Patrick Buchanan, as he often does, criticizes the Bush and now Obama anti-terrorism policy, here linked at Vdare-
The policy Bush followed is probably easy to criticize. All the criticism has fallen on deaf ears, however, because none of it was regarded as credible.
In general communication must be regarded as credible, that is, the communicator must be believed as actually believing what he is saying. Exceptions to this involve various kinds of political kabuki but then the message intended to be understood has to be credible.
The critics of the current policy should have some impact, except nobody believes they would do anything more effective against the threat that exists. Buchanan doesn’t say what he would do, so I will guess.
Buchanan would withdraw US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He would severely restrict entry of immigrants and visitors from Islamic countries.
And that’s it.
But the American consensus does not believe this would lead to acceptable results. As often as Bush was parodied as a right wing nut his policies were only on the politically right edge of the establishment consensus. The agreement was Afghanistan had to be secured, and Iraq was a threat that had to be dealt with. People don’t generally think that if we leave the Moslems alone, they will leave us alone. And they don’t generally think a military withdrawal in the face of stiff opposition will lead to a similar withdrawal by the enemy.
Other policies might work, but they will not be followed. The dismantling of Saudi Arabia would probably help a lot. It won’t happen, even if the Saudis hadn’t paid off everybody in Washington. Assassinations would help, but that is against American policy, has been for a long time, and the policy won’t change. A hard hand in Pashtunistan would help, and this is actually being pursued to some extent, but still this is quite limited. Drone attacks, like all other military action, can only occur with no civilian casualties, which limits them a great deal.
I suspect Buchanan is a lot more pacifistic than he would like people to believe. The left spent a great deal of effort convincing the American people there was a role for America overseas, however, and has had little luck over the last 50 years trying to unconvince them.
Harsher policies are unacceptable, and as far as gentler policies, even Obama is having trouble backing off.