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Not a War President

What can we learn from the few sentences President Obama devoted to foreign policy in his speech to Congress tonight?

The main lesson is how very few the sentences were. Yes, this was a speech focused on the economy. But it was also Obama’s first address to Congress, and his first to the nation since his inauguration. Obama did acknowledge in passing that for seven years we have been “a nation at war.” But that fact was barely reflected in his text. The treatment of foreign policy was perfunctory at best.

Obama did say he’s “carefully reviewing our policies in both wars.” “War” is just one area in which the president conducts and reviews public policy, apparently no more urgent than energy, health care or education--indeed, perhaps less so. You’d never know from the one-sentence discussion of Afghanistan that just last week the president had ordered an additional 17,000 troops there. Obama doesn’t seem to think his responsibility as commander in chief is in any way special. He certainly felt no responsibility even to begin to educate the public about this theater to which he’s committing additional American soldiers.

Instead, both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were treated as sideshows to “a new era of engagement” that Obama claims has begun. The only particular place mentioned by Obama, in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan, was Israel: “To seek progress toward a secure and lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, we have appointed an envoy to sustain our effort.” The Israeli-Arab dispute and its envoy merits a mention. Yet Iran and its nuclear program does not?

This was not the speech of a man who even contemplates the possibility of using force within the next year to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This was not the speech of a man who thinks America needs to be reminded about the dangers out there in the world, because Americans might have to be summoned to deal with them. This was not the speech of a man who thinks of himself as a war president.

But he is.

By William Kristol  | February 24, 2009; 11:24 PM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Next: 'We Are Not Quitters'


What about his statements of commitment to the troops and his desire to increase wages and care for soldiers and veterans? Did you miss that Kristol?

Posted by: bht4g | February 24, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

You never quit, do you Kristol?

Prepare for lean times in the field of fearmongering and sabre-rattling punditry. War fever is out of fashion, these days it's the economy, stupid.

And you know even less about economics than you do about war.

Posted by: kenonwenu | February 25, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Why do we need a "war" President? Shouldn't we be focusing on peace?

Also, it's strange how you talk about him not talking about war but neglect to talk about his commitment to troops - which the Republicans and the prior admin. did not do. Now troops will receive pay for their services and proper health care. Yeah that's not a war President but a President who cares about his troops.

Which would I prefer? Hum let me think - someone who cares!!!

Posted by: rlj1 | February 25, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Krystal you worthless sniveling criminal, your warlord days are OVER. Intelligent adults are running the country now.

Posted by: ottoparts | February 25, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

W was a "war president"; Obama is president in a time of war, and both you and W are war mongering chicken hawks who don't have the courage to fight the wars they would commit others to fight.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 25, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

William Kristol's political punditry is almost as distinguished as his military service.

Posted by: nleibowitz | February 25, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use."
President Obama, State of the Union Address, February 25, 2009

Is this the statement that hurt you so much Kristol?

You're nothing but a shill for the Military Contracting Industry Kristol.

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | February 25, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It is clear that Kristol has no bona fide journalistic purpose behind this posting.

His only purpose, as always, is to a attempt a snarky cheap-shot take down of a Democrat.

It reeks of sour grapes and sore loserism.

Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

The Americans and the world have suffered for seven years under the presidency of Mr. Krystol's beloved war persident George W. Bush. We can't even begin to know how many future generations have to suffer as the result of the arogance and wrong doings of President Bush and his administration. It definitely is refreshing to see a president who is not a war president. I'd like to suggest that Mr. Krystol stop making rounds of so-called liberal newspapers and limit himself to write for his like-minded conservative readers in Weekly Standard.

Posted by: BA-IrvineCA | February 25, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Does relying on foreign oil keep us safe, Mr. Kristol?

Wouldn't the world be a much more stable place if we produced our own clean, renewable energy?

Energy IS a national security issue.

Education IS a national security issue.

Saving the domestic manufacturing industry IS a national security issue.


Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

When is the Washington Post going to rise to the level of the New York Times and throw out this piece of irrelevant, idiotic rubbish?

Posted by: castillomark | February 25, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Don't look now, Kristol, but the entire nation loved this speech. Take a look at the insta-polls.

We do not want any more "freedom is on the march" "with us or against us" "dissent enables the enemy" crap from the likes of you and your PNAC cronies.

Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, wrong about everything that has gone on in Iraq, let go by the New York Times after an embarrassing year of irrelevance, is now writing for the Post?

Have you people no shame?

Posted by: rik1 | February 25, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

You just want Obama to focus on helping Israel blast Iran to bits for no good reason.

And to force Obama to keep letting Israel blasts the poor neighbours to bits with US bombs.

You are pathetic.

Posted by: shepherdmarilyn | February 25, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

So - Kristol wants Obama to telegraph his plans in advance while the whole world is listening. I'm no military expert like Kristol, but that doesn't sound smart. Antagonizing the enemy with loud-mouthed bullying that you can't back up, a la George Bush, also sounds pretty dumb.

Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

KRISTOL CANNOT STAND, detests and cannot understand anything that isn't war,

and doesn't benefit israel!
Or can't be twisted to help, Israel. Bush's speeches were all war.

HEALTH CARE for middle class Americans? Insane. He shakes his head and struggles with vertigo. America has gone mad.

Posted by: whistling | February 25, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

In due course the Post will learn what The New York Times learned about Bill Kristol: he is a self-styled intellectual in decline whose simple-minded rightwing dogma is ignored by thinking conservatives. He bored Times readers.

Posted by: Irishvetter | February 25, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I just can't believe this clown still gets column space anywhere outside of his own neocon rag. Amazing.

Posted by: kurthunt | February 25, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

It's only a matter of time before Kristol is laughed off the pages of even his own Weekly Standard.

Next stop, "Archie" comics.

Posted by: nleibowitz | February 25, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

That's right Billy, with the last election, America's priorities have shifted from fighting Israel's wars to fighting for American jobs, American education and American healthcare. I know Bill, the world is cazy.

Posted by: kurthunt | February 25, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

As already noted Kristol's main goal in life is to foster a war upon Iran. If Israel wants a nuclear weapon free zone in the M/East, it should step up to the plate and sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and grant access to IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities at Dimona. Iran has not bothered its neigbors militarily for hundreds of years---something Israel cannot say during its brief 60 years. Iran has as much right to nuclear energy use as the next nation and also nuclear weapons considering the neighborhood it lives in.

Posted by: frklynson | February 25, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree that President Obama failed to educate the public on foreign affairs. But Mr Kristol is doing the same, by failing to use this space to address some issues or critical importance.

- A few days ago, the government of Pakistan handed over the northern provinces to the Taliban. Muslim extremists are closer than ever to get their hands on Pakistan's nukes. That's a far greater threat than Iran.

- Nobody knows what is going to happen with Guantanamo detainees. Europe won't take them. More likely, they will be sent to some Arab countries, where they will rejoin Al-Qaeda.

- An "envoy" is now handling US affairs in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the role of the Secretary of State has been reduced to attend talk shows in Asia.

Pretty scary.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | February 25, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Geeeeeze....where do you want to go marching off to war this week? Haven't you and your neocon friends involved us in enough wars? I We're broke! I think President Obama covered all the bases well in his speech tonight. We Americans know very well the theaters where our troops are being committed -- we've been paying for it for almost 8 years. If the Bush administration hadn't blown the war in Afghanistan in the first place while they went trotting off to Iraq, we wouldn't be in this situation. I loved what he said about ending the no-bid contracts which have wasted billions and made millionaires of all your neocon friends. How you can snipe about President Obama after the mess of the last 8 years of Republican rule is totally beyond my comprehension! I also appreciate that the cost of these wars is now going to be in the budget. The fact that it wasn't before is a disgrace! When I read articles like yours, it reminds me of why I left the Republican party 4 years ago! I don't know this party anymore.

Posted by: sharronkm | February 25, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

NY Times' gain is WaPo's loss.
- - just when I joyfully thought I'd never have to read anything from Bill Kristol again, Washington Post backstabs me. Oh well...

Posted by: IpiTombi | February 25, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Even here, in the middle of the economic, domestic speech,

Israel's boy Kristol screams for the BOMBING of IRAN?

Does Kristol even pretend any more to be anything but what he is, an Israeli agent?
PNAC's next stage?

The Jewish neocons are sounding desparate
out of power. May they be paid back for their work.

Posted by: whistling | February 25, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

He touched on foreign issues as they needed to be and focused on the more important and immediate problems.

Kristol will never have anything good to say about Obama because he doesn't think for himself. He is programed to find negative views, regardless of how trivial it may be, just sake of opposing. Its going to be a long 8 years for this creep.

Posted by: jacuda_2000 | February 25, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Kristol is dead right. Obama's trying to be a domestic President. Just like W did before 9/11. I hope it doesn't take another 9/11 to wake up this President.

And it is telling, yet unsurprising, that most of the negative remarks made here attack Kristol personally and make wild claims completely unrelated to Kristol's article.

Is this indicative of most WaPo readers? Sad.

Posted by: NotEasy | February 25, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean Kristol agrees that Obama is not terrorizing us for support in the name of war. Compare this to Bush in 2004 "We are at war if you do not vote for me we lose".

Posted by: DrCha | February 25, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Crystal, why don't you retire to Crawford too...

Posted by: SpaceCity | February 25, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

" Compare this to Bush in 2004 "We are at war if you do not vote for me we lose".

Posted by: DrCha | February 25, 2009 1:20 AM "

Yes, that's a direct quote I believe. Very nice.

Correct me if I am wrong, but did the Dems not run in 2004 on a retreat platform? Now, retreat is a plausible platform to run on if you think the mission is a mistake/unwinnable, but doesn't retreat entail defeat?

Posted by: NotEasy | February 25, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Kristol needs to have someone shove about 50 Motzoh Balls and twenty lbs. of Gevilte Fish down his ugly Face.!!

Posted by: orionexpress | February 25, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

There's no need to go all anti-semitic on Kristol. The man would be a just as repulsive a lying neocon scumbag if he was an Episcopalian.

Posted by: nleibowitz | February 25, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse


"And it is telling, yet unsurprising, that most of the negative remarks made here attack Kristol personally and make wild claims completely unrelated to Kristol's article."

any..i mean ANYBODY smell a hack?

The tenor of the thread is the Bill Kristol anti-venom.
i recommend it.

Posted by: cassk1 | February 25, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

NotEasy - unless you are posting from a war zone, I assume you are yet another proud member of the 101st Chairborne.

The Fighting Keyboardists! Keeping the world safe, from mom's basement.

Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

"We’ll ... reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use."

Oh no, Bill, he's ... he's taking away your beautiful F22s! Not the F22s!

Posted by: bourassa1 | February 25, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

This was the speech of a COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF who has to make choices -- hard choices -- because of all the mistakes YOUR guy made over 8 years -- partly because of policies you, Mr. Kristol, shoved down the throats of the American people.

Who knows what our country would be like today if we had not started that 3 Trillion Dollar, unnecessary war in Iraq -- not even counting the precious lives lost.

So -- let's get our country back into a position to really protect our shores from REAL enemies and hope that having an intelligent president, who believes in diplomacy can buy us time while we rebuild our military, our financial markets and our confidence before our "next war."

[why is mr. "everything-i-say-has-been-wrong-for-the-last-eight-years" kristol writing for the washington post after being fired by the ny times? just ask'n.]

Posted by: rebeccajm | February 25, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Bill, time for "full disclosure."

Who pays you to write this stuff? I'm sure the WaPo doesn't have the budget these days. The Weekly Standard is just a front for money laundering, you aren't really a capitalist enterprise. I'm sure AIPAC is too smart to pay you, or so my ex-Mossad and IAF buddies here in Silicon Valley say. Heritage? AEI?

You aren't a licensed lobbyist, so clamoring for JSF and more ABM spending isn't lining your pockets.

Care to come clean like you demanded of Bill CLinton?

Posted by: boscobobb | February 25, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Shut up, you moron. Just shut up. You are nothing but a mouthpiece for the party of incompetence and blather. Just go the hell away, Kristol, you moron. Is it possible for a person to be more negative and out of touch? (Well, maybe, but they left the government to the grown ups on January 20.)

