Before You Read Bill Kristol About ‘What to Do in Iraq,’ Read Bill Kristol in February 2002 About What to Do in Iraq

Because if anyone knows how to overthrow a dictator and rebuild the modern Middle East.... |||Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and American Enterprise Institute Critical Threats Project Director (yes, these people give themselves titles like this) Frederick W. Kagan have a piece up entitled "What to Do in Iraq," which—spoiler alert!—advocates more U.S. military force, more boots on the ground. Excerpt:

This would require a willingness to send American forces back to Iraq. It would mean not merely conducting U.S. air strikes, but also accompanying those strikes with special operators, and perhaps regular U.S. military units, on the ground. This is the only chance we have to persuade Iraq's Sunni Arabs that they have an alternative to joining up with al Qaeda or being at the mercy of government-backed and Iranian-backed death squads, and that we have not thrown in with the Iranians. It is also the only way to regain influence with the Iraqi government and to stabilize the Iraqi Security Forces on terms that would allow us to demand the demobilization of Shi’a militias and to move to limit Iranian influence and to create bargaining chips with Iran to insist on the withdrawal of their forces if and when the situation stabilizes.

In a nod to their diminished reputations as armchair generals, Kristol and Kagan tack on this defensive ending:

Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or the decision to withdraw from it in 2011. The crisis is urgent, and it would be useful to focus on a path ahead rather than indulge in recriminations. All paths are now fraught with difficulties, including the path we recommend. But the alternatives of permitting a victory for al Qaeda and/or strengthening Iran would be disastrous.

It's never not time. |||It's never really the right time for neoconservatives to "re-litigate" their past mistakes, since the consequences from them are constantly filling the world with new Critical Threats. But that really shouldn't stop the rest of us.

Want to dislodge the rest of your lunch? Go back and read the entirety of Bill Kristol's February 2, 2002 testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the next steps in the War on Terror. Here's a section that's particularly poignant this week, given the awful news coming out of the Middle East:

The one point I would make is that I think in all the discussion of risks we have lost sight of some of the rewards of a reasonably friendly, reasonably pro-Western government in Iraq. It would really transform the Middle East. A friendly, free, and oil-producing Iraq would leave Iran isolated. I think Syria would be cowed. The Palestinians would, I think, be more willing to negotiate seriously with Israel after this evidence of American willingness to exert influence in the region. Saudi Arabia would have much less leverage, if only because of Iraqi oil production coming on line, with us and with Europe.

Removing Saddam Hussein and his henchmen from power would  be a genuine opportunity, I think, to transform the political landscape of the Middle East. The rewards would be very great, and I would also say the risks of failing to do this I think are very great.

After the jump more jaw-dropping wrongness from Kristol (and friends!) 12-plus years ago:

Never, ever, ever not time. |||The Bush doctrine seeks to eliminate dictatorial regimes developing these weapons of mass destruction, especially such regimes that have a link to terror, and they all happen to do so. So there is an almost perfect correlation between terror-sponsoring regimes and regimes developing weapons of mass  destruction. [...]

As my friend Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post last week: The good news about Iran is that you clearly do have opposition to the regime. There is something of "a revolution from below" going on there. The question for us is how we can accelerate that revolution. One answer is "by the power of example and overthrowing neighboring radical regimes" would, I think, show the people of Iran, it would inspire the people of Iran, "show the fragility of dictatorship," show that dictatorship is not the inevitable way in the Middle East or in the Arab world. It would "challenge the mullahs' mandate from heaven and encourage disaffected Iranians to rise." As Krauthammer points out: "First Afghanistan to the East, next Iraq to the West, and then Iran." I think that is a reasonable strategic template, stipulating always the uncertainties of war and that one has to be ready for anything in this broad war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Flashback: Read the difference between the "Bill Kristol camp" and the "Nick Gillespie camp" during the near-U.S. war against Syria last year. Then read Reason's forum on the Iraq War, 10 years later.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unfortunately for everyone, the only thing that will stop Iraq's descent into complete chaos is an ironfisted strongman at the helm there.

