What a ding-dong I am!
For months – nay, years! – I’ve been ranting about how screwed up the war in Iraq has been, and how disastrous have been its consequences.
What a fool I’ve been! In reality, it’s actually turned out pretty great.
That’s what I learned when I read William Kristol’s recent New York Times piece, "The Democrats’ Fairy Tale". In a stroke of thoughtfulness, generosity and uncanny prescience, the Times was kind enough recently to hire Kristol to write a regular column for their op-ed page. I guess that’s because Ariel Sharon was unavailable and David Duke was on vacation.
And bless his little heart, Kristol knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Heck, he’s the one who got us into Iraq in the first place! He’s been telling us for a long time what a cool thing it would be to knock over that tin-pot Saddam Hussein crank, and damned if he didn’t convince the president to do it, despite Bush’s decades of foreign policy experience.
But it’s been a rough couple of years for Ol’ Bill, ‘cause the whole damn country went into some sort of narcoleptic, apoplectic, pathogenic tizzy about the war, crying fickle and foul at every turn and seeming like all everyone wanted was to end the darned thing. Imagine that. What a bunch of whiney little self-interested twits, squealing like a continent full of Europeans, and utterly failing to see the great wisdom of Young William’s Grand Adventure In Mesopotamia. It’s really quite nauseating, isn’t it?
In his article, Kristol really rips the Democrats, and don’t they ever deserve it. Now that Iraq appears to be marginally more peaceful than it was last year at this time, Kristol is angry because, as he puts it: "It’s apparently impermissible for leading Democrats to acknowledge – let alone celebrate – progress in Iraq".
Bill is angry because the Democrats (and the public – but, oddly, he doesn’t mention that part) still want to end the war – even though it’s been a huge success! They should "celebrate" it, instead! Fortunately, he is clever enough to suss out the real reason for this childish intransigence. It’s not, as Hillary put it, because the Iraqis know the Democrats will shut off the supply valve of endless wasted dollars and soon-to-be casualties headed to Baghdad. As Kristol notes, "That is truly a fairy tale. And it is driven by a refusal to admit real success because that success has been achieved under the leadership of ... George W. Bush. The horror!"
I must admit I’ve suffered from some of the same confusion as the Dumb Dems, whom I think we can all agree are simply hopelessly naive pacifists intent on allowing our country to be taken over by Very Bad People (of less than fully white complexion) who mean us harm. You know the type I mean, like George McGovern, who flew all those bombing missions during World War II while Little Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Kristol and the rest fought ... valiantly ... in ... Viet ... oh, never mind. Anyhow, that hopeless and dangerous idealism is why, just one year before the Iraq war, every single Democrat in the Congress opposed the invasion of Afghanistan except for ... well, except for ... every single Democrat in Congress other than one. Okay, never mind on that one too.
Look, let’s get down to brass tacks here. Kristol just gets it. The rest of us don’t. He realizes that in the grand scheme of things – "World War IV" as his pappy likes to call it – what’s important is not the big picture, but the very narrowest.
You may think, for example, that promulgating egregious lies in order to shove your way into am Iraq war that no one else wants is stupid and counterproductive, damaging the credibility and interests of the United States, and probably accounting for the lack of allied support in a more credible war in Afghanistan. But Bill Kristol knows better.
You may think that fighting a war that massively drains military, diplomatic and financial resources away from the real enemies of the country in order to pursue a pet project that has nothing to do with those genuine threats would be idiotic and suicidal. But that’s ‘cause you’re not as smart as William Kristol.
You might believe that it was a ludicrous waste of blood and treasure to kill 4,000 Americans and one million Iraqis, while borrowing and spending a trillion bucks (fast going up to two) in order to invade a country that had neither attacked us nor threatened us. And that doing so was an extremely poor choice of resource allocation, especially when we have tens of millions of children doing without healthcare in this country. But if you were a clever neoconservative like Bill Kristol you’d know better.
You might think that wrecking our military and compromising American security over a non-problem – indeed, a problem that people like Bushes and Cheneys and Rumsfelds and Reagans once very much created and encouraged – would be a stupid choice of priorities. But that’s only because you don’t have the foreign policy insight of someone like Bill Kristol.
And let me guess – I bet you also think that launching a war that brings chaos to a vital and volatile area, and that massively increases the power of an Iran run by radical theocrats was a really, really dumb idea. But if you were Bill Kristol you’d realize that all we need is a third war against an Islamic country, and we can clean up the whole mess all at once!
Or maybe you’re like all those American intelligence agencies, who collectively reported last year that the Iraq war was actually creating anti-American terrorists rather than eradicating them. But if you were as smart as Mr. Bill and his Kristol Ball, you’d know that they’re all just a bunch of long-haired and bearded blame-America-first left-wing Berkeley rejects running covert ops for the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies. Of course they’re going to diss the war! It’s going well, and those unpatriotic spooks can’t stand that because they hate America!