Posted by: dmarble | February 25, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

If you want to make Bill Kristol angry, i suggest you head over to and watch his new one-hour special on Iran.

It is a view of Iran I have never seen before - American media simply does not bring us this kind of information.

Once you get a first hand look at the innocent people living in Iran who have nothing to do with their government's rhetoric, you realize that "bomb first, ask questions never" is not the answer.

Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

You are shameful, you chickenhawk. Go away.

Posted by: judy_p01 | February 25, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

"Posted by: cassk1 | February 25, 2009 1:32 AM "

Most (not all) of the negative remarks impugn Kristol's patriotism, refer to him as a warmonger, point out his religion in an unflattering manner, etc..

In response to an article that states the simple fact that Obama is the CiC with two hot wars. How is the a controversial statement?

"Posted by: PacNW | February 25, 2009 1:32 AM "

Excuse me?

Posted by: NotEasy | February 25, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

"He certainly felt no responsibility even to begin to educate the public about this theater to which he’s committing additional American soldiers."

Actually, that would be a huge improvement over President Bush miseducating Americans about the theater he sent over a hundred thousand American soldiers to.

"This was not the speech of a man who even contemplates the possibility of using force within the next year to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons"

And don't think for even an instant that we aren't immensely grateful for that.

As an aside, this is probably the sort of commentary Mr. Hiatt hired you to do, so it's hard to fault you for doing what you're paid to do.

It's just saddening to see the WaPo paying for that instead of for intelligent commentary.

Posted by: sembtex | February 25, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

the only good thing about having william "the bloody" kristol at the wapo is that you can post comments immediately unlike the ny times. so i can immediately post that kristol is nothing but a bloodthirsty war criminal. even in the middle of the WORST economic catastrophe in two generations, all the disgraceful chicken hawk kristol can do is to complain that the president isn't devoting enough time to bombing brown people! je sus, people are losing their homes, their jobs, their futures, and this azzhole wants to keep talking about war. good god, it's beyond nauseating.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | February 25, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

The vast majority of posts I saw are very nagative of Kristol. Perhaps the time of the neo-cons is really over?

The thing they would love is another box cutter attack on the USA. It would justify him and Cheney.

Posted by: Mnnngj | February 25, 2009 2:26 AM | Report abuse

I must admit it is hard to understand why William Kristol is still being paid as a commentator. I did not know the NYT let him go, but good for the NYT.
Obama, hopefully, is not a war president. GWB called himself a war president, but he very actively avoided being a war "participant" in a time when ordinary people were being drafted. Clinton at least was honest about it.
If Kristol is so brilliant, how can he so assiduously avoid GWB's avoidance of any war service? It is hypocrisy at its finest.

Posted by: peck3 | February 25, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol: Look closely into your mirror and you will see the faces of the 4,000 American soldiers you helped to murder because of your lying neocon b.s.!!!

Posted by: NancyBostelman | February 25, 2009 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Although many things become bitter as they age, it doesn't mean it's becoming.

Posted by: charleswilliams4450 | February 25, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

I logged on to point out that the Washington Post has either no shame, or no standards. Most people, when they fail, fail downwards: Kristol gets the boot from the NY Times, and WaPo decides to crown him one of "The Post's Opinion Writers"?

Seems that I don't really have to express this, however, as ninety percent of the preceding comments say much the same thing.

Unfortunately, the other ten percent is anti-Semitic drivel.

Let's be clear: you can recognize that Kristol is a lying mediocrity, without making any reference to his religion. Furthermore, you can recognize that the neocons are on the wrong side of history, without heaping vitriol on Israel.

I assure you: Jews tend, on the whole, to be much more impressive than putzes like Kristol. And Israel is a great nation, unfairly tainted by its (recent) association with the American right.

It used to be that Americans of all stripes identified with Israel -- a democracy threatened by thugs and tyrants -- but thanks to Kristol and his dim minions, Israel is now seen as a marginal wingnut cause, somehow not aligned with America's interests.

Kristol is loathsome, but the anti-Semites here are worse. A pox on both of their houses.

Posted by: jarviq | February 25, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, the AIPAC republotard cries in pain - his fanny hurts so bad from the spanking that President Obama gave him

Kristol is a warmonger, a hater, a pessimist, the ultimate scum of the earth.

Every time President Obama speaks of America, Kristol and his scummy ilk get spanked. So they cry out, they shreik in pain because they are getting their pseudo-intellectual a55es whipped with a belt.

Kristol, who thinks Sarah Palin is smart, is scum as are his AIPAC buddies.

Posted by: Heerman532 | February 25, 2009 2:53 AM | Report abuse

So this is the face of the NEW republotard party:

Bobby Jindal
Sarah Palin
Rush Limbaugh
Bill Kristol
Michael Gerson

These are the thought leaders.

How pathetic.

They collectively have the mental agility of a small soap dish.

How pathetic.

Posted by: Heerman532 | February 25, 2009 2:59 AM | Report abuse

[This was not the speech of a man who even contemplates the possibility of using force within the next year to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. ]


Posted by: piniella | February 25, 2009 3:04 AM | Report abuse

When has Bill Kristol EVER been correct?


Seriously, you unpatriotic whiner, why do you and your Comrades in the Republicant party hate America so?

And who was that creepy guy you had giving that speech after the President? Seriously, is that the BEST you and your other Socialist Republicans can do?

P.S.: Stop trying to export our US tax dollars overseas and giving our tax dollars to your CEO comrades and other Elitists!

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 25, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

No flight suit. No strutting. No "Bring 'em on." No "Bombs Over Tehran."

You thought the whole world, the entire social order, and the Republic itself ended on 9/11, and that the neo-con ticket was punched forever. But then Lehman Brothers went under, and that changed the world more than the towers falling. Your agenda isn't even on the table anymore. I'm sure the whining we're reading here will be a template for your every column here on out. Where will you go next when the Post gets rid of you for being boring?

You think you're unhappy now because you're not going to get a third front for your birthday, wait until Obama starts cutting budgets at DoD. The man says he's serious about deficit control. Just how do you think he's going to manage it?

As for now, the surge is a great success and we need to stay forever, that was your line only last month, right? Iraq was the jewel in Bush's crown, remember? Well, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Posted by: fzdybel | February 25, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

But I thought conservatives were supposed to be the haters! Nothing quite like a bunch of WaPo readers frothing at the mouth and sounding like a lynch mob. Calm down boys and girls. If Obama is really Jesus and Bush Satan like so many of you think, they'll be no need to attack Kristol--he'll simply fade into oblivion. But here's betting Obama is just a talker who's winging it in the face of intractable threats that won't disappear just because the evil Bush is gone--and that Kristol will write many "I told you so" columns before this is done.

Posted by: razor1 | February 25, 2009 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, razor1, you're expecting a bruised and sorry public to forget the past 8 years as you do, to forget that Mr. Kristol is one of the more prominent neo-cons with a proven track record of being wrong. You're trying to get us to be ashamed of our anger at this representative of the Republican disasters, when the people who should be ashamed of what they've brought upon this country are they themselves. There's no shame or apology there - so thank goodness for righteous anger from the rest of us. It'll be a long time before your "shame on you for being so mean and hateful" has any meaningful resonance again.

Posted by: jklemm | February 25, 2009 3:43 AM | Report abuse

How cute that Kristol found something to dislike in President Obama's speech. What an unexpected surprise. *yawn*

Looking for your own kind of bailout, Bill? This was YOUR war, wasn't it?

Posted by: staff1 | February 25, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Whoa.... Why are all these people attacking Bill Kristol? Trolls? Or if they really believe that the war Kristol says is 'on,' is actually false, why don't they say it? It seems to me that most critics on this page, don't have ANYTHING to say about whether or not the war against Islamic extremism is for real or not. Ok, fine. Let's pretend that Bush and the neocons invented a fictitious enemy. You are betting your sons lives that you are right. Because if they nuke an American city or do something comparably bad to us, after they have radicalized the land of Islam further, more American blood will have to be spilled later than if we deal with it today. I, for one, think you critics have your heads in the sand and I would rather fight them now, at less cost of our blood and treasure, than later. You have placed your bets. My sons' lives are on the line, as well. They will all live or die based on your bets. Good luck and God speed to all of us.

Posted by: Joznok | February 25, 2009 4:04 AM | Report abuse

--Kristol needs to have someone shove about 50 Motzoh Balls and twenty lbs. of Gevilte Fish down his ugly Face.!!--

There is freedom of speech in the USA. But if the comments section turns into such a sewer, the Post would be well advised to shut it down.

There are getting to be too many derangement syndromes on the left to catalog...

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | February 25, 2009 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Considering that Bloody Kristol is one of those responsible for both the mishandling of the war of Afghanistan and the catastrophic Iraq misadventure, I think his criticism of Obama's policies is pretty rich.

Bush claimed he was a war president. He was, in fact, a moron, and Mr. Kristol is another one--a smirking, preening moron.

Posted by: nicekid | February 25, 2009 4:29 AM | Report abuse

This guy is unbelieveable. After so many years of Bush's failed leadership, Kristol is now saying its Obama's job to "educate" Americans about Afghanistan?

And does he really think Americans don't know of the "dangers out there"? Are we little children that need a President telling us what the world is like?

Posted by: comeonpeople | February 25, 2009 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Billy Kristol once more shows us that the Goebbel-like brainpower that helped put God's pure fool (AKA: George W. Bush) in the White House can still spin Dixiecrat (AKA:Republican) propaganda with the best of them. How ingenuous of Mr. Kristol to deal with the fact of President Obama's stratospheric approval rating and Dixiecrat disarray by weaving out of whole cloth a yarn about Obama’s alleged foreign policy shortcomings. Three cheers for you, Mr. Kristol. You remain one of the leading snake-in-the-grass Dixiecrat propagandists of all time. You have revealed once more that you do, too, have the brainpower that could put God's pure fool in the presidency for eight years. Your intellectual kinship with George W. Bush remains intact.

Hmmm. Billy Kristol, Billy Kristol. Isn't he the same guy who played a prominent role in getting George W. Bush elected President of the United States--twice? And didn't he serve as one of Bush's chief apologists, even as George brought massive corruption and incompetence to Washington? Isn’t Kristol one of those strange people who call themselves conservatives and told us that if we put them in charge, they would impose fiscal responsibility and cut the federal government down to size? So we put them in charge, and many years later, the economy has collapsed, the federal budget, debt, and earmarks are out of control, and the federal government intrudes into our private lives more than ever. And isn't Billy Kristol one of those leading Dixiecrats who, not content to inflict George Bush on us for eight years, now want to inflict Sarah Palin on us and state with a straight face that she is fully qualified to be President of the United States?

Since the record clearly shows that Billy Kristol is a liar, a fraud, and ignorant as the side of a barn, why should we believe anything he says about anything? And why is such a proven liar and fraud a columnist on a major American newspaper?

Posted by: tbarksdl | February 25, 2009 4:53 AM | Report abuse

I see that Kristol has found another right-wing welfare job at WaPo...

Posted by: Gatsby1 | February 25, 2009 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Your rock is calling!
Crawl back under........

Posted by: TOMHERE | February 25, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: landmark1 | February 25, 2009 5:10 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush did indeed think of himself as a war president -- but he wasn't.

Posted by: lcandell | February 25, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

I didn´t know that Kristol was writing in The Post... well nobody is perfect. I think is waist of time reading Mr. Kristol because he is too partisan and its not even relevant for a real debate.
Please Washington Post there are better republicans in the news area to hire. NOT KRISTOL !!!

Posted by: abarros | February 25, 2009 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh Bill, poor poor dear Bill,
You say Obama is not a "war time president" well, wake up and smell the IED's, on a Sunday morning, neither was Bush. We have all painfully learned that a President can begin a war. But the true reality is, is that it takes a "war time president" who possesses the intelligence and a capacity to discern truth from error, to win a war.
It's a real pity your "politics" blinds you to that reality. I'd say shame on you, but you wouldn't get it..Aw, what the hell, "shame on you."
"War time president?" It will take a wartime president to get us out of your and Bush's war. A war you championed from it's cherry-picking-fact-finding-beginning.