  • Army of the 12 Monkeys||

    Like, say, Saddam Hussein ?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Haddam Sussein.

  • fish||

    Milton Waddam?

  • Agammamon||

    I-I-I c-c-c-can gas the K-Kurds.

  • Paper Wasp||

    I think we should have one group waging war for "regime change" in Iraq, and another group trying to reanimate Saddam Hussein, bring him back to life. And we should see which group completes its mission first.

    My money's on the reanimators.

  • Raven Nation||

    Hussein's big problem was that he went from being our son-of-a-bitch to just being a son-of-a-bitch.

  • VicRattlehead||

    I heard this guy on the radio claiming Iraq was some kind of libertarian paradise run awry..... i called up and asked why he lies to people so blatantly and while attempting to explain how any Islamic government is a socialist theocracy (Thats what the Quaran demands) not even remotely resembling libertarianism he hung up like a pussy and kept right on lying to everyone saying it was the free market that caused the new insurgency... i dont know how anyone even bought it it was just spewing lies and slander and got more vehement when questioned.

  • Mongo||

    Its amazing the level of either ignorance or blatant dishonesty that manifests itself when non-libertarians try to figure things out.

  • MJGreen||

    "Take out" Iran's government. Foreign policy is so easy!

  • Another David||

    Why, the last time we put boots on the ground, it worked out so well that just a decade later the people were at the mercy of "government-backed death squads"!

    It can't fail!

  • ||

    Man, I wish I could be chronically, utterly wrong constantly in my job and get paid what Kristol gets paid.

  • ||

    So the commenting you do here is just fantasy roleplay for that, is it?

  • ||

    The reason people pay me in STDs. I have a whole lot now!

  • Paul.||

    There's a management open job where I work...

  • bassjoe||

    You clearly haven't TRIED to be as consistently wrong as him. Give it a go for a decade or two and see where it gets you!

  • Mongo||

    I guess Tha Weekly Standard loses around $1 million a year and has to be propped up by some sugar daddy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003

    Kristol/Kagan: BUSH! NO FAIR! YOU CAN'T BRING HIM UP! THIS IS 2014!

    (just call them honorary Peanuts)

  • The Last American Hero||

    Most of the folks around here were anti-Iraq war, moreso than your beloved Team Blue congressional members were in 2002/2003 and certainly more anti-intervention than your 2004 presidential candidate.

  • GILMORE||

    Let him have have his fun. he's like a retarded puppy, and this is his favorite chew-toy. If you distract him, he'll pee everywhere and start humping your leg.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Kerry sucked. Still does.

  • ||

    Not when he opposed the War in Vietnam, but when he became a politician, yes, he sucked and still does. Political power does that to people. Reason number 207 to never run for office with the intention of winning.

  • ||

    Kristol/Kagan: BUSH! NO FAIR! YOU CAN'T BRING HIM UP! THIS IS 2014!

    I blame the spotters and aircraft carrier Obama is sending into the region on Bush.

  • GILMORE||

    HE LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU, BUSH!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Hopefully he tries to land a plane on a carrier.

  • ||

    "Thanks Obama for the Stinger Missiles"

    -ISIS

  • ||

    Awww, are your poor wittle feewings hurt because your best friend is sending troops into stupid ol Iraq? Or is it because he's sending an aircraft carrier into the Gulf.

    It must suck to have been slobbering over the cock of Bush III for the last 6 years.

  • John||

    Kristin versus Gillespie, cripple fight!! How about I listen to neither of them?

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    Meanwhile, Obama has decided to send in a small number of American troops to help out the Iraqis.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....sist-iraq/

  • John||

    He will send in just enough to ensure it gets a bunch Americans killed but not enough to do any good. He is a heinous at finding and executing the worst possible option.

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    A member of the commentariate over there hoped that these guys were spotters for airstrikes. It would be fantastic if we were about to unleash hell from above on ISIS.

