A few days ago Bill Kristol, former NYTimes Columnist, current big-league neoconservative and one of the main cheerleaders for Bush's War in Iraq, was asked a simple yes-or-no question on C-SPAN:
CALLER: Question for you, Mr. Kristol and I'd like for you to answer it with a simple yes or no. Due to the fact that we was led into the Iraq War with the fact that there were weapons of mass destruction, there were nuclear weapons there, there was all kind of weapons there, it's proved to be false - absolutely false. And your magazine, Fox network and and AEI, all of y’all hyped that to a degree that was just unimaginable. Even President Bush admitted there were no weapons of mass destruction there. In lieu of that fact — being the fact that there's 4,500 American lives lost there — will you personally apologize to those folks right now? Simple yes or no. Thank you.You'll note, of course, that after his one word answer, Kristol immediately changes the subject away from his support for the now-debunked idea that there were WMD in Iraq to what he sees as the outcome of the war and the troops.
I think the war was right, and I think we’ve succeeded in the war. And I think those lives — we should honor those soldiers who gave their lives and who fought so hard, and also were wounded for what they did.
And also in Afghanistan, incidentally, it’s President Obama who’s announcing the increase in troops today. It’s not something he was forced into by the Weekly Standard or anyone else.
But Bill Kristol has never had that close of a relationship with the facts. David Corn has a run-down on some of his more famous bad predictions. Here's a few:
On September 11, 2002, as the Bush administration began its sales campaign for the coming war, Kristol suggested that Saddam Hussein could do more harm to the United States than al Qaeda had: "we cannot afford to let Saddam Hussein inflict a worse 9/11 on us in the future."And:
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."And:
On March 5, 2003, Kristol said, "I think we'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq."Corn sums it up:
Such vindication never came. Kristol was mistaken about the justification for the war, the costs of the war, the planning for the war, and the consequences of the war. That's a lot for a pundit to miss. In his columns and statements about Iraq, Kristol displayed little judgment or expertise. He was not informing the public; he was whipping it. He turned his wishes into pronouncements and helped move the country to a mismanaged and misguided war that has claimed the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. That's not journalism.And Kristol said "No." when asked to apologize.