Lee Drake

Posted by: bcrofts019 | February 25, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
25 February 2009

Conservative pundit William Kristol laments the fact that President Obama devoted only a few sentences to the "war on terror," and precipitately concludes that Obama is not a "war president."

Had Mr. Obama asked Mr. Kristol to write that address to Congress last night, given his mental state as a "neocon," he probably would have devoted half the 52-minute speech to the "war on terror."

But it is obvious that Mr. Obama is not Mr. Bush who was enamored of his "war on terror," in particular on his "Iraq Folly."

Mr. Obama is focusing his attention and his energies on stopping the recession dead in its tracks and laying the foundation for restoring America to health, vigor and prosperity.

Yes, Mr. Obama has not totally forgotten the "war on terror." He is going to deliver on his promise to withdraw U.S. military forces from Iraq. And he is sending 17,000 more U.S. troops as reinforcements to the U.S. forces already there.

President Obama clearly has his priorities right.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | February 25, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Who pays Kristol anyway???
As one of the top salesmen of the Iraq disaster, he now wants to start a new war with Iran?
OK......THEY TOO HAVE LOTS OF OIL......but Iran (unlike Iraq) will certainly fight back.

Posted by: kuseldavid1 | February 25, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Why talk about Health Care when you can call out an Axis of Evil, right?

I know. I thought Presidents were supposed to wrap themselves in the flag during times of war, unnecessary and otherwise.

Not like when we were in the Gulf, huh, Billy Boy?

PS - Stop "moaning" all your words and grimacing. It makes you look like your holding back what your full of.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 25, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

PPS - You spelled Crystal wrong.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 25, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Leave it to Kristol, the war mongering neoconservative. Obama focused on the economy because that IS foremost on American's minds, you know the economy that the Republicans are largely responsible for destroying with years of deregulation, failed oversight, and all those big tax breaks for the rich. The arrogance of Kristol is amazing, the guy who was wrong about everything during the Bush years is still given a huge platform to display his insanity.

Posted by: ggwalt | February 25, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Anyone looking foe evidence that the Angry Left is just as angry, just as ignorant, and just as adolescent post-Obama as is was during the Bush presidency, need only look as this thread.

You people are emotionally disturbed freaks, and you're not too bright.

Posted by: Kryon777 | February 25, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

...and that Kristol will write many "I told you so" columns before this is done.

Posted by: razor1 | February 25, 2009 3:29 AM
Well, I guess there's a first time for everything....on second thought, maybe not.

Posted by: gloriousglo13 | February 25, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Thank heaven Obama doesn't see himself as the "war president." That was George Bush. We have a new president who doesn't appear to need a little war to prove his manhood. War is failure. It's a failure of diplomacy and of communication. War, because it means sacrificing our young people, should be a last resort and certainly not something to hope for. For someone who salivates for war, what, exactly, is your military experience, Mr. Kristol?

Posted by: MNUSA | February 25, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

I had forgotten about the war on terror until this helpful reminder from Mr. Kristol. That was close!

Posted by: jmoore2 | February 25, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

"Obama did acknowledge in passing that for seven years we have been “a nation at war.” But that fact was barely reflected in his text."

This fact NEVER was reflected in GWB´s policies which only were "just consume, the war on terror will cost nothing, there are no coffins coming back, the people of the US will not be inconvenienced by this war". When did Kristol complain about that?

"...because Americans might have to be summoned to deal with them." And when did GBW prepare Americans for this eventuality?

Posted by: wpkatz | February 25, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

I have not read William Kristol's opinion. I only stopped long enough to write this comment.

My justification for not reading Mr. Kristol's comment? He lacks any credibility. His track record as a political pundit clearly shows no wisdom, no insight worth reading.

Again, I strongly urge the Washington Post NOT to provide Mr Kristol the luster of being a Washington Post commenter.

Posted by: ChokoChuckles | February 25, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Is Iran the only nation we can attack aren't there others who deserve our righteous wrath. Why kill just a few million Iranians there are billions of people in the world. This conservative ideal of war is too limited. Let restart the draft so that we enough bodies to grow this war machine to the proper size then take on the world. Somebody has to step up and lead. After we conquer this planet lets go after those damn extraterrestrials that have been violating our air space for so long. I heard that they are only doing those flyovers to spy on our nuclear program. We should not let this continue

Posted by: | February 25, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Obama neglects to state we can withdraw from Iraq due to the success, and not his time table. Leaving Iraq has nothing to do with our politicians in DC, but our military. Maybe he used only a one-sentence discussion of Afghanistan because it is unclear of his strategic plan. I am sure the media will not hold his feet to the fire about sending troops to Afghanistan during his time in office.

Posted by: biasmedia | February 25, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

It's the economy, Neo-Stupid.

Posted by: maxfli68 | February 25, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

So Obama, already in office for a month, hasn't started a new war. We feel your pain Kristol.

Posted by: timothy2me | February 25, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Considering that this was designed to be a speech primarily on the ECONOMIC CRISIS and what he wants to do about it, it didn't surprise me that he barely mentioned war strategery.

Posted by: DontWannaMyPostID | February 25, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

What war? Oh, the one against the Neocons? He probably doesn't want to divulge his plans to the enemy. Surely you can understand that Krissy.

Posted by: halifar59 | February 25, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I want the US to work as hard for peace as it worked for war. No more invaisons, work out treaties, support UN peace iniatives. Then we can afford to treat our own citizens as well as citizens are treated in other civilized countries.

Posted by: DLN1 | February 25, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Kristol seems to believe that building the economy, improving the education and health care are not worthy causes. That is, for him neither the American people nor the rest of the world deserve to live in peace and have a quality of life. As a neoconservative, Kristol prefers war and destruction. This is because only in chaos and instability that the neoconservatives can thrive. Destruction and death give them satisfaction and energy.

Posted by: aaali1 | February 25, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Unlike the stupidity of the Bush administration, this is a man who is careful. Force, as used in Iraq, was not effective. Iraq is a failed experiment.

Thank GOD the adults are back in charge.

Posted by: storageboy | February 25, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Get a job you bum.

Posted by: JFredMugs | February 25, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Why is Kristol still a commentator for the Post? It's no wonder the newspapers are going out of business!

Posted by: tomsawyer2 | February 25, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Poor Bill. thrown out by NYT because neo's are no longer relevant . Nice of you to throw a bone to a down and out. But do you have to print his drivel? just put him on the dole.

Posted by: auntywbush | February 25, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Along with his other contributions Mr. Kristol was one of the Republican cruise ship pundits seduced by the young, attractive Governor of Alaska in Juneau. He pushed hard for her political nationalization. Way to go Willie.

Posted by: LHO39 | February 25, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Kristol should apply for a postion in the Permanent Israeli War Cabinet. He can beg for US military aid and spread all the fear he wants.

Real Christians, Mr Kristol, are not ruled by fear. Read the NEW Testament for a change.

Posted by: hmaulden | February 25, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is right on the mark. This is not a President who takes his role as a war president as any kind of priority. He is a leftist big spender who is soft in the area of foreign policy and, absolutely, comfortable walking softly but not at all comfortable carrying a big stick.

Posted by: bethunedaja | February 25, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse


In the distance, a dog barks.

Posted by: Waffle365 | February 25, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Poor little Billy K . . . he sounds soooo sad . . . what's the matter? No one listening to your delusional drivel anymore? Awwwwwwwwww, there, there -- ask your unofficial party leader, Rush Limpballs, if he can hook you up with some oxycotin -- I hear he keeps a stash of about 4,000 pills around . . . a month's worth for him.

No, Bill, we don't intend to continue subsidizing the likes of Halliburton/KBR and Exxon-Mobil for your War for Corporate Welfare in Iraq . . . and, yes, the military option (which you are so fond of invoking -- as long as you're not called on to enlist! -- right?) isn't Prez Obama's first, knee-jerk reaction to every crisis (as YOU see it) that threatens Israel -- whom you seem to have more patriotism for than the US.

You're simply an over-indulged fool who fell victim to a very cruel joke, long ago: someone told you, you could write.

Thank god you're a weepublican!

Posted by: thesuperclasssux | February 25, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Kristol is lost as is most of the Republican Party. The same ole BS comes forth from these speaking head that constantly reiterates the same ole spiel. No sign of learning from your mistakes nor of thinking for the betterment of the population. Jindel more of the same.
The Republicans did have one courages member Charlie Crist who spoke well and made sense. But to the Republican's show of stupidity, they shot him down as a betrayer of their values.
The Moderate Republicans would be better served if they would create a third party and dump the Kristols, Limbaughs, Coulters and get back to making sense.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | February 25, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

A very revealing sentence in this garbage is, "Obama doesn’t seem to think his responsibility as commander in chief is in any way special." Obviously, Kristol pines for the days of W, who wore the burden of being a "war president" on his sleeve. Bush clearly thought of himself as special, while mismanaging the wars, the military support apparatus, the economy which underpins any military endeavor, and our foreigm policy.

Obama clearly understands the weight of his military responsibilities, but in a more global way, appreciating how our nation's economic health and foeign diplomacy contribute to military success.

Posted by: DEfarmer | February 25, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Spoken like a true, well-off, conservative...Now, what planet is this fool on? 500K people a month are losing their jobs, the econonmy is in a shambles, everyday a business is filing for bankruptcy or laying off workers, and Mr. Kristol wants to criticize the President for not talking about the neo conservative war that helped throw republicans out of office? Mr.Kristol, last night NO ONE was interested in hearing about your war.

Democrats may have some old ideas tied to FDR and LBJ; but at least they are not the bad ideas of no regulation, an unfunded war and unfair taxes, etc...

As long as the republican line up consists of Limbaugh, Hannity, Kristol, Palin, Steele (a real disappointment) and now Jindal...we are assured that Rush and Sean will continue to make a lot of money priming the exact same listener (it is obvious they share the same listener--no new voters), the republican base will remain stagnant, and the Democrats may hold office long enough for Malika Obama to run for President.

Posted by: OneStop1 | February 25, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Please, Mr. Kristol.
As you yourself point out, the speech was supposed to be about the economy - and it mainly was.

Perhaps President Obama appears to see nothing special about his role as "Commander in Chief" because he doesn't. Overseeing and directing America's armed forces is just one of the president's jobs. The Constitution says that the President is "Commander in Chief" of the armed forces mainly, I would think, to make clear that the military is subordinate to and takes its orders from the civilian leaders of government. (The president is not and was never meant to be some sort of "generalisimo" or "war chief.")

And perhaps President Obama does not indicate that he is contemplating the use of military force against Iran is because - he isn't. (He just may - correctly in my view - think that would be a very foolish thing to do.)

Posted by: GaryPeschell | February 25, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol, you have been wrong about everything you have written about over the last eight+ years. It is amazing that anyone still takes you seriously.

Posted by: ajs262 | February 25, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Why do major newspapers keep paying this hack? His research is poor, his writing is boring, and he's ALWAYS wrong.

Kristol needs to just go away. People as consistently wrong as he's been should have the humility to shut up and sit down.

Posted by: jjhare | February 25, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

More of the same BS. You remind me of the clown in stocks that we love to throw tomatoes at. I believe that you know you are on the wrong side of morality, but that you just can't help yourself and continue to spout this nonsensical garbage.
If you want a war, I can't wait for the investigations to begin. I can't wait to see the loyal Bushies, the torturers, the constitutional criminals exposed for what they are: Fascists.

Posted by: whenwillthisnightmareend | February 25, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Ole BillyBoy ought to enlist.

Posted by: edlharris | February 25, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

You would think that after being canned by the Times Kristol would at least TRY this time. But no. Kristol is going to hell in a handbag before he even attempts to be intellectually honest. It's Palin or bust for him.

He's right, though. Obama must not think of himself as a war president based on the speech. He must also not think of the American people as a bunch of marks to be swindled by down home talk. He must not think of himself like a Louisiana snake oil salesman. He must not think of himself as a lazy columnist interested only in high salary and low taxes masquerading as a pundit.