    Given who our leader is, I am not holding my breath, but it would be awesome.

  • Raven Nation||

    Well, he is the drone king.

  • Agammamon||

    ISIS? *! LANA!

  • cavalier973||

    Pres. Obama's not a failure; he's just extremely successful at finding out what doesn't work.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He will send in just enough to ensure it gets a bunch Americans killed but not enough to do any good.

    He's hoping for more hostages so that he can trade away the rest of the terrorist in gitmo.

  • Paul.||

    Can I interest you in some brand new IDF rifles? Never been fired, only dropped once!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    To protect that monstrous $750 million US Embassy the Bushpigs built. 4000+ employees? Fuck that.

  • ||

    And yet your Lord and Master is doing just that.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or the decision to withdraw from it in 2011.

    Sir Richard Wharton: Standard Foreign Office response in a time of crisis. In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
    Sir Richard Wharton: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we *can* do.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Serious offer: I will pay for a plane ticket, weapon, and 1000 rounds of 5.56 for Kristol to go to Iraq.

  • Aresen||

    That's 999 more rounds than I'd give Barney Bill Kristol.

  • bassjoe||

    You don't get it.

    Others do the war fighting (and dying). Kristol must do the war THEORIZING, a true national treasure.

  • ||

    No you won't. I demand that you let me pay half and you pay half.

  • VicRattlehead||

    should start a kickstarter campaign for Kristol to go to Iraq I bet we raise the funds in a week. too bad this guy is a fucking pussy, Iraqi girls are harder fighters than Billy

  • GILMORE||

    "terms that would allow us to demand the demobilization of Shi’a militias and to move to limit Iranian influence"

    bwa ha HA!ha hahaaha haah!!

    hoooo.... you mean, "go to war with the people we set up in Iraq?" won't that be a hoot.

    And yes, kristol does nicely summarize their original 'goals'

    " A friendly, free, and oil-producing Iraq would leave Iran isolated. I think Syria would be cowed. The Palestinians would, I think, be more willing to negotiate seriously with Israel after this evidence of American willingness to exert influence in the region"

    Heckuvajob there with that 'isolating iran' thing.

    Kristol should have been run out of town years ago, and the 'reshaping'-regions advocates should be embarrassed to show their faces at all.

    What is probably equally retarded is that the left's 'antiwar' movement still harps on about Halliburton and 'stealing oil' and CORPORASHUNS... completely overlooking the idiocy of thinking that we can 're-engineer' whole political dynamics at the point of a gun. Noting* = the left has its own idiots who believe similarly.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I can't say I'm terribly impressed with what anyone (libertarians included) has to say about Iraq. Kristol is obviously just serving up the stale leftovers of 2002-3 rhetoric. The left is screaming about oil profits and mercenaries, neither of which is even close to the first problem with the region (and the former of which is necessary for a prosperous Iraq). Libertarians are too dogmatic to provide the rebuttal both sides are in need of.

    One thing the debate has convinced me of is that the idealists in power of all stripes need to be moved to the kiddie table before the US can have anything close to an effective policy in the future.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Gosh, I love your kind. "I won't state what I think we should do; I'll just limp-dickly complain that nobody else has guessed what I think we should do. Whenever an idea sounds too much like it's against committing American money and humans to sectarian squabbles in the Islamic shitholes of the world, I'll just tell them, heavily sighing, that they've not yet correctly guessed my plan."

    Lemme guess: you think we should go back to Iraq, and you think we're not interfering enough in these sectarian squabbles. Are you aware that no part of Iraq lies in the United States?

    How about if you have unfinished business in Iraq, Iran, Syria, or elsewhere, you fund that business yourself?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Lemme guess: you think we should go back to Iraq, and you think we're not interfering enough in these sectarian squabbles.


