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Obama Persists on Iran

The most interesting moment, I thought, in President Obama’s press conference was his last answer, when he spoke in praise of “persistence:” “That whole philosophy of persistence, by the way, is one that I’m going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come, as long as I am in this office. I’m a big believer in persistence.”

So now that he’s president, Barack Obama no longer invokes the audacity of hope, but rather appeals to the virtue of persistence. I guess campaigning is poetry, governing is prose, and all that. Still, “persistence” is pretty prosaic prose.

But what was also interesting was his list of things he was going to be persistent about. Persistence, incrementalism, moving in the right direction one step at a time -- this, of course, makes sense in many areas of domestic policy. Obama mentioned health care, energy, education and reducing the influence of lobbyists as examples. Persistence is important in some aspects of foreign policy as well, where one works diligently to resolve a long-standing problem or improve a difficult situation. Obama cited the Middle East peace process.

But President Obama also invoked persistence with respect to Iran.

“When it comes to Iran, you know, we did a video sending a message to the Iranian people and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, ‘Well, they did not immediately say they were eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism.’ Well, we didn’t expect that. We expect that we’re going to make steady progress on this front.”

Is stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons really like improving health care or advancing the Middle East peace process? I would have thought not. The American (and European) position -- and the position of candidate Obama -- has been that this Iranian regime acquiring nuclear weapons is “unacceptable.” If that’s so, then there’s a deadline, so to speak, to all the incremental efforts. And since, by all accounts, that deadline is fast approaching, there would have to be a certain speed to the hoped-for “steady progress.” President Obama seems to evince no sense of urgency about Iran’s nuclear program. Did his relaxed statement about Iran tonight suggest he has quietly decided to accept the previously unacceptable?

By William Kristol  | March 24, 2009; 10:14 PM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Mr. Kristol,

There's a principle you seem unaware of: positivity overcomes negativity, if you factor time into the equation. In a short amount of time, negativity is stronger than positivity. But, over time, positivity is stronger. That's what evolution is about.

Your approach, to be negative, because that seems stronger, only works in the short term. President Obama's approach will work if he is persistent in it, which he seems determined to be.

Posted by: NMReader | March 24, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

So why does Kristol, wrong about everything and right about nothing, get to write in WaPo? For the same reason the paper carries George Will and Charles Krauthammer? To answer in advance charges of editorial bias?

Couldn't they find someone a little smarter than these gutter-hugging traders in second-hand ideological excrement? Someone like David Brooks?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 24, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

It is amazing that someone who has been so wrong for so long on so much is allowed to write for the Washington Post. Once again, you add nothing to the issues but noise and fear. You day is done - we now have someone in office who is thoughtful and respectful of other nations and cultures. If you want to know what the real threat is to American Greatness, then I suggest you look in the mirror.

Posted by: buddhabreath | March 24, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Kristol needs to be handed a gun.
Sent to Iraq or Iran
Start a war of a fight
If he comes back alive
We will listen to him

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 24, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is a neocon who always puts the interests of Israel first. The Israel-first crowd will do everything they can to get America to fight another war on behalf of Israel.

"Avoid Foreign Entanglements" George Washington

Posted by: David77 | March 24, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely believe that Kristol suffers from paranoid delusions. His fear of Muslims and Arabs is out-sized and irrational. He's a certifieable whack-job dressed up in a suit and walking among us.

Posted by: kurthunt | March 24, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh Good God Kristol - you are such a lame discredited joke of an opinion columnist. You are always wrong!

Please get over your phony tough guy act. are you just stuck giving Neocon and Isreael's right wing talking points?

Posted by: lsbeardsley | March 24, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

Most of the world appreciates Obama's direction toward diplomacy rather than the discord that seems so dear to your heart. Persistence in the pursuit of sanity is a virtue. Persistence in the pursuit of peril (your penchant) reveals a rather obvious Dr.Strangelovian psychosis. Please do get help before you cause more trouble both here and in the Mideast.

Posted by: dangerosa | March 25, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, get a real job you maggot.

Posted by: hairguy01 | March 25, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

Most of the world appreciates Obama's direction toward diplomacy rather than the discord that seems so dear to your heart. Persistence in the pursuit of sanity is a virtue. Persistence in the pursuit of peril (your penchant) reveals a rather obvious Dr.Strangelovian psychosis. Please do get help before you cause more trouble both here and in the Mideast.

Posted by: dangerosa | March 25, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

It is wildly ridiculous to blame Iran for its nuclear program and to institute a system of deep suspicion in their energy policy. We have essentially thrown out the NPT treaty in our dealings with India and other countries around the world where we make agreements that undermine the safety of nuclear technology and stockpiles everyday. Either Iran is going to milk the West for all it can up until the last precarious moment, or its going instigate nuclear development throughout the Middle East which is really not surprising in light of the fact that India, Pakistan, and Israel already have nuclear weapons. If a brutal military dictator with nuclear weapons is not a threat because we wanted him to be our ally, why is Iran so suddenly this overwhelming threat, particularly when they have not invaded a country in over 200 years and officially are using their nuclear material for energy. And even if you believe that they are lying to the world, what tangible threat can be shown that the West isn't already in support of or actively developing itself?

Posted by: nunivek | March 25, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

"We spent considerable time with the Jewish community - and among the many surprising impressions we received was their obvious sense of comfort and safety living as Jews under an Islamic regime.

American Jews are invariably astounded when I tell them that I myself wore a kippah publicly throughout Iran without a moment’s nervousness. (Once we were approached and asked by an Iranian man if we were Jewish - he turned out to be a Jew himself and he promptly invited us to his shul for Shabbat). I’m not being facetious when I say that in retrospect, I realize I actually felt safer as a Jew walking the streets Tehran than I often do in Israel."
(Rabbi Brant Rosen)

Posted by: BiBiJon | March 25, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"...President Obama seems to evince no sense of urgency about Iran’s nuclear program. Did his relaxed statement about Iran tonight suggest he has quietly decided to accept the previously unacceptable?..."