BTW, Kristol, the American people have repeatedly rejected all those things he isn't and the Republicans are.

Posted by: dkfennell | February 25, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

didn't the wapo have enough tired, worn out, right wing hacks without adding kristol to its stable?

Posted by: jimfilyaw | February 25, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Kristol says Obama in his speech last night did not feel his role as C in C is in any way special, as if it is something akin to being picked homecoming queen. There is nothing special, and never should be, as it pertains to the president's job as C in C. We are a civilian nation with civilians in charge of the military and a civilian legislature and a civilian as C in C. WE saw with Bush what happens to us as a people when the president takes too seriously his duties as C in C.
Also, Kristol says Obama's speech did nothing to educate us about the theater (afghanistan) into which he is sending additional troops.
Everything I wanted to know about Afghanistan I learned almost 8 years ago when the then C in C was asleep at the switch and 3000 Americans lost their lives.What we know about Afghanistan today is that those 17000 troops are being sent to RE-fight the war that should have been won those 8 years ago. How about eductaing the American people on THAT point, Mr. Kristol?

Posted by: noaxe397 | February 25, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Billy-Boy, there you go with your warmongering again. What's your own military record, Bill? I have surprising news for you: Bush wasn't a war president either, nor was Cheney. Neither of them knew anything about war, its atrocities, its persistent tragedies. They just knew, like yourself, how to get people killed for lies, for their own private agendas. Let's get you and Rush and your IAPAC buddies out on a few combat patrols, and then see how many flags you want to wave afterward, OK?

Posted by: MickNamVet | February 25, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

billy boy, you know nothing blowhard,please take Charles & get on down to Texas with your boy georgie!!!!

Posted by: sanone38 | February 25, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, he didn't try to scare the country with terrorism like you sorry rightwing asshats. What the hell is wrong with you Kristol? Did you get kicked in the head by a mule when you were a child or are you retarded? Did you see the results of the last two elections you dimwitted ***k?


Personally? If we never hear from you again I'd be happy. The WP is stupid for even printing your swill.

Posted by: artmann11 | February 25, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The WAPO debases itself by giving this clown a forum on its pages, just like the NYT did. I have a question for whoever made that decision: Does his resume highlight the fact that he's been wrong about everything in his commentary full of lies, misrepresentations, and out-of-context quotes for the last 16 years?
Because apparently that's just what you were looking for in an opinion writer. Shoot, I could lie and be wrong all of the time if you want...

Posted by: klemme76 | February 25, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bill:

Instead of trying to tear Obama down, why don't you try to appeal to moderates and independents by complimenting the new voice of your own party, Bobby Jindal. You may win some respect back from your harsh critics. Tell us all why we should line up and march in step with Bobby.

Or, better yet, read up on how Bobby exorcised the devil, yes this is true; it is chronicled in Bobby's own words. He actually removed the devil from a young woman with cancer.

Come on, Bill. Take the other tack for once. Proudly promote the new Republican leadership. Stop wasting your time tearing down the Democrats.

Posted by: dianainohio | February 25, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

God all mighty Kristol! Get a job with the media in Israel as a war correspondent, make yourself a nice little life and get out of ours!

Posted by: jrussell1 | February 25, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Ah, in some weird way it's comforting to know that the head-in-the-sand, mentally ill, angry liberals are still alive and kickin'!!!

I am sure the people in this world that would kill you (meaning the most liberal among us) first have forgotten their sworn mission of the destruction of the West because we are "tired of talking about it." I'm sure that's how they see it. Right?

Run along children.

Posted by: SadieV | February 25, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Kristol's religion DOES MATTER!

We took out Saddam Hussein largely to protect Israel. Now, we are supposed to take out Iran to protect Israel.
Neocons are Zoinist agents pertending to be concerned Americans.

Posted by: JFredMugs | February 25, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Bill:

Try a different approach to quiet your critics and influence the independents and undecided voters.

Stop tearing down Obama and the democrats and start promoting your new voice of the conservative Republican party, Bobby Jindal. Make us see why we should believe in Bobby and conservatism again.

Go ahead, try it, Bill.

Posted by: dianainohio | February 25, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I bet the WAPO will trot out the old, tired excuse that Kristol's writing "challenges" liberals. Let me address that: There's nothing challenging about complete intellectual dishonesty, and the only thing challenging about Kristol is reading or listening to him with a straight face.

I'm all for freedom of speech, WAPO, but there are plenty of garbage media outlets (Fox News, NY Post, WA Times, etc) that would be happy to host this delusional hack.
As for addressing the substance of the column-why bother? It's Kristol, so it's a big, steaming pile of BS, just like usual.

Posted by: klemme76 | February 25, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

You're still talking, Bill?

Posted by: thelemonkid | February 25, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

You can't legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. How in the world does anyone think that you can multiply wealth by dividing it?

Posted by: fintago | February 25, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

pure knee jerk writing.

geez, obama didn't say a thing about the war on drugs, or dirty bombs, or internet predators, or partial birth abortion or any of the other scary boogeymen the far right can't stop yammering about in order to change the subject from responsible, sensible action in the time of crisis.

here's the irrefutable fact: kristol, like gwbush, got his job because his daddy got it for him. and kristol, like gwbush (and cheney), LOVE to go to war, as long as they're not the ones doing the actual fighting.

you're a little man, billy kristol, and you always will be.

Posted by: johndog | February 25, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Patriot3 | February 25, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

This was the speech of a man focused on a clear and present danger, our economy. Period.

To assume that he doesn't think of himself as a war president is stupid. In this speech, at this moment, President Obama does not think of himself as a war president first and foremost and that's OK with me.

I, for one, have had enough of a president who is a war president first, last and only. That got us nothing but war and more war.

The capacity of the right to find some fault, any fault, is dumbfounding. Kristol makes himself look silly and pointless with this article.

Posted by: agolembe | February 25, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

What made Fred Hiatt decide to hire this hacktastic blend of neocon nepotism and wingnut welfare?

Of course, Kristol should be shown the door. But it's time to fire Fred Hiatt. This paper has become a disgrace.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | February 25, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Amen. Isn't change refreshing.

Posted by: mgirgenti | February 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey Billy,

At the risk of giving the Post the impression you have a large, if hostile, readership, these overwhelmingly negative responses to your silly war-mongering huffing and puffing may perhaps let the Post know your intellectual capacity is limited to the sputterings of a chicken-hawk. Ad hominems aside (tho it's difficult not to indulge that particular informal fallacy), President Obama clearly considers war to be, not an adjective modifying "President", but a serious matter for reflection. You and all the other neocons want to use our troops as pawns in your "war games." You, as Kant might put it, promote the use of people as mere means to the goal of American military-corporate dominance, i.e. fascism.

Go away Billy-boy! Take early retirement, and take a cruise.

Posted by: douard1 | February 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Kristol's statement, to wit, "Obama doesn’t seem to think his responsibility as commander in chief is in any way special," is unsupported by the facts.

It is unclear what would have satisfied Kristol or improved his analysis. Kristol must realize that a nation without economic stability is no position to prosecute at war, or achieve victory.

The president's speech was about reestablishing economic stability, which is absolute necessary for security.

Given all that, it is clear that Kristol argues without facts, and selected his conclusion -- Obama is wrong -- first.

A writer like that wastes resources and abuses the reader. Why would The Washington Post do that?

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | February 25, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Thou shall not kill:

that commandment even applies to zionofascists.

Posted by: lichtme | February 25, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Admittedly, Kristol's commentary was not about ponies and leprachauns, but what we learned from it is that he doesn't care about ponies and leprachauns.

Kristol is an at-war commentator - at war with logic and reason.

Posted by: kenzoan13 | February 25, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

There are what, six or seven people who take Bill Kristol seriously. This excuse for a man has been proven to be completely wrong pretty much all the time.

So if Kristol thinks Obama's a bad president that's a pretty good sign that we'll be OK.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | February 25, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse


Billy "War is Terrifically Good" Kristol is up to his old discredited chicken-hawk neocon bullkrap. Billy, you are politically irrelevant, but still good for a laugh or two. By the way, Billy, you never served in the military did you?

Posted by: osmor | February 25, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

This guy topped out as Dan Quayle's handler ... need we say more.

Posted by: bovar | February 25, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol has demonstrated that he has nothing but scorn for those who serve our country. He praised Cheney and Bush, both of whom carefully avoided military service, but feels free to criticize Obama, who actually understands and respects our troops in ways that the prior administration proved incapable of understanding. Mr. Kristol himself, of course, has no military expertise, but he considers himself expert on the topic--- just as he considers himself expert on virtually every other topic about which he chooses to bloviate. It would be really refreshing if Mr. Kristol would (just once!!) try to say something in support our nation, rather than serving as a cheerleader for neoconservative policies which have undermined and diminished our national interests.

Posted by: jamesgshannon | February 25, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Kristol - Weren't you recently fired from the New York Times? You should have been a comedian - too bad someone stole your name.

The 28 year old "Reagan Revolution" of Voodoo Economics has brought America to its knees, and the American People finally see through the bankrupt philosophy of Anti-Government and Anti-Middle Class hypocrisy.

If President Obama truly does stand up for the American People and calls bullsh*t on the corruption at CitiBank, BofA, Wall Street, etc he will be one of the greatest presidents of all time.

The Republicans got nothin'... And they know it.

Bush rode out of town leaving a stain on that party that will last for decades. And a legacy of grumpy old men in depends (McCain, McConnell, Gingrich, Cheney, etc), a few who might as well be wearing tutus (Lindsey Graham, etc), and a broken down fascist prom queen (Palin) to pick up the pieces. And boy wonder Jindal who used Hurricane Katrina as an example of the incompetence of the Party of No.

Posted by: daishi | February 25, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

How many times does somebody get to be completely worng and still get to use the legitimacy of a major media outlet for his idiotic rants? can somebody, anybody tell me what Kristol's been right about this century?

Posted by: entprof | February 25, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Kristol's crystal ball's crack is about to split the orb into pieces.
Diplomacy is going to win present and future wars simply because we can't afford to "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" as Kristol would like us to.
I tell you what would really make Kristol's hatred of Obama and his agenda come to a boiling point: Establish a Department of PEACE who's sole purpose is to use diplomacy exclusively to solve international problems.
Oh, boy! Would that throw him over the edge, or what!

Posted by: hyjanks | February 25, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

been skimming the comments, which makes me wonder what country most of you inhabit???

check the calendar. it is not a september 10th. world.

Posted by: harrynaasz | February 25, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Can't take a hint hum Billo? New York Tiimes whacks you then you try lying thru WaPo ??


When will you and your fox brethren finally get the message ?


Chimpy has left the building - NEVER to return. Neither is Cheeeney or any of your made-up sources.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | February 25, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

There are idiots, there are moronic idiots & then there is William Kristol. Mr. Kristol, you want a war president? Go to Texas. You will find one in Crawford/Dallas. He might need a handyman, because he is buying some things from hardware stores. Help him out & sit & listen to his "war president" stories. Spare us the stink of your BS.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | February 25, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Kristol is a one trick pony, a Johnny One Note. As a man child who never wore a uniform he redefines hypocrisy in his calling for war on all the dangerous people out there. He is a neo-con Zionist
who is more supportive of Israel than his own country.

He will beat the war drums, portraying Iran as a threat to Israel which must be dealt with militarily. He's an AIPAC shill who cheers on the military/industrial establishment.

He was fired by the NY Times for behind the scenes involvement in GOP strategy during the last campaign, while spinning GOP propaganda in his Times column.

I'm disappointed in the judgment of WaPo for hiring him. He has his own soap box at the right wingnut Weekly Standard. His views should not be supported by a newspaper of the high standing which the Washington Post enjoys.

Posted by: leanderthal | February 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

So many comments disrespectful of Wm Kristol this morning. Most are on the mark.

How does criticism of Kristol's aggressive support for using America to protect Israel's state terrorism, a subject of legitimate debate anywhere other than the U.S. media and government, become an "attack on his religion" and anti-Semitism? Just curious.