    Uh... no. Not even close. Not even slightly what I said or think. I opposed OIF and continue to oppose going into Iraq; I just understand the arguments on both sides and realize that they weren't as stupid as their iterations on Antiwar.com. Good luck with that mind-reading career, though.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    "I can't say I'm terribly impressed with what anyone (libertarians included) has to say about Iraq. Kristol is obviously just serving up the stale leftovers of 2002-3 rhetoric. The left is screaming about oil profits and mercenaries, neither of which is even close to the first problem with the region (and the former of which is necessary for a prosperous Iraq). Libertarians are too dogmatic to provide the rebuttal both sides are in need of."

    Exactly this. There is a ridiculous refusal to actually consider the reality of what's happening or what options should be considered.

    "Gosh, I love your kind. 'I won't state what I think we should do; I'll just limp-dickly complain that nobody else has guessed what I think we should do.'"

    Reading Reason and the comments here won't get you anything more than limp dick diatribes with absolutely no serious discussion about actually doing anything in these situations. The go-to answer is always "stay out of it". If that is going to be our answer to everything then we just need to stop with any charade of giving a damn about people and let the next million get hacked to death again and don't even bother with an apology.

    But that's not how it actually works out.

    When it comes to real foreign policy and immigration issues, Reason and its readers and the least serious thinkers on the planet.

  • ||

    Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    The go-to answer is always "stay out of it". If that is going to be our answer to everything then we just need to stop with any charade of giving a damn about people and let the next million get hacked to death again and don't even bother with an apology.

    Okay. And why not? What happens in other countries may suck, but why the hell is it our problem? More to the point, why the hell should we be redistributing our treasure and the lives of our servicemen to that end? How the hell is coerced philanthropy by military means somehow more acceptable than coerced philanthropy by fiscal policy?

  • VicRattlehead||

    FUCKING EXACTLY
    STAY THE FUCK OUT OF IT, there is nothing to gain and everything to lose almost uniformly when it comes to jumping into armed conflict.
    The only military action that could be justified is selling arms for oil to the current regime. they get their guns we get our gas, sure it will make another saddam-like dictator but it would restabilize it like it was before we stuck our dicks in it.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    Thanks Hit and Run readers for making my point. There's 0% serious thought put into foreign policy by the Hit and Run crowd.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Bullshit.

    The bottom line is that your entire argument isn't a serious one. The fact is that most of the world is, was, and, for the foreseeable future will be, a lousy awful place. A policy that comes down to putting our blood and treasure on the line because someone, somewhere, might otherwise get hacked to death (your standard, not mine), doesn't stem from rational geostrategic analysis. It's facile emotionalism that puts us in untenable open-ended commitments that undermine the pursuit of our long-term security goals.

  • Jeff R.||

    The go-to answer is always "stay out of it". If that is going to be our answer to everything then we just need to stop with any charade of giving a damn about people and let the next million get hacked to death again and don't even bother with an apology.

    Just because you don't want to get involved in someone else's war doesn't mean you "don't give a damn about people." I give a damn about lots of people, but that doesn't mean I'd risk my own life to save theirs or order someone else to do likewise.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You know, I went along with the 2003 Iraq War in hopes of "reshaping the region". You know what? IT DIDN'T WORK! I realized I wildly underestimated the complexity of the dynamics of the situation and that the intended outcome was only one of an almost infinite number of end states (i.e. approaching zero probability) resulting from the move. In short, it was A BAD IDEA! Kristol is acting like there's nothing to have learned from the previous policy.

  • MJGreen||

    Tell me if I'm missing something: The US devoted considerable resources into occupying Iraq. It undoubtedly made the US weaker and poorer, though given its considerable military and economy, the effect may not be terribly noticeable. But if Iran tries to do the same thing, it is taken as fact that Iran will become stronger? Iran won't run into many of the same problems we did? Iran's focus won't be redirected towards controlling Iraq, and away from whatever Kristol believes it wants to do to Israel and the US?