While Secretary of State Clinton has said that all options are still on the table - clearly they are not. Bombing Iran would put off their nuclear program a couple of years, but the only way to stop the program is by "regime change" and the US is in no position to invade anyone. Think containment (or possibly an Israeli attack which would be highly discouraged by the US - in my opinion)

Posted by: TomW2 | March 25, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

shocked and disappointed to be subjected to this middling mind. is there a news outlet on the planet not willing to give him a platform?
dull, sexist and predictable. zero rigor and no originality.
stunned to see this.

Posted by: nancyjeanmail | March 25, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Kristol's shtick is to alway be contrary to anything a Democratic politician has to say no matter how wrong Kristol is.

He is continuously wrong. but somehow is still writing.

You would think that given the fact the comments are usually tilted toward pointing out how ridiculous he is and how people think he is a jerk should say quite a bit about his employer and how he actually gets hired to do anything.

Posted by: hmmmmmer | March 25, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Poor Kristol -- he's beside himself because we aren't marching off to another war. How many wars has he fought in? There's a time to fight and a time to try and negotiate. Thanks to him and his ne-con friends, we are broke and over-extended with our military. Afghanistan is a mess and I doubt if we can win there. If we had done the job right in Afghanistan in first place instead of running off to Iraq we might have improved things in that country. He has no credibility.

Posted by: sharronkm | March 25, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Does this guy ever stop peddling Israeli agenda?

Frankly Kristol, we don't give a damn about what you think or want.

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | March 25, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristolberg, Shecky Krautheimer, David Frummstein and Wolfowitz are taking it pretty hard that Pres. Obama may not Bomb Iran and anyone who disagrees with their Neo_Con Agenda. To them, ANY War is a Good War.

Posted by: orionexpress | March 25, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristolberg, Shecky Krautheimer, David Frummstein and Wolfowitz are taking it pretty hard that Pres. Obama may not Bomb Iran and anyone who disagrees with their Neo_Con Agenda. To them, ANY War is a Good War.

Posted by: orionexpress | March 25, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I get that you give this guy space because he's a nincompoop and you derive some perverse pleasure out of his nincompoopness. I have read his drivel in many places and still feel awed by his complete disconnect from any reality. Kristol's greatest skill and life long task has been holding a silver spoon tightly between his b--t cheeks. He is the ultimate simpering chicken hawk and consumate right wing wimp.

Posted by: lrcinv | March 25, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Prince Wrong is at it again. As are the lousy anti-Semites who populate the comments section whenever His Wrongness graces us with his smarmy smile and dim talking points.

It's like a dance between Ignorance and Barbarism (although you'd be hard pressed to tell who's playing which role).

Posted by: jarviq | March 25, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

This time around, Kristol and friends are going to have to do without the US military to fight their war. Perhaps, they can hammer out a Blackwater.

Posted by: greystuul | March 25, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

"Prince Wrong is at it again. As are the lousy anti-Semites who populate the comments section whenever His Wrongness graces us with his smarmy smile and dim talking points."

But here's the thing, jarviq. At least 5 different Prince Wrongs at the Post could have written this article. And the Prince Wrongs have been writing American foreign policy for the last 40 years.

Posted by: greystuul | March 25, 2009 3:19 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

I see a suspicious consistency of language and theme in all of these critical comments that impugn your integrity, intelligence, etc. It looks to me like a set up job. Don't take them seriously.

Keep writing.

Posted by: nachmanr | March 25, 2009 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, the Post is getting the NYT's sloppy seconds?

What gives?

Posted by: CaliBlogger | March 25, 2009 3:38 AM | Report abuse

So, what would be YOUR solution, Crystal?

Nuke 'Em?

Sneak Attack?

After You, Chicken Hawk. Send your relatives on suicide missions there. It's for a good cause, right?

I am, of course, speaking to your thinly veiled allegiance to Israel.

Above ALL else. Especially above the humans who comprise the US and/or Iran. Especially above the expendable "Killing Age" Gentiles, Muslims, and other Less Valuable people.

After you, Buddy. After YOU!

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | March 25, 2009 3:53 AM | Report abuse

You know, Bill, a lot of our foreign policy problems could be solved by nuking the rest of the world into slag, but it doesn't make it a good idea. Your sick hatred for anything remotely resembling diplomacy has gone from obnoxious to pathetic. There are only two ways to get Iran to stop doing what it's doing: persuade it to do what we want or threaten to annihilate its entire populace. We tried the annihilate solution during the last administration and it did nothing other than waste valuable time that real diplomacy could have put to good use. Why don't you do the world a favor and retire? People my age would appreciate it. Heck, if we all pooled our retirement savings we could buy you a going away twinkie.

Posted by: mbmclaughlin | March 25, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

The little circus freak needs new blood to drink. Nice of the Post to provide us with his views.

Posted by: branfo4 | March 25, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Mr. Kristol, President Obama SHOULD quietly accept what was considered wildly unacceptable during the needless frothing-at-the-mouth antics of the previous administration, abetted by you and fellow neo-cons. Iran is a signatory to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, and we can expect that this Persian nation will observe that commitment; it will not behave like our "friends" in Pakistan.

Don't worry about Israel, which already has some 200-300 nuclear weapons. Were Iran and Israel to have a face-off similar to that of the U.S. and U.S.S.R., have some faith that Iran and Israel will also back off from Mutually Assured Destruction. Human societies are not as crazy as your hand-wringing would suggest.

Posted by: DrVeritas | March 25, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

No war with Iran? Kristol, we feel your pain.

What happened to your gig at the Times? It is interesting to see you settle in at the Post where you get to mesh with the pro Israel, no matter what, crowd. At least you are “persistent”.