Kristol is correct that the war in Afghanistan/Pakistan has the potential to get out of hand and presents a danger to us should American-made radicals get their hands on Pakistan's nuclear weapons. What Kristol refuses to contemplate or acknowledge is that the policies he and his Neocon friends advocate, and Bush implemented, are largely responsible for the conditions that gave those American-made radicals their power to put us in danger.

The only solution is for Obama to bring Israel under control and get us the hell out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and LEAVE THOSE PEOPLE ALONE.

In other words Mr. Kristol, stop pouring gasoline on the wildfires.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 25, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

There is no war. If there is any "socialism" that we need to get rid of, it is the defense budget which is the largest corporate welfare program in history. The US spends $700+ billion a year on defense -- more than all other countries combined. That is a fact. Check it.

Think about it. More than the entire stimulus plan, every year, even though we have no enemies. Oh, sorry, $700 billion a year to fight illiterates with pipe bombs.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Lots of venom posted here : ) but Kristol has a point.

Iran demonstrated its ballistic capability last week, North Korea now says "hey great idea.. we'll test our ballistic missile and pretend to launch a satellite too". Israel has just elected a right-wing gov. and PM who is very focused on Iran.

That unexpected early-term crisis that VP Biden warned us about is out there. Hopefully Obama is ready for that 3AM call from General Petraus.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 25, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh really? How about: "For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price."
That's what a grown up war president says, Mr. Kristol. That's pretty much all you need to say.

Posted by: sophie2 | February 25, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Send him back to the Weakly Standard from which he came. AB

Posted by: jimsbier | February 25, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What is Kristol doing in the WaPo? Is this because the NYT booted him?? Seriously, why does anyone publish this buffoon? He has been proven wrong soo many times. We are facing the biggest economic crisis in decades--that was the subject of the speech!! "War President"? Um, I've noticed that he's trying to rebuild our reputation and alliances around the world. That seems more constructive than just starting wars that drag on for years, kill American troops, kill civilians, and inflame the Islamic radicals even more. Remember, that Bin Laden thought that the war in Iraq was the best gift he could have received.

Kristol is an idiot. He is a HORRIBLE ANALYST!! Our entire society is falling apart because of the administration and GOP that he supported. Screw him, screw him, screw him.

Posted by: eriksolevad | February 25, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

pvilso24 said: "Iran demonstrated its ballistic capability last week, North Korea now says "hey great idea.. we'll test our ballistic missile and pretend to launch a satellite too". Israel has just elected a right-wing gov. and PM who is very focused on Iran."

-- If Israel and Iran want to dude it out, let them. Just don't send any more military equipment and money over there. But ask WaPo to spare Kristol and send him over there. He's now probably more effective fighting his own war than asking the Americans to support it anyway.

Posted by: KT11 | February 25, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

When President Obama does get around to educating the American public about Afghanistan and Iraq, I expect that he will tell us things that are TRUE. That will be a nice change from the previous administration.

Posted by: dougmuder | February 25, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

So the President didn't spend a lot of time in his economic speech talking about foreign policy and Bill Kristol didn't spend any time in his column about that speech talking about the economy. One of these people comes off as insightful and focused on the problems we're facing and the other comes off as a moron. Because Kristol is probably too stupid to figure it out, I'll give you a hint and say that the President was the insightful one.

When did the Washington Post become an aid society for half-wit conservative hacks? Why didn't Bill Kristol get the message when the Times told him to get lost? Maybe after watching its earnings drop 77%, the Post Co will finally do the right thing and get rid of Fred Hiatt and his legion of imbeciles.

Posted by: mbmclaughlin | February 25, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Is he trying to be humorous or is he really that blind. The generals tell us we are losing the war in Afghanistan, Obama adds 17,000 as a down payment on the 30,000 increase he promised and this is bad. Just to clue this ignoramus in, Iran can't build a bomb without plutonium which can be produced only at the heavy water reactor at Arak. One cruise missle ends their nuclear aspirations as Israel did to Iraq and Syria. Israel has tested refueling run to the Mediterranean to do it when the satelite heat signature says Arak is processing. Kristol ignores rebuttal, historical and verbal to trot out the same lost vision of Reaganomics that has utterly failed.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 25, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Instead of ending the column with "But he is," I would have ended it with, "Isn't this awesome? We finally have a president who's not trying to jam fear down our throats at every corner."

But I wouldn't expect Billy K. to understand that.

Posted by: financepirate | February 25, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"This was not the speech of a man who even contemplates the possibility of using force within the next year to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

This made me laugh. Since every single one of our intelligence agencies say that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, what would be the basis for Obama ordering drastic (and futile) military action against Iran this year?

Posted by: skrut003 | February 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Big Kristol fan, but I have to disagree here.

Obama has shown a lot of public weakness internationally, and we are seeing the results come fast and furious. For that he should be castigated.

However, even though rhetoric is important, we should not judge Obama on what he says as much as what he does. If he's a speak softly and carry a big stick guy - great. I worry he's not, and don't like his actions so far, but let's wait and see.

But this one speech was about the economy. He asserted his promise to protect America and go after terrorists.

Let's not demand the rhetoric - let's demand the actions.

Posted by: publius18 | February 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

You know, Iran wouldn't be a threat at all if your idiot collegue in neoconservativism, David Frum hadn't put them on the "axis of evil" and your sublime moron President Bush hadn't thrown their overture of peace in the garbage.

They did this, because the neoconservative fantasy was that 60-100K US troops could go around knocking off governments and make the world safe for capitalism. Iraq was the test case. They picked the militarily weakest adversary and even then their moronic plan fell down when the reality of occupation hit.

Posted by: Scientician | February 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Well, Bill, if we were to replace the energy for which we now depend on oil, we wouldn't really need the wars so much, now would we? Fighting wars to protect our access to the single greatest drain on our potential prosperity doesn't seem strategically sound in the first place.

If we have enough energy available, we can make our domestic oil supplies suffice for our needs. There is nothing we could possibly do that would be more effective in starving the sponsors of global terrorism.

The most successful war, Bill, is the war you win without actually fighting.

Posted by: lonquest | February 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, neo-con man Kristol -- I needed a good laugh. I see you still haven't learned that we can't spread democracy at gunpoint. Why don't you go look for those nonexistent WMDs in Iraq and let the grownups run America?

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | February 25, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The polish if off of this turd also known as Obama. He is green behind those big ears and the international community knows it. But by all means, please continue to believe you can negotiate with Iran and Syria. When things go south, and they will, the American people will rightly throw these ignorant idiots out of office.

Posted by: bulldogfan26 | February 25, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I understand the Post's desire to share opinions from across the political spectrum. But it would be helpful to have someone who actually seems to know something. Bill Kristol, recent NY Times castoff, Has demonstrated an immense talent for being flat wrong about most everything, and yet here he is again. It is truly a shame that what has been a great newspaper speeds down the road to irrelevancy by trying to appeal to an audience that is already irrelevant. I suppose misery does love company.

Posted by: charliem2 | February 25, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This was the speech of a president who is not George W. Bush, and thank God. New president, new ideas and new priorities.

Mr. Kristol, consider the novel idea that the primary job of the commander in chief is to provide peace and prosperity for citizens, not war and poverty. But then, your constituancy profits from war and the disempowerment of average working folks so I guess for you peace doesn't pay. You have my sincere sympathy.

Posted by: ilscottjr | February 25, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Of course, President Obama is not a "war president." We are not at war. We are engaged in an illegal occupation of one country, Iraq, and in what is essentially law-enforcement in another, Afghanistan. Bush's so-called "Global War on Terror" was nothing more than a sorry excuse to shred the US Constitution for political and financial gain. Mr. Obama is wisely avoiding militaristic hyperbole.

Posted by: Blue_Moose | February 25, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse there was a war president. He started them any chance he got, and never finished one.

Posted by: Attucks | February 25, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

bulldogfan26 wrote: "He is green behind those big ears and the international community knows it."

Guess you did not see the hundreds of thousands greeting him in Berlin even before he was president, or 'obamamania' in Canada recently. And, you can disagree with Obama and his team, but calling them "ignorant idiots" is a little strange considering the team that they replaced.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 25, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to WaPo, the shelter for out-of-work, discredited neocon traitors. Kristol's presence is yet another reason to refuse to subscribe or purchase the paper since money or more precisely, a shortage of it, is the only thing that gets the attention of WaPo management.

Posted by: hairguy01 | February 25, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Kristol the smirking war criminal has never been correct on anything political. Literally, his record is 100% wrong, economy, regulation, policy, foreign or domestic, issues of law. Where he hasn't lied, he's been factually incorrect. As shameful as his screeds are, he lacks the perception to actually feel ashamed. This piece, however, descends to a new low. The impossible gall of Kristol to write about wartime ANYTHING. He and is fellow neocons have zero grasp of war fighting. Strategy, supply lines, morale, mission parameters, all of these essentials are viewed as "details, details"
Now, fired from the NY Times for his appalling, relentless incompetence, this punchline failure hack finds a home at the Post, which clatters on toward irrelevence. Pathetic.

Posted by: critical44 | February 25, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"You never quit, do you Kristol?

Prepare for lean times in the field of fearmongering and sabre-rattling punditry. War fever is out of fashion, these days it's the economy, stupid.

And you know even less about economics than you do about war."


"This was the speech of a president who is not George W. Bush, and thank God. New president, new ideas and new priorities.

Mr. Kristol, consider the novel idea that the primary job of the commander in chief is to provide peace and prosperity for citizens, not war and poverty. But then, your constituancy profits from war and the disempowerment of average working folks so I guess for you peace doesn't pay. You have my sincere sympathy."


My prediction: Kristol will shamelessly regurgitate the same tired rhetoric again this time next week!

Posted by: OklahomaSooners | February 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

There is one apodictic and incontestable truth present in the universe - Billy Kristol is always erroneous. Dargone he just always gets it wrong. In addition, it is hard to think of a more morally loathsome creature at this stage in planetary evolution.

Posted by: jmurphy1 | February 25, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I guess it's a measure of national progress that Mr. Kristol is viewed today not so much as a danger than as a goof, an apparently sincere espouser of bona fide idiocies.

Clearly, it's not necessary to remind ourselves that Mr. Kristol's divorce from relevancy, cogency, and reality has become nothing more than excess fodder for the laughingstock. But perhaps someone could clue-in the editor of this publication.

Posted by: RicardoMalocchio | February 25, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The old warriors like Kristol never seem to get it. The so-called war against terror will never be won because it is against a tactic, not against anything or anyone concrete. We have had terrorism with us throughout history. Just one example: the anarchists of the early 20th century. Why are they no longer a threat? Because they accomplished nothing and their supporters drifted away. That is the best we can hope for against Al Quaeda and other related extremists, not a victory in an illusory war. Let us treat it as what it is, a containment problem, not a call to arms.

Posted by: saunders3 | February 25, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I think that was the whole point. A "war president" is what got us in this mess. If the US hadn't been spending so much on an unnecessary war we would have the surplus to get out of the economic trouble.

Posted by: don1one | February 25, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol: Please. Just. Go. Away. Thanks.

Posted by: sparta99 | February 25, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Why does anyone still publish Kristol? Has he gotten anything right?

Posted by: tomj4425 | February 25, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You want to play cards? I'll put one down, then you put one down. Whoever's card is higher gets both cards. Then you put one down and I put one down and whoevers card is higher takes both. Then whoever gets bored first

-- hey, I got something to do, catch you later

Posted by: pressF1 | February 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Mr Kristol,

Since you vacated your last known address at the NYT, we have been trying to locate you concerning your share of the debt owed to the American people for the cost of the debacle in Iraq. Please remit a payment immediately.

Posted by: rkerg | February 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ah Billy Kristol! As predictable as any Politburo apparatchik!

Everyone reading this page should amuse and educate themselves by checking out this enlightening blog posting about our hot-house flower columnist:

Kristol is George W. Bush's soul-mate because their life-careers have been one and the same. They are pampered children of rich and powerful men, who have only known lives of luxury, and have had their whole way through life greased by inherited money and connections.

In the case of Kristol his greatest accomplishment is having stepped into his daddy's still-warm shoes at the Weekly Standard, a position he has since served without distinction.