  • John||

    Yes. The idea of a Iranian dominated Iraq was one of the more retarded anti war lines. There are worse outcomes than Iran being sucked into propping up Assad and a Shia government in Iraq. They would go broke very quickly.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Eh, I think the bigger problem would have been an Iranian-aligned Iraq, with Iraq playing the Austria-Hungary to Iran's German Empire. Fair enough, such a scenario doesn't guarantee war or Iranian expansion but it would have been a bad outcome and counter to the dual containment policy which existed before.

  • John||

    And what exactly would such a country do? And how would it do it without its Suni and Kurdish minorities going I to revolt?

    And of course the same people who made your argument would almost inevitably argue against sanctions or strikes against Itran arguing Iran was not a threat. Iran was a menace when the subject of Iraq comes up and a peace loving victim of American agression at all other times.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    And how would it do it without its Suni and Kurdish minorities going I to revolt?


    Same way Ba'athist Iraq and Syria did, I suppose -- or perhaps the same way Bahrain does. Maybe it could have an Austria-style approach to its national minorities, choosing to advance the interests of its Kurdish minority as a junior partner of sorts. More of the Middle East seems to operate under similar arrangements on the part of autocrats than under the democratic arrangement sought by those attempting to nation build post-occupation.

  • John||

    And again do what except cost Iran a lot of money?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    At a minimum, guard Iran's western border while Iran expands elsewhere. Gives it a new trading partner during a time when it is economically isolated. There are all sorts of interesting things that happen when Iran is not being bothered by a similarly-powerful country.

    Not to say any of that is a certainty, but it does become more likely and as a concern it is not irrational.

  • John||

    How is being an Iranian puppet working out for Assad? And what difference does guarding the border make when the is will never attack them?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It may not work out for Iran, but it is at least not a stupid move depending on how it is played. Iran seems to be seriously investing in relations with Iraq, and Iraq has more prospects than Syria all things considered. Like I said, I'm not fully convinced it is the end of the world but it's not a good outcome if Iraq ends up as a very close partner of the current Iranian government.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Why not.

    I get why the House of Saud is terrified by that I idea. I don't know why I should give a shit.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Bill Kristol's status as a leading pundit on foreign policy is proof positive of just how pathetic our policy really is. Like Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, he has never had anything interesting or original to say about the subjects he covers. Even in the odd circumstance when he's been right, he's right in the most trite and dull way that it's possible to be right. See, I don't agree with everything (or most of the things) that, say, Krauthammer or Stephen Walt say, but in reading either person one can understand the arguments and come away the better for it. Kristol is the right-wing version of SHREEEEK or Richman -- one knows what he is going to write before reading him, and it is tediously played out.

    In some sense, libertarians should be grateful: they don't have to beat the platonic ideal of a neo-conservative debater, just their dimmer lights.

  • John||

    Exactly. Being mindlessly for or against every military intervention regardless of circumstances is idiotic. It goes back to the basic question, what the fuck do any of these people know or have done that would justify listening to them?

  • bassjoe||

    You're not badmouthing Thomas "in six months we'll know" Friedman, ARE YOU? How DARE YOU!!!

  • ||

    I think Otter's quote is appropriate here:

    "You fucked up! You trusted us!"

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    So its 50% GoT, 50% Iraq today.... we need some fusion.

    GAME OF IRAQ
    IRAQ OF THRONES

    nah.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Send in Stannis Baratheon. ISIS won't know what hit them; no one expects the Stannis Expedition.

  • ||

    I suddenly regret all previous encouragement.

  • Army of the 12 Monkeys||

    Tie him to...Iraq !

  • Aresen||

    no one expects the Stannis Expedition.

    Send him North of the Wall for that.

  • BakedPenguin||

    OT: US 1, Ghana 0 - 20 minutes in. Keep it up boys, it's payback time.

  • Raven Nation||

    Youch, Dempsey just got kicked in the face.

  • cavalier973||

    Keep it up boys, it's payback time

    No kidding. We'll teach those Ghananese to mess with America!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, they made it to half with the lead, but they need to step up their game and stop the sloppy giveaways. Were Ghana better at finishing, it might be 2-1 or 3-1 Ghana.