Posted by: timothy2me | March 25, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

WP please stop wasting our time. This article added nothing constructive to any current debate.

Posted by: ObamaInspired | March 25, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Two wars, a massive recession, millions out of work, 50 million without health insurance, trillions in bailouts to save the financial and automative sectors, climate change, and a dysfunctional political system that doesn't work, and Bill Kristol wakes up this morning and wants us to worry about Iran. Good grief. Will, Gerson and now this fool. If I wanted to read the New York Post I wouldn't be here.

Posted by: maxfli68 | March 25, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Kristol,

You must be aware that campaign rhetoric can be one thing and policy formulation once in office quite another.

Using military force - no matter how "efficient" the operation - to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons could have terrible consequences for the Middle East - and places beyond. Whatever their leaders say, most of Iran'speople seem wll disposed toward the American people. This seems especially true of it's young people - who will be running their country within the next 20 years.

So we just need to "be cool" and let history take it's course. (Even with nukes Iran would Iran be such a threat to anyone? The main impetus to get a nuclear capability was probably President Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech. Nukes are just the thing to deter foreign invasion; just ask North Korea.)

Posted by: GaryPeschell | March 25, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Bill Kristol for his article.

Finally, a reason to read WaPo.

Finally, a voice of reason to balance off against the insanity of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd and the rest.

Love you Bill....keep speaking the truth to stupidity.

Posted by: Reggy | March 25, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

William Kristol is my #1 example of what's wrong with opinion journalism: Merit has no meaning. Once you're a pundit, you're a pundit, and you can go from one high-profile job to the next whether your writings have any value or not.

In a meritocracy, Kristol would be selling cars or greeting people at WalMart. But instead he holds one of the most prestigious jobs in his industry.

Posted by: dougmuder | March 25, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Smilin' Billy Kristol, co-founder of the PNAC cabal of neo-con and Zionist crazies, needs to be given a loyalty test.

It needs to be made clear, once and for all, just how far down the list of Smilin' Billy's list of loyalties America comes.

One thing is for certain, America is nowhere near the top.

Posted by: pali2600 | March 25, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"Is stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons really like improving health care or advancing the Middle East peace process?" ~ Smilin' Billy Kristolnacht.


So tell us, Smilin' Billy, are you favor of "improving health care"? Or of "advancing the Middle East peace process?"

Nothing you have ever written, said or done suggests that you are.

Have you had an epiphany?

Or are you, as usual, just blowing smoke, hoping no one will catch you out?

Posted by: pali2600 | March 25, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing how many of you have resorted to name-calling and demonization but have failed to discuss a very drucial point. Obama is in charge of U.S. policy towards Iran, and we have precious little information from him regarding how he will specifically deal with Iran. We don't see a well thought-out or articulated approach, which is consistent with his strategy for dealing with other complex issues. Obama's campaign message was mostly rhetoric and that worked with the vast majority of Americans who really don't understand the complexities of Middle East policy. Obama has very little experience / track record making tough decisions. Rhetoric won't work now. A good public speaking voice won't do much either. Trying to reassure us that he's a "fast learner" doesn't exactly one's confidence. Belittle Kristol all you want --- he's not making the decisions...Obama is. THAT's what you ought to be concerned about, and the President's generalizations and vague answers are a lott more important than Kristol's opinion.

Posted by: SoonerGal | March 25, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing that Kristol persists to scrawl this tripe for the Post.

Posted by: squier13 | March 25, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The wise speak because they have somthing to say wheareas a fool speaks because he has to say somthing

Posted by: Peacemybrethren | March 25, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

It's Obvious Chicken Little, will do nothing about Iran. It will take a move from the Israelis to diffuse the threat that Israel poses to the rest of the Arab Countries. Mr. La Bamba will be sitting here uhhh...uhhing until the nukes come home. I don't understand how liberals can support infanticide but are so absolutely against the Defense of the Nation which was/is a mandate by our founding fathers.
Mr. Krystol, thank you! we need reasonable people with a real sensible head on their shoulders to counteract the Kool Aid drinkers.

Posted by: minuramsey | March 25, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

So, William, what's your suggestion? Start another war? How could that do anything except send Iran's nuclear program further underground and force them to develop nuclear weapons?

It's far from clear that developing nuclear weapons is Iran's intention. Remember the US National Intelligence Estimate of December 2007 which concluded that Iran has halted its weapons work.

However, it is "crystal" clear which country's interest your articles are in, and it's certainly not America's. Will your thirst for Muslim blood ever abate? Would you be happier if the whole Middle East save Israel were set ablaze? Would it bring you great joy to see America sent further into bankruptcy and more Americans die in order to protect a state which has never signed the NPT, and has started many aggressive wars?

Every time I see inane articles by Kristol, Ledeen & co posing as experts in major US newspapers, I know why James Bill said "America sees Iran through spectacles manufactured in Israel". But I pray that these fools' day has come and that they will have no influence in the Obama adminstration.

Posted by: cancerward | March 25, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"accept the previously unacceptable?"

So which unacceptable is it about?

Nuclear weapons, enriched uranium, or just a power plant?

Or is it unacceptable to believe anything that Iran says about not wanting weapons. Pretty much everyone will not believe them on that one. In the past it would have been grounds for a treaty.

"OK. You say you don't want weapons." Then we could do a treaty with some provision for inspection or verification and that would be it.

I fear that which is unacceptable is "common sense."

But it sure would help to have some.

The President seemed to call for it in asking for patience and persistence.

Our best Presidents have called for patience. Most problems on th road never arrive.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 25, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

To the poster who frets that "America sees Iran through spectacles manufactured in Israel", non anti-Semites, not obsessed with Jewish plots could just as easily say that the spectacles were manufactured in Cairo or Riyadh.I wouldn't worry too much about that with the Obama Administration though, it will use spectacles manufactured by Jimmy Carter that will bring his legendary insight to bear.In fact, we will very likely be sending a few new hostages there shortly to re-open the Embassy

Posted by: diana11777 | March 25, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"We will listen to him."

