Why Bill Kristol Should Be Ignored on Iraq

Bill Kristol, predictably, thinks we should send troops back into Iraq to restart the war:

“[President Obama needs to go] on TV saying, ‘This is a strategic crisis, for the reasons I’m going to lay out here. We have to do something that no one wants to do, which is to go back in with a lot of air power and with special forces, and maybe a few conventional troops, to help stabilize the situation,'” Kristol told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday.

Let’s step into the wayback machine and go back to 2007, when David Corn stepped into the wayback machine and provided a list of some of the things Bill Kristol had said about Iraq that were completely, incontrovertibly false. Like his pronouncements on practically everything else, his connection to reality seems not just tenuous, but adversarial.

On September 18, 2002, Kristol opined that a war in Iraq “could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East.”

On September 19, 2002, he once again pooh-poohed inspections: “We should not fool ourselves by believing that inspections could make any difference at all.” During a debate with me on Fox News Channel, after I noted that the goal of inspections was to prevent Saddam from reaching “the finish line” in developing nuclear weapons, Kristol exclaimed, “He’s past that finish line. He’s past the finish line.”

On November 21, 2002, he maintained, “we can remove Saddam because that could start a chain reaction in the Arab world that would be very healthy.”…

On February 2, 2003, he claimed that Secretary of State Colin Powell at an upcoming UN speech would “show that there are loaded guns throughout Iraq” regarding weapons of mass destruction. As it turned out, everything in Powell’s speech was wrong. Kristol was uncritically echoing misleading information handed him by friends and allies within the Bush administration.

On February 20, 2003, he summed up the argument for war against Saddam: “He’s got weapons of mass destruction. At some point he will use them or give them to a terrorist group to use…Look, if we free the people of Iraq we will be respected in the Arab world….France and Germany don’t have the courage to face up to the situation. That’s too bad. Most of Europe is with us. And I think we will be respected around the world for helping the people of Iraq to be liberated.”

On March 1, 2003, Kristol dismissed concerns that sectarian conflict might arise following a US invasion of Iraq: “We talk here about Shiites and Sunnis as if they’ve never lived together. Most Arab countries have Shiites and Sunnis, and a lot of them live perfectly well together.” He also said, “Very few wars in American history were prepared better or more thoroughly than this one by this president.” And he maintained that the war would be a bargain at $100 to $200 billion. The running tab is now nearing half a trillion dollars.

And yet today he is still given a platform to talk about what we should do in Iraq now. As Corn put it at the start of that article, the marketplace of ideas simply hasn’t worked here. No matter how bad his ideas are, there’s always a market for them.

"There are two parts of the story. I personally don't have that much problem with ..."

Two More Accusers Step Forward in ..."
"And who better to testify that heterosexual escapades have no cost other than Jimmy Lee ..."

And Two More Women Come Forward ..."
"Keep talkin, crackpot sister! You do more to hasten the end of religion than a ..."

Crokin: God Will Reward My Crackpottery
"Convicted felon Jim Bakker says what? War on Christmas? Hell, yeah. Christmas is good, Xmas, ..."

Bakker Declares Victory in Mythical War ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Doc Bill

    Then why, oh, why is this dolt getting TV bookings? He’s everywhere! Sure, spouting stupid, but why can’t the media simply ignore him?

    Kriston doesn’t have his own TV or radio show. He’s a talking head. Just say no, don’t book him.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    But you must admit he was pretty good in When Harry Met Sally…

  • raven

    Kristol is proof there is no god.

    If there was, he would be on his way to Iraq clutching an M16.

    And be dropped by parachute into an ISIS controlled area. (Along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, McCain, and Rupert Murdoch.)

  • colnago80

    He should be shunned by all the networks. Of course, the Fascist News Channel will do nothing of the sort.

  • colnago80

    Re raven

    And the fuckken assholes on the Washington Post editorial page, starting with fuckface Fred Hyatt.

  • https://twitter.com/_Ex_Astris_ MrFancyPants

    It seems like the last two words in the title of this post are unnecessary.

  • http://zenoferox.blogspot.com/ Zeno

    Bill Kristol should be ignored on Iraq? Bill Kristol should be ignored on everything.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Ed, that title is two words too long.

    Let’s also remember that he’s the wunderkind who brought us Caribou Barbie.

  • moarscienceplz

    Why Bill Kristol Should be Ignored on Iraq

    Ummm, is it because he has drunk the Republican Kool-Aid for so long his brain looks like a leach pit in a high-sulfur coal mine?

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Why Bill Kristol should be ignored on Irad (and everything else).

    Because he’s Bill fucking Kristol! Isn’t that enough of a reason?

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie


    Telling us to ignore Bill Kristol’s sagacity (I loved his early stuff, “Soap”, SNL but it all went downhill after he took that role in “City Slickers”) is like telling us to ignore JESUS. Both of them are fabulistic constructs.

  • laurentweppe

    Why Bill Kristol Should Be Ignored

    Because he’s Bill Kristol

  • parasiteboy

    To be fair to Kristol, he did use the qualifier “could” in some statements. I mean getting rid of Saddam could have released all of the world’s captured Unicorns in Saddam’s possession, just because it didn’t happen, doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He’s not wrong. He’s right at telling wrong people what they want to hear. It’s not a Market failure. It’s a Market success!

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    Kristol was on Bill Maher’s show again not long ago, and Maher made the comment that Kristol never met a war he didn’t like. Kristol had the gall to get all huffy and outraged at the comment. It was rather entertaining though, to watch him bluster while Maher and the rest of the panel piled on, deservedly so.

  • eric

    The Daily Show had on the Iraqi Foreign Minister or Ambassador (can’t remember which) last night, and he also called for US military intervention. Now he may be wrong about that helping, but I have to consider him a lot more of a credible opinion in terms of knowing what may be the best solution for Iraq.

    As for Kristol, well…stopped clocks and all that.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Kristol was on Bill Maher’s show again not long ago, and Maher made the comment that Kristol never met a war he didn’t like.Kristol was on Bill Maher’s show again not long ago, and Maher made the comment that Kristol never met a war he didn’t like.

    To be fair, I seriously doubt that Kristol was at all happy about the War of Northern Aggression.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie


    I’m sorry, were you referring to the War of Southern Treachery?

  • scienceavenger

    @15 “Kristol had the gall to get all huffy and outraged at the comment.”

    Huff and outrage is all they’ve got. I’ve been watching the Iraq Bozo Brigade (Krystal, Wolfowitz, Bremer, etc.) make the rounds on all the networks, and they all do the same schtick: Make grandiose pronouncements on the supposed rightness of what they did, and when called on their bullshit, get all huffy and condescending and say “well, we could relitigate the past, but we really need to be talking about what we should do now”.

    Just once, will one of you supposed media professionals be prepared, and respond with a TV-appropriate version of “Yeah dickhead, but the REAL question is why anyone should be listening to YOU during that discussion, since the past you don’t want to relitigate is full of your total fuckups on this very subject?”