Monday, August 11, 2008

Bill Kristol Highlights the Plight of Georgians Years After Leading Charge Against Iraq

Bill Kristol never ceases to amaze. After being fatally wrong on the Iraq War, he lands a job at Time and then at the New York Times to continue opining on important world matters. He continues to be in denial about Iraq (even saying this week that in Iraq we are "on the verge" of a "strategic victory" over "jihadists"). Without going into what a "strategic victory" versus a "real victory" would be, or the fact that jihad in Islam is an internal struggle and one killing others cannot really be a jihadist because one's own internal jihad is essentially a lifelong struggle, suffice it to say that Kristol's article points the mirror outward to Eastern Europe when it should be turning it inward, toward the United States.

Before we forget, however, we need a refresher as to who Bill Kristol is: he is a McCain foreign policy advisor (the Times continues to omit this glaring fact in any of the man's op-eds), he believes that Iraqi Sunni and Shia Muslims get along fine, and that the Iraq War aftermath would need only a few thousand troops and $16 billion a year (in reality, it currently has 150,000 troops and costs the American taxpayer $12 billion a month). Taking all of this into account, let's go into what Kristol said.

Kristol laments the fact that Georgians suffered greatly under the Soviets for about 70 years during the 20th century. He states that while the League of Nations tried to exert "moral influence" on the Soviets to leave Georgia alone, everyone knew the Kremlin was so cold and evil that they would not listen to an assembled and established group of democracies. Yet the United States itself, in the lead-up to the Iraq War, defied conventional wisdom (and the United Nations) and invaded anyway with the help of the British. While it is true that U.N. Resolution 1441 states that "the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations," a second resolution regarding the invasion of Iraq that was pushed by Britain, the U.S., Spain, and Bulgaria never reached the floor because its authors knew that it would not pass the Security Council. In other words, as a whole the United Nations, an assembled and established group of democracies, was against the War in Iraq prior to the invasion.

In addition to this, Kofi Annan, the U. N. Secretary General at the time of the invasion, has since stated that in the eyes of the U. N. and its Charter, the invasion of Iraq was illegal. (Nota Bene: Kofi Annan is a bit dubious himself between the Lubbers sexual harassment ordeal and the Oil-for-Food scandal). However, the Charter itself is over half a century old and Annan is right when he states that the U.S.'s actions in Iraq in March of 2003 were, in fact, illegal in the Charter's jurisdiction. This, of course, makes hawkish Kristol's assertion in Monday's Times that, "Today, the Vladimir Putins and Hu Jintaos and Mahmoud Ahmadinejads of the world — to say nothing of their junior counterparts in places like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burma and North Korea — are no more likely than were Soviet leaders in 1924 to be swayed by 'moral influence.' Dictators aren’t moved by the claims of justice unarmed; aggressors aren’t intimidated by diplomacy absent the credible threat of force; fanatics aren’t deterred by the disapproval of men of moderation or refinement," all the more ironic. Using Kristol's own logic - of ignoring international opinion and instead invading a country based on fabricated intelligence - the United States is up there with Sudan, Zimbabwe and North Korea and all of those who pushed for war and got it (like Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the rest of the neo-cons [which, of course, includes Kristol himself]) are "dictators," "aggressors," and "fanatics."

I find it very funny that Kristol continues to discuss foreign policy matters as if he is an authority on it. The fact that he still does not think Iraq was a bad idea and helped "mastermind" the damn thing shows how much he knows about foreign policy and diplomacy. One of the last people in the political "elite" of this country that we should be taking advice - never mind foreign policy advice - is from Bill Kristol. Peace.

Photos - Bill Kristol (, A map of Georgia ( , The U.N. building in New York (

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