Really ?

I don't think you listen to those who came back from Vietnam. Or you select those you like first.

Just another reason to filter what you learn.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 25, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Question for the Washington Post: Bill Kristol has been horrifically and lethally wrong about EVERYTHING. Does that earn him space in one of America's most respected newspapers?

Posted by: CardFan | March 25, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Yawn . . . why do I bother to read Kristol? Like other critics of the present administration, they are grasping at straws. They should be running low pretty soon . . .

Posted by: ramona54 | March 25, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, Diana, James Bill, emeritus Professor of International Studies at the College of William and Mary, hardly classifies as an anti-Semite. He's just a straight shooter. Calling critics of Israel anti-Semites long ago lost its effectiveness as a rhetorical weapon. Just last week, I read an op-ed in the LA Times by Ben Ehrenreich entitled "Zionism is the problem" and could barely believe it was a US newspaper. It was like a rational version of Ahmadinejad without the apocalyptic language.

Back to the matter at hand ... Khatami is giving a lecture series in Australia and the neocon writers and usual suspects (Rubin, Rubenstein et al) are going into overdrive writing articles carefully selecting quotes from him, trying to make him look bad. Yet there is hope that in Obama's time, contacts between the two countries will increase, the mistrust will lessen, and the embassy on Takht-e-Jamshid Street will reopen... no, I don't think the hostage situation will ever recur. I had the privilege of living in Iran in 2002 and 2003 and the misrepresentations of Iran in American media never cease to amaze me, hence my comments. The gross misunderstandings are due to the lack of contact. I'd highly recommend the writings of Christopher de Bellaigue for anyone who wants to understand the country better.

Posted by: cancerward | March 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Bill. You really got your butt kicked here! About 98% of the commenters agree that you're a regressive idiot. Maybe you should have hit Rupert up for a gig. Can't see you lasting long here, buddy.

Posted by: MelFord1 | March 25, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I also thought the "persistence" virtue interesting and wondered how it may apply to Iran. Seems much of the world has shown tremendous patience and persistence seems to be a trait of the Iranian gov't. Perhaps Kristol is correct that we will come to accept a nuclear Iran.

Posted by: rdischinger | March 25, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

One week it's Pres. Obama is doing to many things at once.

The next week Kristol has a list of "to do's" today!!

Hey Kristol, what kinda self-hater are you that you continue to write this stuff and get jammed EVERY time?

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | March 25, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"The most interesting moment, I thought, in President Obama’s press conference was his last answer..."
Why should ANYone care what this idiot thinks? And why does the WaPo, or any respectable news organization (this excludes Faux News Channel, of course), give him a soapbox to spew this inanity?

Posted by: cdoobs | March 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Pretty much everyone that has commented so far appears to be childish morons. You have insulted Mr. Kristol, called him names, etc, but few have addressed the issue. Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. We cannot allow them to have these weapons. Whats Obama's threshold for their nonsense? At what point does he abandon his incremental approach to foreign policy and draw the line in the sand? Talk is only effective if there is a credible threat of military action behind the words. Sometime in the near future Iran will develop a nuke, before that day comes Obama must decide whether to take action or not. Calling Mr. Kristol names does not change this fact, neither does hopeing for Iranian change. Yall are a bunch of children hopeing daddy can magically make the monster go away if you close your eyes and wish hard enough. You insult a man because he brings you a message you don't want to hear. Iran is bent on nuclear weapons, we can't allow this, it may come to war. That is the cold hard truth.

Posted by: m11618 | March 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

You can just see Kristol struggling to understand the obvious, Limbaugh working overtime to disavow it. Uh, Obama's position here ("persistence") does not track exactly the title of a book he wrote several years ago. And incrementalism doesn't sound like full-on "change." And he seems to read from a teleprompter a lot, so, uh, that must mean he is an empty suit. These guys are dummies, happy just to shore up their dummy-base.

Posted by: obamasnoosama | March 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It would appear that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism. Let's all cover our ears and say together ... WE CAN'T HEAR YOU! If no one here can find any fault at all with the president's hopey changey comments on Iran, I have to offer two words ... Koolaid drinkers. The use of the term Islamic Republic was bad enough, but has the USA has just quietly surrendered in the war that started with the invasion of the embassy compound?
Might not have Chamberlain said the same thing? Mr. Hitler, it is time for Germany to take its rightful place in the community of nations. Appeasement. Wrong then, wrong now.

Posted by: thomas_labelle | March 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

So what policy does Mr. Kristol suggest? Threaten, then invade? We all know how well that worked in Iraq.

If I was the president of Iran I would say that I would end my nuclear arms program (if it does indeed exist) the very same day that the United States eliminates its program. After all, there has only been one country in this world that has actually used nuclear weapons and that country did it TWICE. Also, that same country refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons when it unceremoniously and without provocation invaded another country.

Am I the only person on earth that regards this country, the US, as a bunch of complete hippocrites when it comes to nuclear policy?

Actually, until Obama, you could also throw in torture.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | March 25, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Billy's hard on for war with Iran never about persistence!

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | March 25, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol
Please stop your warmongering. We have had enough of that in this decade.

Posted by: killercue00 | March 25, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

You are absolutely correct and profoundly prescient, as usual.

One can only hope that Barack Obama's ignorance of history doesn't extend so far as to fail to recognize the importance of preventing Iranian hegemony - and the likely response of Sunni regimes, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia - to develop their own nuclear weapons.

