For those who don’t subscribe, the July 3 issue of The American Conservative has several noteworthy articles.
One, “Nation Breaking,” is by Joe W. Guthrie, an Army vet who was honorably discharged in December 2005 after a tour of duty in Iraq as a liaison to the Iraqi army. He writes with great particularity about the accretion of evidence that led him to conclude that training Iraqis is certainly not a priority and may not even be a goal of the Bush administration. Personally, I find that hard to believe, but the alternative explanation for the facts he recites would appear to be breathtaking incompetence in the training of Iraqi troops, which is hardly less alarming. Everyone who writes about Iraq after having been there claims that he or she has the real story that others can’t or won’t tell, and my pre-existing bias is to think that all of these people with the “real story” are like the proverbial blind men and the elephant, each grasping only one aspect of the situation. But if this is not THE real story from Iraq, it is at least one of the real stories, and worth reading.
The second noteworthy article is “Losing Liberties Left and Right,” in which authors Doug Bandow and Michael D. Ostrolenk discuss the way that paleoconservatives favoring fiscal responsibility and smaller government have been shunned by the Bush administration and must therefore make coalitions with groups like the ACLU and People for the American Way. According to the authors,
“The need for co-operation across ideological boundaries is essential. Consider free speech concerns. Conservatives who want to protest abortion have as much interest in protecting the First Amendment as do liberals who want to protest the Iraq War.”
These articles are not yet available on the web, and many articles in The American Conservative are never available online. If you see a copy at your favorite newsstand, though, the July issue is well worth the $3 cover price.