As with G. W. Bush, the clearly talentless Kristol has had his every failure rewarded with promotion to positions of greater prominence and power.

Posted by: careysub | February 25, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse


And I was so hoping Obama would announce that he's going to plunge us into another unnecessary war in the Middle East and squander another trillion dollars that we desparately need, just like his predecessor did.

C'mmn, Barack. Stop talking about unimportant stuff like....the worst economy since the Depression...and instead listen to Kristol: rattle those sabers, and let the bombs drop and the missiles fly!

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | February 25, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Not once did Bill Kristol address our president by his proper title!!!

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | February 25, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I must admit that, reading this, I began to think about what was being said. My conclusion is that I truly don't understand why a guy who has been wrong so many times has any illusions that his opinions matter? What was written herein is nonsense, again.

Posted by: rcrtr | February 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Good gracious..this man is still here. Doesn't he know that he and Perle and Wolfowitz and Feith and Kagan and the rest of them have so worn out their welcome.

Kristol is going to be like Krauthammer, flailing in the Zionist Neocon wilderness. We are in a post zionist world and the neocons are an endangered species.

Posted by: goodcake4u | February 25, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I could attack Kristol all day, but I think there's a pretty good consensus out there that he is completely devoid of all credibility.

For example, the director of national intelligence says the greatest threat to the United States is now ... drumroll, please ... the world economic crisis! Not terrorism. Not Iran's nukes.

Please, Bill, keep up the fight. Keep catering to the fringe 25-percent of the population that is not going to be swayed by things like FACTS or REASON.

Losing is tough, and right-wing wackos like Kristol will never fully come to terms with the way their ideology has been completely dismissed and discredited.

Posted by: derickmoss | February 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Why does the Post keep paying this idiot? I'm glad I'm not a subscriber...

Posted by: alarico | February 25, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

NotEasy Posted:
Correct me if I am wrong, but did the Dems not run in 2004 on a retreat platform? Now, retreat is a plausible platform to run on if you think the mission is a mistake/unwinnable, but doesn't retreat entail defeat?
I will correct you. The answer is no! The democrats ran on the Iraq war being a mistake that needs to be stopped and corrected. It was the republican candidates that characterize the Democrats' Iraq War position as defeatist, cut & run, cowardice etc.. The majority of the American people agreed with the Democrats and oust the Republicans.

The republicans keep obfuscating the truth and are doing such a poor job of it that it insults our intelligence. Bill Kristol is doing this very thing with this column.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | February 25, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Dear WP Editorial Staff,
Mr. Kristol is using the editorial page to peddle propaganda,not ideas. A newspaper's commitment in the editorial section is to expose readers to intelligent arguments and well thought out ideas. Mr. Kristol does not provide any ideas worthy of this newspaper and his arguments are not intelligent, in the least bit. He uses his pen to articulate propaganda meant to serve the ideology of right wing zionists and neocons that believe the US should use its military might to protect Isarel's apartheid project at all costs. Israel is threatened more by its behavior than by its neighbors. Kadima, Labor and even Ariel Sharon understood that the rightful return of occupied land to the palestinians is the best way to protect Israel's sovereignty and interests in the centuries to come. Mr. Kristol believes that perpetuating war in the middle east with US dollars and blood is the best way to keep a bloody status quo that serves his narrow ideologically driven world view. There is nothing wrong with believing garbage, but there is something distasteful when a reputable newspaper gives a servant of offensive ideologies a space to propagate his message. Mr. Kristol is not in the business of ideas but of ideology. Furthermore, he is a paranoid personality type giving his rants a decidedly disturbing feel. We do not need that, No?

Posted by: karimd1 | February 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol, if the American public is not yet schooled on the "theatre" in Afghanistan, then President Obama cannot educate them - they don't want to know. The majority of Americans are well aware of what is going on there, and for the need for more support. It has hardly been a secret.

Are you truly so obtuse? That's a rhetorical question, by the way, as it is apparent that your move from the NYT to the WaPo hasn't affected your income - or you would have paid more attention to what was said than what wasn't. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for many Americans who are wondering where the money will come from to put food on the table and pay the electric bill. They wanted to hear about what plans this administration has for revitalizing the US economy.

Right now, Americans are not worried about Iran, they are worried about their kids, their homes and their jobs. I know, I know, what a bunch of selfish no-goods.

If you can nothing more than "think of Iran!" to complain about in Obama's speech, you truly should STFU.

Posted by: mgkonyx | February 25, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

NotEasy Posted:
Correct me if I am wrong, but did the Dems not run in 2004 on a retreat platform? Now, retreat is a plausible platform to run on if you think the mission is a mistake/unwinnable, but doesn't retreat entail defeat?
I will correct you. The answer is no! The democrats ran on the Iraq war being a mistake that needs to be stopped and corrected. It was the republican candidates that characterize the Democrats' Iraq War position as defeatist, cut & run, cowardice etc.. The majority of the American people agreed with the Democrats and oust the Republicans.

The republicans keep obfuscating the truth and are doing such a poor job of it that it insults our intelligence. Bill Kristol is doing this very thing with this column.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | February 25, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Kristol is not a war correspondent and I might add the last President (Bush if you've forgotten) was certainly not a war President. One screw up after another and one lie after another. How quickly Mr Kristol forgets. We are in a real fix right now due to the stupid ideology of Mr Kristol and others of their ilk.

Posted by: pwelvr | February 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

How refreshing not to see a president wrap himself up in the military and invoke 9/11 more than Giuliani, nor mention the overworn term "global war on terror" the way war addicts Bush and Cheney did.

President Obama put it in correct perspective last night. Low on the totem pole.

Posted by: jfern03 | February 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol and all of his warmongers at
weekly standard should join the military
and head for iraq. These right wingnuts
have no solutions...Just War.

Posted by: veba2 | February 25, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Krystol:

I believe Rush is requesting his hand job now.

Posted by: jfern03 | February 25, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Once you guys figure out that little Billy is that same kid in High School that everyone avoided and laughed at you can begin to understand why he is so negative even in the face of facts. People just don't like him...BUT to truly understand why Billy continues on his kamakazi quest you have to take the above into consideration and then apply it to a good looking woman paying him some attenion. He is courting Sarah the Stupid Palin folks. LOL He HAS to make sure he does his part to damage our President so that she can run against him in 2012! She is his shining hope for the future....and he is her tool of the moment LOL
Obama mentioned the War many times last night. If that isn't good enough for Bill the Tool? LOL Then that is pretty telling as to his real agenda......Ya drool Bill, go wipe your face because somewhere? Your parents are embarrassed of you and when you lay your little pointy head down tonight to go to sleep? Think about how many people in this country would be happy to see living in Iraq.

Posted by: Grissom1001 | February 25, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Poor, little, whining Billy is upset because the pointless, unnecessary war in Iraq that he fomented (along with his cabal of PNAC crazies) did not get more attention.

If you had a brain in your head, little Billy, (which of course, you don't) you'd never mention war again. But, being a cretinous chickenhawk neo-con (like father, like son), you can't help yourself.

By the way, Heath Ledger won the award for playing 'The Joker' so you can wipe that seemingly permanently-affixed stupid smile off your face.

Posted by: pali2500 | February 25, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The Dimocrats and NeoComs have embraced the delusion that Islamacism and jihadism were dreamed up by Bush to somehow deprive them of their `rights.' Sadly, the threat from these terrorists existed long before Bush. The threat is even more real today as Syria prepares a missile site at the location where construction of a nuclear facility was attempted, and the Iranians spin highly enriched uranium. Then there's Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ignoring it all and hoping it goes away invites tragedy.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | February 25, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I notice that nearly all of the reactions to William Kristol's article are very negative. The president's oratory sometimes can be effective, but the substance behind it is lacking.

Unfortunately, Iran continues to enrich uranium. Any who believe that Iran is doing so for peaceful purposes would do well to leave their childrens' teeth under the pillow. Ahmedinejad's anti-Israeli rhetoric should give all but the most naive an idea of his intentions. If Iran successfully develops nuclear weapons, "all hell will break loose!" Then, more than noble words will be required to deal with the situation. Perhaps George W. Buch's administration will then be seen as not so bad after all.

Posted by: dahutchinson | February 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"This was not the speech of a man who even contemplates the possibility of using force within the next year to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons." - Billy "The Joker" Kristol.


Just another reason to be proud that America voted sanity in and your neo-con/Zionist PNAC rabble out.

Tough noogies, Kristol.

Better luck next lifetime.

Posted by: pali2500 | February 25, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The US War Machine will need to be significantly downsized in the coming years. Due to the economic crisis and long-term budget considerations, we as a nation can no longer afford to be the entire world's "policeman" and try to force every other nation on earth to obey our will as though we are the God given leader of the planet. Yes, America has done much good on the world stage, particularly our leading role in WWII; however, the economic realities of today will force us to rethink the limitations of our appropriate role in years to come.

It's time to take the TRILLIONS we spend on building weapons and machinery of death, and invest the money in health care, social programs and education here and abroad.

Specifically, instead of dropping bombs that incite hatred and breed long-term animosity against our nation in various parts of the world, let's now start dropping care packages around the world that include food, medicine and educational materials to build good will and give America the reputation of generousity that it so deserves. All of these products that are donated to the developing world can be mandated to be "Made in the U.S.A" which will stimulate jobs here in the homeland!

The goodwill we generate around the world with a few tens of BILLION dollars of preventative medicine (no pun intended) will save our nation TRILLIONS and TRILLIONS in long term military costs for its expansive war machine. PEPFAR was a great start on this road and is one rare area in which GWB is to be commended.

Of course, I am a dreamer. But, if you think about it, this is wise policy and will end up making our future as a nation and a world much brighter.

If force and weapontry truly needs to be used (such as with Al Queda in Afganistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan), I patriotically say "Go for it!" However, we need a charm offensive as well to be truly effective in our foreign policy!

Posted by: SWadvocate | February 25, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I still dont believe Kristol is a human being. There cant be real blood running through those veins.He seems more like an avatar from some other universe.

What is true is that Obama intends to pay for his programs from money saved from stopping the fighting in Iraq, or at least withdrawing the majority of our troops. But, more importantly, and something that chickenhawks who are so deathly afraid of Arab and Islamists don't understand, is that the rest of the world understands what Ian Buruma takes pains to describe in his book Occidentalism, is the threat that nonwesterners see as posed by the growing domination of world affairs by the US through the globalization movement. It seems that wherever international trade spreads throughout the planet, there are US lawyers telling emerging countries how to behave, what laws to pass (many that seem to favor the US), and generally by extension how to run their countries. This follow our way or the highway approach by the US has gotten so tiresome that even our ostensible allies are chaffing at how the US, especially under the so called Bush adminstration, conducts foreign policy. ITs simply another form of imperialism and there is no other word for it. But, the US has a wonderful way of cauching its influence, and coercive ways in the langauge of freedom and independence. So, Kristol, because you probably are one of a dying species of neoconism, I will recommend that you and your like actually read the Buruma book and try to see things through other peoples eyes. I know it will be a challenge but you owe it to yourself and your grand children to appear to act like a real human being for once in your life.

Tony Gillotte
Vacaville, CA

Posted by: gillotte43 | February 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Just as I suspected...Obama is a phony. Just like we knew Reagan wasn't a supply-sider when he didn't mention economics at all in his speech about the Star Wars Initiative, we saw last night that Obama fails to understand or appreciate his role as commander in chief. It gets worse: not only is President Obama not a war president, but he apparently does not appreciate or value life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. Nor did he mention his formal responsibility, which is to preserve, protect, and uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute the office of the President. Who in hell did we elect?! Time to start impeachment proceedings...

Posted by: Billiams | February 25, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Well it just goes to show there are two ways to look at "war and peace." I for one, choose peace. As the Edwin Starr song goes, "WAR! WHAT'S IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!"

Every Sunday, at my church we sing THE PEACE SONG. It starts out LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH, AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME.

Kristol, come sing with me.