I am afraid, as you are, that Barack Obama doesn't think it would be so bad. Could he be telling us to stop worrying and accept the (Iranian) bomb? Perhaps he thinks like other dingbat leftists, that Iran has a "right" to nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Lipo1 | March 25, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Nyrunner101, we dropped nukes on Japan because the alternative was worse. Read about Operations Olympic and Coronet. The casulty estimates were in the tens of millions (estimates are usually low). I had a great uncle who was a Marine who was training for the invasion. He was told that only 1 out of every 23 men was expected to be able to walk off the beaches. 22 out of 23 dead or wounded. Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the years following the end of World War II — including the Korean and Vietnam Wars — have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field. Just because we used a nuke once doesn't mean that anyone can have them. Is it hypocritical that I own shotguns but I won't let my 3 year old touch them? He is too young to understand their power. Iran is too crazy and stupid to have nukes. I don't want to live in a world where Iran has nukes. I am willing to go to war to stop them. I fought in Iraq and if we fought with Iran I would be recalled (most likely, I have 2 years on my IRR), I would happily go. Iran with nukes is a threat to my children, I believe if Iran had a nuke that they would use it or sell/give the technology to someone who would.

Posted by: m11618 | March 25, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The comment section here typifies the mindless mob mentality of the left.

No discussion of ideas, just the standard ad hominem attack on the author.

Posted by: pkhenry | March 25, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Iran can develop nuclear technology, we have it, China has it, Israel has it, France has it, etc...It's their right. Iran acquiring this technology doesn't scare me nearly as much as the fact that Pakistan already has nuclear weapons and it is a far, far, faaaaar less stable country than Iran.

The matter-of-fact sentiments by people who say that Iran's real intention is to develop nukes to wipe Israel off the map is, whats the word? oh...retarded. Even if Iran is developing the bomb, it will be more for strategic gains in the region than for the purpose of an Israeli nuclear holocaust. they know as well as we know that if they drop a nuke at Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran will cease to exist. Ahmadinejad may seem like a belligerent idiot in front of the cameras, but he's no dummy. Nothing riles up support for a President in an Islamic country more than bashing Israel, his rhetoric is political. Iran is no Nazi Germany, they don't have the power, the money, the military might to do what Hitler did.

I personally do not fear a nuclear Iran

Posted by: sicksidvt | March 25, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

KRISTOL needs to begin each writing with a

diclaimer that his only interest is Israel.

Even then his stuff would be unbearable to anyone who used to think newspapers were for news, at least more or less true.

And of course, the rest of the WAPO columnists should do they same...though at least they're not as obvious as this neocon punk.

Posted by: whistling | March 25, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Sicksidvt you are right, they don't have the power of nazi germany, nor can they achieve power like that conventionaly so they think they can get it with a bomb. How do you know Ahmadinejad is not as crazy as he appears. Is he your facebook buddy? Do you get together on the weekends and laugh about how he is fooling everyone with his crazy shtick? I believe Ahmadenejad when he says death to America, when he says he wants to kill all Jews. To not believe him is suicide. If a man says he wants to kill me I take him very seriously. You say Iran won't attack because of MADD, I don't buy that. I don't think the leaders of Iran care if there is a nuclear strike in retaliation of their first strike. They and their beliefs want Israel gone. Remember that killing the enemies of Islam allows you access to heaven and 70 virgins. MADD worked because the Russians wanted to rule the west, not destroy it. Iran wants to destroy it, they could care less about ruling it.

Posted by: m11618 | March 25, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Do note posts 3:56a and 3:49a above...

the same post, under two different names.

WRITES ABOUT the "lousey anti-semites" who post here.

Nothing about Kristol nor his Israeli first posters is on the level. One big scam after nother, as everything neocon is.

Are they aware, do you suppose, that the group about which they complain is growing furiously (and dangerously) in the US and elsewhere?

Posted by: whistling | March 25, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a weak man. He never believed he would need to confront Iran over nukes other than sending videos and special envoys. He only said their possession of a nuke was unacceptable in order to help shape a phony strong image.

Watch and see.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | March 25, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr Kristol,
I thought you & your ignorance were gone from WP.

As long as you are around spewing your ignorance, I will not read the Washington Post.

There are plenty of other news sources that don't employ an "Enemy of the States"!

Posted by: tinkabell1 | March 25, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

By the way turd-spewer, Obama is the President of the United States....not a candidate!

Show some respect!

Oh, I forgot, you don't know what respect means because no one has any respect for you!

Posted by: tinkabell1 | March 25, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Neo-cons now clamor for war with Iran, but, as usual, they fail to specify precisely what military action should happen, or to think through all the consquences war would bring.

The goal is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Military action to achieve that goal comes in two general flavors: A) comprehensive airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, or B) a full scale invasion.

Option A is risky -- is there any guarantee we could hit everything before Iran managed to disperse their sites, assuming they haven't already done so? And even if we do get everything, undoubtedly it would only postpone their nuclear program, it would not permanently halt it. So then what? Do we keep hitting them every couple of months? Politically and internationally unsustainable.

Option B just ain't gonna happen -- no way. Given our recent history in the region and the state of the economy, invasion is out of the question. Perhaps it would not have been, had Bush not squandered time and resources on Iraq.

Ironically, in attacking a country which had no weapons of mass destruction, Bush made it that much more complicated to stop those countries which may have them.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | March 25, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, it obvious who the Zionist are!

Posted by: tinkabell1 | March 25, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, another inbred cousin of Limbaugh, couldn't even teach his numb nuts boss how to spell "potato". Now he writes about Iran stating, "if that’s so, then there’s a deadline, so to speak, to all the incremental efforts." as if a "deadline" existed for Obama's adolescent predecessors who refused to even talk to Iran.

Cheney damn near destroyed America, Kristol, and McCain lost. Get over it and figure out you're now irrelevant.