    Also, between Altidore's hamstring and (as RN said) Dempsey's nose, this could wind up being a costly victory een if they do hold on.

  • Timon 19||

    Dempsey scored 32 seconds in.

    Spent the rest of the half absorbing pressure down our left side. Ghana still only managed one shot from distance, but did look fairly dangerous on crosses as it went on.

    Altidore destroyed his hamstring running after a long ball. I have a feeling he's done for the tournament.

    Besler was holding his hamstring at about 38 minutes, but seemed to hold out.

    Dempsey got his nose all sorts of fucked up. Looked like it may have been broken at first, but maybe not. He's a tough hombre either way.

  • Timon 19||

    Shit. Brooks for Besler.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, that turned out okay.

  • Timon 19||

    Yeah, wow. Did not expect that!

    Brooks was caught ball-watching on the goal (and so did Cameron, honestly - I saw that backheel coming miles away), but otherwise played well. His reaction to the goal was fucking awesome. He couldn't believe it.

    I'm pretty sure I've finally stopped jittering. Maybe.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Zero offensive pressure. There's laying off when you have the lead, and there's this Russian roulette that they're playing right now. This team is gonna get chewed up in the next few group teams if they don't pick up the forward pressure a ton.

  • mr simple||

    Yep, tied up. It was bound to happen with so many defenders watching balls go past them rather than stop it. And on the offensive side they seem to hold it at least one touch too many every time.

  • mr simple||

    Goaaaaaal!

  • BakedPenguin||

    The US should be very happy they came away with 3 points from that. WTF was Bradley doing out there? The back line was a big part of why they got it. Jones was great out there.

    Ah well, a win and payback. Hopefully, they can pull it together a bit more for the next couple matches.

  • Brett L||

    All we need is a tie against Portugal and to not get completely embarrassed by Klinsmann's former team.

  • Timon 19||

    Ghana shut down Bradley, especially when Altidore went down as an outlet. Johansson, as good as he can be, is not ready to be a hold-up player.

  • bassjoe||

    Bill Kristol should be an inspiration to us all.

    That somebody so consistently wrong is still able to put his face on television and his words in mass print to (continue to) say those wrong things shows the rest of us that we're never in serious danger of going homeless because of a professional F-up (in fact, the MORE you F-up, the better!).

  • cavalier973||

    The Reason editing team are so freaking out of touch. Some dude who could barely sing dies and they can't stop talking about him. A genuine cultural icon passes and there's nary a mention. No wonder people can't take libertarianism seriously.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You're talking about Tony Gwynn, right?

  • cavalier973||

    Pffft. Gwyn's "Weekly Top 40" wasn't even as good as Rick Dee's, much less Kasem's.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Tobacco is whacko, he was way too young to die like that. I find it interesting to speculate about whether he could have hit .400 in 1994.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I've used smokeless tobacco on a number of occasions. Not anymore.*

    *Though there was an article that came out recently about dealing with pain after an NFL game, and one guy's fix was to soak pouches of chew in vodka and then freeze them. That sounds somewhat interesting.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Did you ever hit .400 while you were dipping?

  • John||

    They are hipsters dude. An irrational attachment to Lou Reed is mandatory for hipsters. The hipster union will pull your card for not liking Lou Reed

  • Aresen||

    I just checked the Wiki bio* of Kristol and did not see any mention of him ever doing active military service (he would have been the right age for the draft during Vietnam).

    Is he a chickenhawk or has Wiki missed his armed forces service?

  • John||

    Everyone is a chicken hawk. Joe from Lowell said I was even though I went there.

  • ||

    Joe would have joined, but they don't take anyone under 5 feet.

  • Raven Nation||

    From his Washington Speakers bio, he went from PhD at Harvard to teaching to government:

    http://www.washingtonspeakers......kerID=1234

  • ||

    Is he a chickenhawk or has Wiki missed his armed forces service?