Posted by: rmorris391 | February 25, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Pls forgive if this is repeating similar comments. Does any one besides me feel his critic of Obama should be in the original German? I bet he paints a lil' black under his nose like Adolph's before he sits down to write for the right. The last time I saw a smile like his a possum was coming out of my garbage can.

Posted by: rking8 | February 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Kristol (and his cabal of PNAC crazies) successfully diverted America from making a full-scale effort in Afghanistan and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.

Kristol (and his cabal of PNAC crazies) cynically used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to enact their long-held plan for a military invasion of Iraq.

For an insight into these lunatics' minds, see the 2000 PNAC document 'Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century.'

See also the 1998 PNAC letter to President Clinton -- which states, "The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing."

Many of the PNAC crazies ended up in Bush White House (and on the Op-Ed pages of the Washington Post).

Now Kristol is beating the drums of war again -- with the same tired neo-con rhetoric.

BTW, Billy 'The Joker' Kristol founded PNAC in the same building that houses the American Enterprise Institute.

The American Enterprise Institute was founded by his father, Irving, who is another Zionist chickenhawk -- and is the so-called "godfather of neo-conservatism."

Posted by: pali2500 | February 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Dude - Obama just wants to get high and CELEBRATE!

Posted by: pgr88 | February 25, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree with many of those who wrote here and do not agree with Mr. Kristol's basic points.

At the same time, I think it is important that those of us on the Left listen to the opposition's opinions and meaningfully engage in why we agree or disagree. I fear that we are forever isolating ourselves into Red and Blue Americas.

People in Red America *really* believe what Mr. Kristol (and many others like him) say. I wish that more people on the Right would talk openly with people who do not agree with them. Mr. Kristol is one of the more articulate people on the right. (Though I would rather read David Brooks and George Will.)

I happen to disagree with Mr. Kristol on almost everything. That said, I think WaPo is to be commended for putting someone who does not think like me.

- A Thinking Liberal in DC

Posted by: artfiend | February 25, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Again, it must be pointed out.

So many commenters cannot deal with reading the writing of Bill Kristol. They are, in fact, offended that he is allowed to write. I assume most of them self-describe as liberals or at least vote Democratic. And yet, with both chambers of Congress and the Presidency under their control, they object to a dissenting voice in the pages of WaPo.

Tells you all you need to know about today's Left (at least those active on he internet anyways).

Posted by: NotEasy | February 25, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Because the POTUS defends his country from a different point of view, Kristol who has never seen spent a day in a uniform continues to bloviate about something he can only read about in books and pontificate on FIX News.

Here is a timeless retort to anything that Kristol and the rest of his merry band of NEOCONS have to say about war presidents.

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said 'Thank you' and went on your way.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | February 25, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

This was not the speech of a fear mongering chickenhawk. Thanks to the culmination of Reaganomics we have several serious problems to deal with. The neocon war of choice is only one of them. At least Obama seems more focused on going after the terrorists who attacked us.

Posted by: blbixler | February 25, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

More tiresome neocon blowhardery from the man that predicted McCain would 'win huge.' Why on earth would anyone listen to this tiresome windbag? When has he ever been right about anything? Why does the WaPo give him a soapbox to spout more insufferable Bush/Cheney-worshipping b.s.?

The GOP Kristol so loves has finally reached its natural state: a small fringe of hillbillies, rednecks and kooky, violent militia types.

"You can't look at past performance as a predictor, otherwise you wouldn't be, obviously, still a pundit." -Jon Stewart, to Kristol

Posted by: cdoobs | February 25, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This is just another tired attempt to reprise the "Democrats are soft on security" argument.

Just as Bobby Jindal clung to the "government is bad, cut taxes" rhetoric because the GOP has no new ideas, Bill Kristol has nothing to offer except the scare tactics that stopped working in 2006.

It's sad, even pathetic, and the country deserves better from the opposition party.

Posted by: KeninBoston | February 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

You'd think it would be self evident after all we have been through, that Kristol and his neocon pals have ZERO credibility. Still ginning up new wars after all these years and failures! The best thing the New York Times did was to fire this hack. Why would the times ever waste space on him?

Posted by: mybandy | February 25, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Out of all the issues America is facing, out of all the issues President Obama addressed in his speech, Bill Kristol could only comment on war and nothing else. The narrowness of his focus is alarming. If this is the best a leading neo-conservative thinker can do in these times, then neo-conservatism is long dead. American needs to clear out W and the rest of his garbage thoroughly before we can rebuild.

Posted by: vincecharus | February 25, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I continue to be amazed that respectable media outlets such as the Washington Post are willing to give Bill Kristol a platform. Hasn't anyone noticed that Kristol has been continually wrong...about everything...for at least the past 8 years? At what point do we start looking at his miserable track record?

After all, Kristol was a major player in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the group that agitated for renewed war in Iraq as far back as the mid-90s. Bush eventually followed Kristol's advice, and what did we get? Quagmire, morass, FUBAR, pick your term. What we DIDN'T get were WMDs, Osama bin Laden, or anything else of value in the GWoT. Thanks for that, Bill! Way to go!

Consider, too, that Kristol's response to every question is "war", just as Rudy Giulliani's response to everything was "9/11." Recession? War! Market collapse? War! Hangnails? War! All war, all the time, go team go!

I suppose one should be grateful that Kristol wasn't around when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December of '41. He probably would have tried to convince Roosevelt to respond by invading Portugal...

Posted by: Jedilaw | February 25, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

This was not a speech delivered by an imp who lied us into a war that killed a hundred thousand Iraqis and five thousand of our own young people. It was a mature speech. President Obama said in a few sentences what W could not speak in an hour of fragmented illogical propaganda. You're a tool, Kristol.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | February 25, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This article goes a long way in proving why the GOP and its think tank found themselves out of favor with the American public in November last year. Americans expect so much from every President and get so little in return that an earlier generation finds it very difficult to believe real improvement when they see it. At best, this is nothing but cynicism. Had President George Bush retained the people's confidence himself, he could have staved off the crisis of confidence this nation is currently facing in regarding its financial institutions and markets and political leadership. Had his tone been that of a wise and seasoned leader, instead of that of a clueless frat boy who found his way to the White House and decided to stick around for the ride, and maybe if he had advised caution and responsibility instead of worry-free spending and a brash overconfidence (his signature style), the country would not find itself in the financial pit we now do. President Obama is a war time President and I think he knows whom he is working for and whom he needs to think of when speaking with the American people. When the armed forces do their job as well as ours are, we can rest assured they have our backs. The crisis, Mr. Kristol is not in the lack of confidence in how our military is doing overseas, but in how our leadership is doing at home. The President's speech last night went a distance to start to mend that situation. Although the country might empathize with your sentiments and penchant for waving an old red rag, you might be among the voices that finds little sympathy or support for saying just how much you miss the DHS color coded warnings and war talk on the drip.

Posted by: ambrishrk | February 25, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

It is Pakistan, not Iran, that matters Mr. Kristol. Iran is a stable country with a functional government. It is not going to wipe itself off the map so it can drop a nuke on Tel Aviv. Pakistan and its 100? nukes could be in the control of the Taliban at any moment. They live in caves, in a primarily brown country. They couldn't tell the difference between a post-nuclear holocaust world and today. You and your buddies have been distracting our nation's attention from the real danger while you fixate on boogeymen.

Posted by: caribis | February 25, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The clear and present danger in the minds of an overwhelming number of Americans right now is state of the economy, and the President rightfully addressed that very real and immediate crisis in last night's address before Congress. Any attempt to make valid assumptions or draw rational conclusions concerning the President's committment to and/or approach to foreign policy from that speech is both futile and ludicrous.

Posted by: JCham57246 | February 25, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"Washington Post Co. Earnings Decline 77 Percent" ~ headline


Well, if you will insist on hiring dopes like Kristol...

Posted by: pali2500 | February 25, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Kristol just can't wait until someone attacks Iran, preferably the US. And then we should attack Syria. Anyone else Israel feels threatened by? America exists just to protect and defend Israel.
You neocons are going extinct, thank heavens.

Posted by: ccates | February 25, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is dead right. Obama's trying to be a domestic President. Just like W did before 9/11. I hope it doesn't take another 9/11 to wake up this President.

And it is telling, yet unsurprising, that most of the negative remarks made here attack Kristol personally and make wild claims completely unrelated to Kristol's article.

Posted by: NotEasy

Yes, most posters are just blowing off steam. There's quite a head of pressure after 8 years of Bush-fires.

Kristol is stating a fact, but he's doing more - criticizing Obama for not adhering to the Kristol agenda. Well, none of us voted for Kristol.

But you are mistaken about Bush. The man who was working on his campaign biography in 1999, Mickey Herskowitz, gave an interview to Russ Baker in which he revealed that Bush was already talking about war, possibly with Iraq. He'd noted how wars increased the political capital of Reagan and Thatcher. Bush wanted some of that too, so he could push his agenda through Congress and go down in history as a great president.

The first Secretary of the Treasury revealed that Iraq was on the agenda of the very first cabinet meeting.

Bush always intended to be a war president. Guilt over failing his National Guard obligation? Oedipal impulses? Perhaps, but at least in part, by his own testimony, for self agrandizement. For his own greater glory, Bush has sent tens of thousands to their death.

Let it never be forgotten.

Posted by: j2hess | February 25, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: SuperPants | February 25, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

By my count, the President devoted around 600 words to foreign policy. Only in the delusional world of the conservative would several paragraphs be considered only a few sentences.

Is it possible for Bill Kristol to be honest about ANYTHING?

Posted by: Danno1313 | February 25, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

...Iran has not bothered its neigbors militarily for hundreds of years---something Israel cannot say during its brief 60 years....

Posted by: frklynson | February 25, 2009 1:01 AM
I beg to disagree. Iran fought a long 8 year war with Iraq in the 1980's.

Posted by: NeedToKnow | February 25, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

wow, at least there are no anti-semetic, wimpy liberals posting here ... what trash Obama spews. He deludes himself into thinking that anything FDR did economically is worthing doing again, and better! But wait, there's more! He refuses to forecast the long term effects on national will, on the citizen mindest, which is being slowly formulated into the mush of wards of the state. Brave New World is upon us, and the American sheep are too far-left-educated to see what's happening. Reminds of the anecdote about the second worst feeling being that of finding yourself in hell. The (first) worst feeling is getting a tap on the shoulder and turning around and hearing your children (and grandchildren ... and great-grandchildren ...) ask, "Why didn't you tell us?"

Posted by: LT369 | February 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

There are lots of ways to disagree with Kristol based on logic, reason, facts, etc. Instead, the liberals on this site resort to name-calling, anti-Semitism, and making comments that show they are ignorant of history.

For example - with the Iranian nukes issue. OF COURSE most Iranians are not happy with their regime. Historically the Persians (what my Iranian friends like to call themselves) are a cultured people with a tradition of learning and both scientific and artistic achievement. Yet it's also a fact that the leaders of that country are a bunch of fanatics who, if they get nukes, will not hesitate to use them. Reality is complex; liberals who refuse to acknowledge the dangers of a nuclear armed Iran are just as deluded as the type who thinks the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.

Liberals sometimes had good critique of Bush, just like some of the critique of Obama is spot on. Unless you think Obama is the Messiah, you have to admit he is not perfect. And one very telling sign that it may not all be rosy under Obama - after his speech, Wall Street tanked. Any of you liberals that have stocks - your wealth is also eroding, and the way to build it back up is not to tax the wealthy into oblivion but to create an environment where a poor immigrant who comes here and opens up a road-side stand can go on to send his kids to Harvard.

Which brings up Bobby Jindal - the racism inherent in the vitriol against him is astonishing. I guess, to a liberal, racist comments against a dark skinned person are OK if the person is a Republican, because, after all, like the Nazis in their attitude towards the Jews, the left-wingers do not see conservatives as human beings deserving of dignity.

At least Kristol, in his critique of Obama, sticks to parsing the points he made in his speech - he doesn't go into the guy's heritage, youthful indiscretions or make snide racially tinged attacks.

I think it's too soon to make a verdict on Jindal as Governor of Louisiana. However, I think his story - a dark-skinned child of Asian immigrants who arrived here with very little and worked hard to send their son to Harvard - it's the American story that generations of immigrants from Italy or Ireland or China or Greece or Mexico can relate to.