Posted by: coloradodog | March 25, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I am so disappointed in the WaPo for giving this dishonest man editorial space. I have written before arguing why Mr. Kristol is a destructive addition to the WaPo's prestigious editorial staff. Other conservative editorials float ideas and positions I disagree with, but the ideas and positions are a legitimate representation of a sincerely held and intellectually argued point of view. This alone makes it worth listening to and dialoguing with. Mr. Kristol is a different matter. First and foremost he is an emotionally and intellectually destructive person. He suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder with serious paranoid traits. His function is to be a mouthpiece of a world view that aims to keep Israel's right wing policy machine intact, out of the sphere of legitimate debate and international accountability. He is not an honest intellectual working out ideas and expressing conservative positions. He is a paranoid destructive man whose main function is to disseminate dangerous propaganda. He does this while veiling himself under the cloak of critical journalistic exercises. When the WoPo gives him space, it degrades itself and its readers. Can you please tell me what justifies your decision to keep this particular personality on your pay roll? I levy this charge to Kristol and Kristol only. I happen to enjoy your other conservative editorials. Please respond to my question...

Posted by: karimd1 | March 25, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Just another article from Kristol promoting the AIPAC zionist agenda.

They keep trying to get us into another war on behalf of israel.

Posted by: TomKK | March 25, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

It’s obvious this is all about Israel and not the US. If Israel wants to attack and kill all its neighbors the US doesn't have to be a party to it. Our interests in this regard are incongruent. Israel should take the conservative approach and be self reliant. Maybe then they’d consider less aggressive options.

Posted by: jryan758 | March 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Giving a column to Bill Kristol is the journalistic equivalent of giving bonuses to AIG.

Posted by: davestickler | March 25, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Chickenhawk! Where is your military service, war-monger? Sign your kids up then advocate a THIRD war in the Middle East. What a coward.

Posted by: GoPens | March 25, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Let me add another voice in favor of the discharge of Kristol from the WaPo payroll. This editorial decision to keep this incompetent, biased hack writer is not good for increasing the readership or invoking more discussion about relevant issues of the day. His presence only sends mixed signals to the conservative crowd that they are not being ignored by the other newspaper of choice in Washington. However, there surely are other thoughtful conservative, political and academic choices who could more interestingly raise issues that the Obama administration should hear about.

You can see from the chorus of naysayers that the continued presence of Kristol does nothing to move the debate forward. Get off your high handed attitude that you know what is best for your newspaper and listen to your readership before it deserts you like they are doing at the NYTimes.

Tony Gillotte
Vacaville, CA

Posted by: gillotte43 | March 25, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

If anyone believes that Iran is even 10 years close to having a workable nuke, you are daft! Like Iraq was on the verge too? Wrong! Iran has no such resources or scientific prowess, as Iraq, as North Korea, to follow thru on their self-important words. Likely, if they are pushed, they'll throw a dirty bomb at Israel, who will promptly nuke them back and do them in. The USA should let Israel fight their own battles, and suffer their own consequences. Let's unleash ourselves from Middle East Oil (at least I'm getting 50 miles per gallon with my Prius), let's persue peaceful coexistence with these authoritarians and let them shoot themselves in their own feet when they respond like the cowards that they are. Remember Sadam cowering in a rat hole? Then the smart peaceful people of those countries can come forward and take over. Bushie war-mongering DID NOT WORK!

Posted by: schaeffz | March 25, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

m11618, I will turn the same question on do you know Iran is developing the bomb? They say in public they are not. Are you facebook friends with Iran's leaders? Do you get together on the weekends and laugh about how they are fooling everyone by lying about their true intentions?

You must also consider Ahmadinejad is not the real leader of Iran...the real leader is Grand Ayatollah Khamenei and he has said the use of nuclear weapons is against Islam

...and, while we're here, the 72 virgins concept was interpreted from the Quran by Sunni scholars and is followed by Sunni extremists. Iran, by contrast, is a nation of Shi'a. Barely any suicide attacks in Iraq are carried about by Shi'a.

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

Unlike many posters, i say keep Mr. Kristol, WAPO, that way we can see with regularity the mind of the crazed, war-mongering chicken-hawk righties who pine for war, crave conflict and believe unquestioningly in the supremacy of the US.

Posted by: dmls2000 | March 25, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Because the fact is that a huge percentage of Americans think like Kristol and it helps to peer into their twisted, dangerous mentality

Posted by: dmls2000 | March 25, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I had to re-read the article after perusing the Comments. Where did Mr. Kristol urge a bombing of Tehran or the total abandonment of diplomacy? My take on the piece is that he is concerned that the President's approach is wrong in light of the incremental efforts of 5 previous administrations and the European nations. He writes in response to the President's version of "Carrots & Sticks": Carrots for our Foes, Sticks for our Friends. Most of Mr. Kristol's critics seem to think he shouldn't be published and many harbour an animus because he is Jewish. I suppose the Kristol-haters will rejoice as Obama returns to the Peace Process formula of pressuring Israel for concessions. I see some Change but Hope seems wanting.

Posted by: keithc2 | March 25, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

As long as he does not interfere when Israel wipes the nuclear facilities in Iran off the face of the Earth, he can be persistant all he wants. Matter of fact, it would be ironic to see him just keep talking and doing nothing, then see Iran give someone a bomb to blow up Chicago while he is there visiting.

Posted by: LouDog | March 25, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I think that this is a good idea. Bush got blamed for Iranian hostility, it probably wasn't his fault.

By holding out an olive branch Obama puts the responsibility on the Iranians, where it belongs. Nothing wrong with wearing a white hat occasionally.