    He's a chickenhawk. His Wikipedia page did include this gem, however:

    "Kristol is a harsh critic of Texas congressman and presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul-(R) and his supporters; he has been quoted as stating that he 'would be happy if Paul were purged from the GOP'."

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    he may be called Kristol, but his balls are made of pure brass, lol

    tiptheveal.com

  • GILMORE||

    Note to self = DO NOT PLAY JENGA WITH BILL KRISTOL

  • Irish||

    I think I speak for all of us when I say, no matter what the question, the answer is to bomb Iraq.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    The crisis is urgent

    The crisis is always fucking urgent to these assholes.

    ... Hobbit

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or the decision to withdraw from it in 2011"

    Yeah, because we've already fully assimilated the lessons of Iraq and would never do anything like that again, so why dredge up old and irrelevant disputes?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "Bill Kristol's February 2, 2002 testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the next steps in the War on Terror."

    What in the world? Why would Bill Kristol be giving such testimony, is he an expert on anything relevant?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He's perpetually terrified, doesn't that count as an expert on terrorism?

  • ||

    I hear a lot of debating about the details of the situation and how it might play out if we do this or that or the other.

    The truth is that there are no good guys to align ourselves with, no substantial number of sane, secular people there to create a government out of. There are no good options, no wise course to choose.

    They are savages. They are superstitious and fanatical as hell. No matter what we did there what is happening now was inevitable.

  • ||

    Oh, and the fantastical bullshit didn't just come from the neocons. Plenty on the left were predicting a peaceful, strong and secular Iraq.

    How many drops of oil have we gotten out of that place?

  • ||

    Not as many as drops of blood we have spilled in that place.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "No matter what we did there what is happening now was inevitable."

    I cannot imagine a better argument then for us not doing a thing there.

  • cavalier973||

    We should at least refuse to intervene until the people adopt sensible names.

  • widget||

    *Looks up Bill Krystol on Wikipedia*

    Kristol was born on December 23, 1952 in New York City, into a Jewish family.

    And he's not a comedian, physicist, novelist, or entrepreneur. He's a pundit. His parents must be disappointed.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The problem with the Krystol et al idea of transforming Iraq into a stable democracy is that doing so would require a 50-100 year long colonization effort, with brutal oppression along the way. And Americans just don't have it in them to persevere in that kind of endeavor.

  • widget||

    How Maoist of you - the blank slate theory. Try, just try really hard. We just haven't tried hard enough before.

  • ||

    I didn't read his post as an endorsement of that idea.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Meh,
    It's basically what we did with South Korea. Turned out pretty well but included decades of puppet dictatorship.

  • VicRattlehead||

    I dont know about brutal oppression being the only option, the people there were pretty happy about America being in charge and would have been happy to let us run the show until the insurgents had been wiped out(we were close to this when I left), they even were offering to pay us for military assistance in oil at one point which we had thought meant our government would totally jump on and extend our deployment. instead we scaled back our efforts and allowed a dying ember to turn into a full fledged forest fire.
    If we get sent to war we better be sure we want to wipe out the opposition completely otherwise its just creating generations of terrorists, which i fear may be the point of our current policy.

  • RishJoMo||

    Sometimes man you jsut gottta rol lwith the punches.

    www.WentAnon.tk

  • VicRattlehead||

    and sometimes you just gotta use spell checker...

  • Azathoth!!||

    The reason things didn't turn out the way people like Kristol went on about is because the war--both Iraq War 2 and the whole 'Global War on Terror' were fought incorrectly.

    Had they been fought like WW2 things would have turned out very differently.

    But we've lost our stomach for that. Korea and Vietnam showed that much.

    War works like making the decision to use a gun against an attacker--if you take it out and point it at them, you better be sure that your next action is killing them. Hesitation, negotiation all of these things are dangerous and can lead to your demise.

    And we fight wars now firmly stuck in the hesitation and negotiation phase.

    Because we're unsure of our position.

    And that's no way to go to war. If you're not so sure of your position that you know that the horrors you are about to unleash are preferable to what would happen if you didn't then you have no business going to war.

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