To make racist comments about Jindal or to deny the power of this rags-to-riches story that is replicated thousands of times here in America is petty, mean, and unworthy of anyone who is actually a true liberal - once upon a time, liberals were people who believed in civil discourse, protecting the civil rights of all, being fair, logical, etc. Nowadays it seems like liberals are racist, puerile children engaging in slinging insults instead of civilized, intellectual dialog.

Posted by: ssohara | February 25, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

That's right, Kristol, we finally have a PEACE President. The first since John F. Kennedy. (Carter could have been, but he was saddled with that Russian National Security Advisor, who hungered for Communist cadavers.)

Anyway. What do you think happens when the most well-armed, most technologically-advanced nation in the World starts talking about peaceful solutions? Don't bother answering, because you don't have the SOUL necessary to imagine such a scenario. You wouldn't know how to handle it. Neither would any of your fellow neo-cons.

You are all in the desert now, a barren landscape of spiritual emptiness that you deserve for what you have done to contribute to our current economic, social, and spiritual crisis

Posted by: bamarsh | February 25, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for the Sturmabteilungen posting here in support of the Dear Leader, Kristol did not remember to post Leon Trotsky's most famous epigram:

"You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."

Libtards will live to regret their crowing at Kristol. Bin Laden, after all, gets the last turn at the ballot box.

Posted by: section9 | February 25, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Kristoll defended President Bush to the end. Therefore, he must lie about the speech given last night just as Bush et al lied to embroil us in a war with Iraq, hid cost of wars, and justified torture. In the speech, Kristoll missed the support for the troops, funding for necessary material, increasing the army and marines (something Bush failed miserably to do) ect. But then, an apologist for Bush must lie about Obama.

Posted by: sander | February 25, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall Congress declaring war.
No war --> no war president.
No war president --> no wartime presidential powers.
No wartime presidential powers --> Bush's actions illegal.

There was an authorization to use force, but no DoW.

E Pleb Neesta

Posted by: eplebneesta | February 25, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

...Iran has not bothered its neigbors militarily for hundreds of years---something Israel cannot say during its brief 60 years....

I beg to disagree. Iran fought a long 8 year war with Iraq in the 1980's.

Posted by: NeedToKnow |

Yes - Iran was invaded by Iraq with the complicit assent and material and intelligence support of the US under Ronald Reagan. Saddam had a history as a CIA asset, of which George HW Bush certainly aware.

Why do you think Iran feels a need to have a deterent to nuclear weapons?

And a thwack on the wrist with a ruler to all of you who confuse criticism of Israeli actions, or those who subordinate our national interests to the goals of the Israeli right wing, with anti-Semitism.

Posted by: j2hess | February 25, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow! There must be close to a thousand daily Cos communists, Marxists and terrorist sympathizers posting here today. Obama has spread the war into Afganistan, a completely stupid action as no one, not even Alexander the great has ever succeeded there. Pakistan is likely to nuke us because Obama is bombing its citizens right now as we speak. I have long known the WAPO is a communist owned paper, but this confirms it in spades. Not only will Obama bankrupt the US, he will bankrupt the world and try to set himself up as the Emperor of the UN because that is the job he is running for now with all his pathetic, stupid, lying speeches. Kristol is absolutely correct in everything he says and the only people who disagree are with the terrorists.

Posted by: Patscholar | February 25, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."

Libtards will live to regret their crowing at Kristol. Bin Laden, after all, gets the last turn at the ballot box.

Posted by: section9

Oh yes, the bin Laden Bush went after, lost, and then said that he (Bush) was not really concerned about, and proved it? Obama at least is turning the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan/Pakistan.

Be careful about casting aspersions on other people's intelligence.

Posted by: j2hess | February 25, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush was not a war time president. On September 11, 2001 Bush failed to protect the American people from a mere 19 men. And the lead perpetrators of this crime and their orgainzation are still alive and well. After turning Bin-Laden and his group into an existential threat to America our country has been exposed as a muscle bound giant with no real focused military nor diplomatic strategy nor goal in Afghanistan that would limit our stay and define victory.

Incompetence and ignorance were also the key features of the Bush war in Iraq. Iraq was a war that also should have never been fought. But it further exposed the limits of American power and vision while decreasing our security. Now every power can use Bush's rationale for this war in their own interests to our detriment. And they know how to drag America into a muddy costly military quagmire.

The victors in the Bush wars so far are Iran, Pakistan and Russia. And the real losers are America, Europe,Turkey and the Arab states

Posted by: blackmamba1 | February 25, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse


Is your comment satire, or are you a parody of brain-dead dittoheads everywhere?

In case you really meant it, you might remember that Bush launched the invasion and war, and the bombings in Pakistan originated on his watch. And were Obama to pull back, wouldn't you be the first to accuse him of surrender?

Posted by: j2hess | February 25, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

First, our last 'war president' was a bumbling incompetent who bogged us down in 2 wars, lost 4200+ soldiers for the mirage of WMD's, strengthened Iran immeasurably and spent 1 trillion dollars (and counting) to accomplish little of lasting value. His arrogance and stubborness cost us our moral leadership, and his torture and detention policies brought us disgrace.He inflamed the most volatile region on the planet and then blithely left the scene accepting no responsibility for anything.

Second, America's military is stretched, tired and in need of respite. We are NOT the world's policeman, despite what Willie the Neo Con warrior believes. We and Iran need a rapproachment for both our sakes, and that does NOT come at the barrel of a gun. Further, Bush's unquestioning financial and political support for a corrupt, divided Pakistani government exacerbated the problem. Dealing with an exit from Iraq and settling the Afghan-Pakistan problem will be akin to untying the Gordian Knot. Military force is the last way we need to try.

With such a series of s*itstorms, it was refreshing NOT to hear Obama bluster and boast. A little humility will serve us far better. The logic of Kristol's position (such as it is) would require more interventionism--something we are clearly unable to do. It's really kind of amusing watching the guys who gave us the disease for eight years pontificate about what the solutions should be. The lemmings who followed the neo-cons playbook, and the conservatives who now embrace them, need to sit in the corner and just shut up. The last 2 elections were a referendum on your solutions, in case the message hasn't reached you yet.

Oh, and by the way, the criticisms of Jindal have been most vitriolic from the right NOT the left--pay attention.

Posted by: bklyndan22 | February 25, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

This column is titled PostPartisan and it's written by William Kristol.

Are the WPost Editors on drugs?

Posted by: nattyb | February 25, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, why is it that cowards like you are always banging the gong for WAR but would never consider joining the military? You are one slimy low life slug!! Hopefully, the Post's editors will come to their senses and give you the boot just as the New York Times did!! Please go away you scum sucking dog!!!

Posted by: VietVet68 | February 25, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Haven't we heard enough (and had enough) of Bill Kristol? Please, someone! Shut him up already!

Posted by: baker215 | February 25, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

NOT a WAR President..?
You must be talking about your Bush..
Party Boy...closest he got to any conflict was getting kicked out of a bar..

At least Obama has been in a war zone..
It may have been in Chicago..
But he knows war..

Which reflects Kristols back ground..
utter Coward.

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | February 25, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Kristol has become tiresome and boring.

I don't have to read his column to know what he will say, how he will say it, and the lack of knowledge he will demonstrate.

Kristol is just irrelevant.

Posted by: Continuum | February 25, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Whoopsie! The NYT wouldn't publish this dolt's diatribe, so it lands here in the WaPo where we often need the humor-break.

Get thee behind me fear-mongering Satan Kristol!

Americans no longer cower behind the likes of the spent, uninspired, ill-advised, ill-employed, largely ignorant and out-of-touch buffoons like you!

Eight years of your Hell has taught us all very well!

Have a Nice Day! (not)

Posted by: Frank57 | February 25, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, it takes a pretty remarkable amount of arrogance, gall, and amnesia to write a pitiful column like this after 8 years of disasterous leadership from your beloved war president. How dare you.

Posted by: OklahomaSooners | February 26, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Who cares what a yellow bellied draft dodging coward like Kristrol says? Maybe like minded cowards, like Cheney, Bush, and the rest of W's junta, but no one else.

Posted by: becuna | February 26, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Ah, yes, Kristool's been SO credible in his sayings and predictions in the past.

I did not know that the WaPoop ran an Old Traitors' Home or offered wingnut welfare. Learn something every day.

Posted by: sales3 | February 26, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The conservatives like Billy here are really struggling to find things to criticize. Like Bobby, Billy pulls out his fake adolescent ire, to taunt Obama for being "not man enough" -- as if he wanted to invite him out to the alley for a fight. Huh? Don't these guys believe that huge numbers of Americans are in a war with the economy? Are they so rich themselves that they can't understand what the priorities are, in a speech of limited length? If Obama had focused on the details of his plans (and anyone who reads knows he has plans) for Afghanistan, he'd have been met with total stunned silence! Everyone, even most congresspeople, know it's about the economy, stupid. What Kristol wants is akiin to asking Geo. Bush to address tax cuts with a bullhorn while standing over the shattered and smoking twin towers in 2001. No wonder the GOP is hurting so much for ideas, for creativity, for anything new! They are still little boys hankering to take down the "bad guys" in an alley. The rest of us couldn't be happier to hear a grown-up man lead us out of our adolscent-created quagmires.

Posted by: cturtle1 | February 26, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I think I'll add that Billy's column gets an F for being mind-bogglingly stupid -- maybe it's supposed to be a joke?

Ignoring the rest of the piece, how can he write with a straight face that Obama ought to be terrifying the American public about starting a war with Iran?

If Billy-Bob were president, he'd be gearing up for a third war. Iraq was the stupidest war America ever waged, and it was supposed to be a "cake-walk" if I remember. Thank god Obama knows that a war with Iran would be 1,000 times worse than Iraq -- in wasting human life (which conservatives don't seem to mind wasting in huge numbers -- they only care about the money) -- but it would further the disastrous policies of Bush in the middle east. Some editor for the Washington Post needs to have a talk with little Billy.

Posted by: cturtle1 | February 26, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Correct me if I am wrong, but did the Dems not run in 2004 on a retreat platform?"
Um, no. They ran on a "we are going to end the war in Iraq" platform, and also in 2008.

It was the Republicans who tried to paint it as defeat and retreat.

There, now you've been corrected.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 26, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is absolutely correct and you guys are not seeing the truth. Our military is at war and he is sending 17,000 more to another war! The pres was just campaigning in his speech cause that is all he knows how to do! Look at his budget, BO has capped the pay for the military at 2.9%. With all his spending our infation will far out distance 2.9%. He should start cutting the pork out of the budget like he promised instead of capping someone's pay. No, EVERYONE did not agree with BO's speech. I can name many who hated it.

Posted by: annnort | February 26, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

'Not a war president'? Who do you think we are? Klingons? Grow up a little bit. Do you read papers yourself? What has Topic Number One (and Two, and Three) been lately? What has everyone been howling to hear more about? IT'S THE ECONOMY. We elect presidents, not special 'war presidents'. We may just have one that can handle more than one topic.

Oh, and...
'Obama neglects to state we can withdraw from Iraq due to the success, and not his time table. Leaving Iraq has nothing to do with our politicians in DC, but our military'

...yeah, and not the fact that we 'defeated' that enemy by writing them checks. There's your brilliant 'Surge'. I look forward to your comments when we stop sending them, and they flare up again.

Posted by: HarrisTheYounger | February 27, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

WOW, I've read a lot of the comments, and I must say, I've never seen so many attack a person for his views.

The author is correct. Obama is also elected to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And he will sell out Israel and make "peace" offerings to Iran as consession for not developing a nuclear weapon....which has been condemned by the UN, not just the US.

Ya'll simply don't understand, they don't want peace. The Middle East has never been at peace throughout its entire history. Muslims have been fighting muslims for thousands of years, now they turn their agression toward the "non-belivers". And you cannot barter with an enemy that wants to kill you and die while doing so.

Posted by: Bowhunter | February 28, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, what was the point of this article?

Posted by: mpkincai | March 1, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

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