Posted by: DCDave11 | March 25, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse


-you be just like al Qaida

Posted by: dmls2000 | March 25, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"accepting the unacceptable"???

i'll give you 'unacceptable'--that kristol's work is published anywhere more than the stalls of a public toliet in a cheap pool hall or a downtown bus station.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | March 25, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The right wing is so terrified of looking weak, they'd rather undermine their own position with shows of arrogance and militant threats. That's stupid. Obama has an enormous upper hand in the American military and that doesn't go away just because he doesn't loudly threaten people with it every chance he gets. If the Iranians should be so foolish as to cross Mr. Nice Guy, we will have more allies for Obama's persistence and maintain more of the upper hand both tactically and morally should we actually have to use force and this, Mr. Kristol, is a much more effective deterrent than beating our chests.

Posted by: evan2 | March 25, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bill, I would suggest that since about 1954 we have had a pretty bad track record with regard to Iran. Thus I would think that unlike health care and other policies which the President can control the agenda on, Iran will take time to build their trust. Pretty much what Iran already said. Do you blame the Iranians for not trusting us? For wanting to wait and see? I sure don't. And particularly since we just invaded their neighbor for NO REASON and hung their elected President (like Saddam or not). And not to mention made a real mess of their country!! So for the Iran's to be a little skeptical and cautious seems prudent if not down right smart. Lastly, didn't we use the "they've got nuclear weapons (read MWD) to unlawfully invade another country?? So give President Obama a break and Iran too. Actions speak louder than words. By the way, Bill it would be nice to see if you can be a little optimistic about change in our foreign policy. I know it is difficult after 8 years of GOP warmongering but give it a try. You might find you like it.

Posted by: john_geo_smith | March 25, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The knee-jerk, name-calling responses to Kristol's simple point is quite something.

It's Obama who has firmly stated that nuclear weapons in Iran are unacceptable. Kristol is simply stating the obvious point that the timeline for preventing nuclear arms is inconsistent with a slow, steady point. It may be an unpleasant reality, but there it is.

I don't agree with Kristol or U.S. policy on Iran. Although I would greatly prefer that Iran decide not to get a nuke, it is no great disaster for the U.S. if they do go the nuclear route. In fact, the current state of affairs seems far more dangerous.

And BTW, saying that Kristol was "wrong on everything" is nonsense. He strongly supported the surge strategy in Iraq when that view was highly unpoplular, he was singularly right. The overall outcome in IRaq may yet be positive. Was Kristol wrong on Bosnia? The people insulting Kristol's intellect are fools.

Posted by: HuckFinn | March 25, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

Was your reference to "incrementalism" a veiled link of Obama to Noam Chomsky? Sly.

Posted by: reginacoeli | March 25, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Neville Chamberlain wanted peace at any price and allowed Hitler to take the Rhine, annex Austria and then gifted him the Sudetenland at Munich exchange for a sheet of paper saying that he would not attack the rest of Czechoslovakia and behave himself. The English (and French people) cheered, but Churchill called it a shameful "unmitigated defeat" Hitler took the rest of Czech. and then Poland, and WWII was on. We had the America First Committee that supported Hitler and wanted FDR to stay out of it or not be reelected. He chose to be reelected and
Hitler was able to fool even Joseph Stalin the paranoid, butcher and survivor of Russian politics. He convinced Stalin that he would never attack Russia if Stalin allowed Hitler freedom to crush Poland and other countries. Stalin was shocked when Hitler attacked Russia anyway.
Now about our President. He wants to prove to all of us and the world what a great peacemaker he is, and by contrast how stupid Bush was. He will cut a deal with Iran, but Iran will never agree to full inspections to prove that they are not building nuclear weapons. Iran is a country dedicated to destroying Israel and the United States also if he could. He said so. Iran supports terrorism in Lebanon with the Hezbollah and in Gaza with the Hamas. Their weapons kill American troops. Iran cannot be appeased. They cannot be cajoled Barak Obama just wants that piece of worthless paper to prove his genius. France was overrun by Hitler for their troubles and England was bombed day and night. We were dragged in on Dec. 7, 1941 by Japan and by Germany on Dec 11.
No appeasement of Iran can save us from a nuclear weapon in the hands of one of her stooges.

Posted by: mharwick | March 25, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Billy the K is like the ‘skeeter,
A pest whose sole feature
Is as food for greater creatures.
Nobody cares about its thoughts
So it’s value is for naught.

Posted by: 1observer | March 25, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, you Neocon numbnuts! With the US embroiled in two respective wars-one of which you AIPAC a-holes ruthlessly pushed for, and the domestic economy all but dead, you are AGAIN drumbeating for military action!!???! If the US does go to war against Iran (no doubt at Israel's urging), the first soldiers to duke it out with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards should be your progeny, and those of your Zionist associates in the cabal of craven cowards that the American people are forced to call a Congress!! Only when their remains come home in transfer tubes will your ilk ever know the true price of war!!

Posted by: SMMajid_1 | March 25, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

But President Obama also invoked persistence with respect to Iran.

“When it comes to Iran, you know, we did a video sending a message to the Iranian people and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, ‘Well, they did not immediately say they were eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism.’ Well, we didn’t expect that. We expect that we’re going to make steady progress on this front.”

"Giant nuclear explosion destroys Jerusalem." It can happen.

Posted by: mharwick | March 25, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is saying adaptations, compromises, risk reassessment, etc. cannot be accomplished in dealing with people. It is his way of saying lets murder them starting yesterday.

Unfortunately because Bill Kristol has nothing to offer other than death, destruction and conquest in ever expanding circles around Tel Aviv, he does Israel considerable harm, and he detracts from US standing in the world, not to mention the reputation of a newspaper that publishes his Persian-aspersions.

Kristol richly deserves being piled on by the above commenters who in a few sentences show a better grasp of global issues, intelligent solutions, etc. than Bill has shown in years of hate-filled triumphalist punditary.

