed that to say it must not possess nuclear bombs, and stoutly threatened sanctions if North Korea did not permit inspections of nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, where the CIA and KGB agree nuclear devices have been developed. But as a result of Clinton’s Very Good Deal Indeed, IAEA inspectors are denied entry to those plants for five years.” And Sen. John McCain, for his part, lamented that Clinton “has extended carrot after carrot, concession after concession, and pursued a policy of appeasement based … on the ill-founded belief that North Koreans really just wanted to be part of the community of nations.” Again, the parallels between Clinton’s and Obama’s assumptions about the desire of enemies to reform were consistent.

Clinton wasn’t going to broker any criticism of what he believed was a legacy-defining diplomatic triumph, all the more so when the criticism came from abroad. On October 7, 1994, South Korean President Kim Young Sam blasted Clinton’s deal with the North, saying, “If the United States wants to settle with a half-baked compromise and the media wants to describe it as a good agreement, they can. But I think it would bring more danger and peril.” There was nothing wrong with trying to resolve the problem through dialogue, he acknowledged, but the South Koreans knew very well how the North operated. “We have spoken with North Korea more than 400 times. It didn’t get us anywhere. They are not sincere,” Kim said. His outburst drew Clinton’s ire. He became the Netanyahu of his day. Meanwhile, the U.S. and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework. Gallucci and his team were “exhilarated.” They later bragged they “had overcome numerous obstacles in the negotiations with the North; survived the intense, sometimes strained collaboration with Seoul and the International Atomic Energy Agency; and marshaled and sustained an often unwieldy international coalition in opposition to the nuclear challenge, all under close and often critical scrutiny at home.”

Today, by some estimates, North Korea is well on its way to having 100 nuclear weapons and is steadily developing the ballistic capability to deliver them. Iran’s nuclear negotiators have cited North Korea’s negotiating strategy as a model to emulate rather than an example to condemn. Meanwhile, Obama has relied on many of the same negotiators to advance his deal with Iran.

The State Department has never conducted a lessons learned exercise about what went wrong with the North Korea deal. Perhaps it’s time. Diplomatic responsibility and national security demand it.

Obama, Iran and the Late William Buckley

February 16, 2015

Obama, Iran and the Late William Buckley, Huffington Post, February 15, 2015

(This is from left-“leaning” Huffington Post. William Buckley, the CIA agent mentioned in the article, was not National Review’s William F. Buckley, Jr. The comments following the article are interesting.– DM)

President Obama seems determined to move forward on a nuclear agreement with the regime that tortured and murdered William Buckley. He should reflect on how this dedicated CIA agent must have felt, abandoned by his government and alone with his Iranian torturers, enduring a hellish nightmare in the basement of the Iranian foreign ministry. Is the nation William Buckley died for now about to be abandoned, for the sake of a presidential legacy?


There are growing indications that the Obama administration will sign a nuclear agreement with Iran that will allow Tehran to become a nuclear-threshold state. It seems the only issue being contested at present is the extent of the cosmetic and temporary concessions the Iranians will grant so that Iran does not fully emerge as a nuclear weapons state until after the expiration of the Obama presidency. The disarming body language and genuine warmth that characterizes the public interaction between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s Minster of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif seems to point in that direction, belying the fact that these two nations have not had diplomatic relations for 35 years because the government of one of those states ordered its armed thugs to attack and seize the embassy of the other nation, in the most flagrant violation of international law, holding its diplomats hostage for 444 days.

Of course, Barack Obama has promised on more than one occasion that he would never permit Iran to become a nuclear armed state. Then again, this is the same President Obama who warned Syria’s president not to use poison gas on his own people, or there would be consequences for crossing that red line. And let us not forget the President’s assurances that the war in Iraq was over and it was safe to withdraw all U.S. forces, or that the emerging Islamic State was nothing more than a “jayvee team” or that Yemen was a great success story for America’s anti-terrorism strategy — the same Yemen where Washington was recently forced to close its embassy after a coup in that country staged by anti-American rebels loyal to Iran.

The consequences involved in permitting Iran to become a nuclear weapons state are, obviously, far more consequential. Barack Obama is not the first president confronting a rogue regime about to acquire nuclear weapons capability. In the early 1990s, evidence mounted that North Korea was embarking on a nuclear weapons program. As with President Obama, then President Clinton pledged to the American people that the North Korean regime would never be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons. Then former President Jimmy Carter came to the rescue. He flew to North Korea, met with the reigning dictator and laid the groundwork for what became the 1994 Agreed Framework treaty, which supposedly froze North Korea’s attempt to develop atomic weapons through plutonium production in exchange for U.S. economic aid. However, the treaty collapsed after Clinton left office when U.S. intelligence learned that North Korea had cheated on the agreement by secretly developing a uranium enrichment program as an alternative path towards developing nuclear bombs. In 2006, North Korea conducted its first test detonation of a nuclear bomb.

It appears that the Obama administration is following in the path originally set by President Clinton. In addition to tolerating a vast nuclear enrichment facility, much of it underground, that can only have been established for the eventual mass production of nuclear bombs to mate with Tehran’s increasingly powerful and longer-range ballistic missiles, the current administration has been passive in the face of Iran’s growing hegemony in the Middle East, as witnessed by Tehran’s virtual occupation of Lebanon through its proxy militia, its massive intervention in the Syrian civil war on the side of Basher Assad, and increasing military involvement and control in Iraq and the recent pro-Iranian coup in Yemen. This passivity is inexplicable, considering the potential and dire strategic and economic consequences for the United States.

What about the character of the regime that President Obama and his national security team seem about to trust with the most destructive weapons on earth? Amid the long list of Iranian terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its interests aboard unleashed by Tehran since 1979, there is one which, more than any other, defines the essence of the regime of the Ayatollahs and its contempt for the United States.

In 1984, the CIA station chief in Beirut, William Buckley, was kidnapped by the Iranian controlled Hezbollah militia. The fate of William Buckley was disclosed byWashington Post columnist Jack Anderson in an article published the following year. According to Anderson, who based his account on confidential sources within the U.S. intelligence community, Buckley was smuggled into Iran, and subjected to numerous bouts of brutal interrogation under barbaric torture in the basement of the Iranian foreign ministry, the same building being presided over today by John Kerry’s Iranian counterpart, Zarif. The barbarous torture eventually induced a heart attack, leading to the death of Buckley. As Jack Anderson stated in his article, Iran was responsible for the horrific murder under torture of an American patriot.

President Obama seems determined to move forward on a nuclear agreement with the regime that tortured and murdered William Buckley. He should reflect on how this dedicated CIA agent must have felt, abandoned by his government and alone with his Iranian torturers, enduring a hellish nightmare in the basement of the Iranian foreign ministry. Is the nation William Buckley died for now about to be abandoned, for the sake of a presidential legacy?