Posted by: BiBiJon | March 25, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I do not know if they have developed a weapon or not, but I listen to their leaders when they call for our blood. Based upon the knowledge that they would love to end the western way of life I cannot in good conscience allow even the remotest chance of them developing a weapon. A felon who has proven himself untrustworthy in America is never allowed to legally own a firearm. Iran has proven themselves untrustworthy. I will never trust them with nukes. Just because Iran is a Shi'a nation and apparently Shi'a barely use suicide attacks in Iraq doesn't mean its ok for Shi'a Iran to have a nuclear weapon. That's like saying its ok to allow your daughter to play with a rapist because, in the past, he only raped people occasionally. Once is far too much. Iran only needs to use the bomb once.

Posted by: m11618 | March 25, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

There will be no bigger mistake in the history of the world than that of allowing Iran nuclear weaponry.
No deterrence can prevent people who willingly seek martyrdom from incinerating Israel the first chance they get.
And, our NATO bases in Af'stan? What about any of our military bases, US, NATO or European anywhere in Islamic countries?
A footnote; BHO must target Pakistans nuclear arsenal for immediate destruction if there is a radical Islamic coup.

Posted by: GodsCountry | March 25, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

What I am trying to say Sicksidvt, is when a man says he wants to kill you and then goes out and buys a weapon, you pretty much have to take him at face value. You cannot afford to try and read in between the lines and look for ulterior motives or ideas. I don't care if daddy touched him when he was little, that doesn't mean he is allowed to kill me. I don't care if the CIA was bad to Iran before I was born, they still can't get nukes.

Posted by: m11618 | March 25, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Why do liberals resort to personal attacks rather than answering substantive claims on their merits? Kristol is right that Iran is defiantly marching toward a nuclear weapon which Obama said is unacceptable on the campaign trail. If Obama as President is to be believed on this point, why can't we expect him to do something soon about it? In a YouTube video devoid of any stern talk, he praised Iran and its tyrannical government rather than issue any serious markers for improving relations with our country, starting with abandoning nuclear intentions. If Kristol is wrong in asking for a stronger sense of urgency on behalf of our President to stop Iran's intentions toward nuclear weapons, then debate that, not some preconceived boogieman stories of being a neoconservative. The facts, however, are clear: Candidtate Obama said it was unacceptable. Iran is continuing its activities unabated. President Obama is making movies and playing pen pals. Debate those facts.

Posted by: ChrisDC3 | March 25, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

These posts are ment for meaningful dialog on the subject yet a vast majority are simply excuses for name calling.

Can you give a cogent argument for or against the point raised by Bill Kristol?

Is the world safer or more dangerous with a nuclear Iran?

Is America? Does our right for self preservation trump other nation's pursuit of power?

Since Israel is on so many minds, do you think they will wait for Iran to become a super power before attacking? If they attack, will the rest of the Middle East stay on the side lines? Would the US? What happens to our oil then?

What happens to the oil supply if a nuclear exchange occurs?

In the end, the world can not allow Iran to be a nuclear power with the current leadership that exists in that country as it will not be used for deterence but for blackmail.

Posted by: fester1 | March 25, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

For the love of Christ, I cannot understand how this man(NEOCON)remains credible. At this point Republicans are trying to find their voice, but one thing is needed before they can regain credibility; Rid the party of Neocons; support a non-interventionist policy, support true free markets,and return to adhering to the constitution. GO RON PAUL!!!!

Posted by: abaerga31 | March 25, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol, If you had any honest intellect at all it would prevent you from consistently, yes PERSISTENTLY, taking the line-in-the-sand approach to international relations. I suppose that is why you claim Obama should not persist in his negotiating approach to Iran. It puts off the approach you prefer--WAR.

The day after Obama's open handed reaching out to Iran, Simon Peres sent a very different message to Iran; 'Revolt against your leaders. War baby, War!'

And it was sickening that the New York Times and WaPo gave that message as much publicity as Obama's message. It's hard to ignore the power of AIPAC and Neocons in the MSM.

Neocons don't believe there's enough money to be made in peace, not even in technological breakthroughs which will ultimately be the routes to solving energy and climate problems.

To paraphrase again your choice for president,John McCain, "War, baby, War". If your views weren't so dangerous you could be dismissed as simply silly.

I disagree with the commenter who faulted your detractors, in addition to faulting you, by calling them anti-Semites. It's the Likudniks who are the dangerous Semites, not all Jews. The anti-Semite accusation is the trusted and convenient insult which right wing Jews like you hide behind when you can't win an argument with truth.

M.J. Rosenberg at the Israel Policy Forum is a Jewish journalist, and like his colleagues' views, he has the whole of Israel in mind when decrying what the far right wingnut Israelis, and their American cheerleaders have done to Israel.

We, who are grateful to read the views of such Jews as the IPF writers, are not anti-Semitic, not even anti-Zionist. We're anti-far-right-wingnut-Likudnik-ideologue-war- mongers. Yes Mr. Kristol, that includes you.

Posted by: leanderthal | March 25, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

I've just read from Reuters and the UK Guardian that Israel has been charged with war crimes for its use of phosphorus against the citizens of Gaza. Instead of worrying about Iran, which has signed the NPT, why don't you concern yourself with the misdeeds of Israel, a country that already has massive nuclear capability - and a country that refuses to sign the NPT.

Posted by: dangerosa | March 25, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr Kristol is part of the crowd who put the country where it is the toilet. I hope that the new administration will be persistent in the effort to get us out. I don't see that by being persistent in his effort to open a dialogue with the Iranians (especially if a new regime is elected) Obama is accepting the unacceptable. Kristol, Krauthammer, all the rest, would like to "nuke" Iran. Sorry boys, the cowboys have gone and now we are back in the real world.

Posted by: gposner | March 25, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"So now that he’s president, Barack Obama no longer invokes the audacity of hope, but rather appeals to the virtue of persistence. I guess campaigning is poetry, governing is prose, and all that. Still, “persistence” is pretty prosaic prose.....President Obama seems to evince no sense of urgency about Iran’s nuclear program. Did his relaxed statement about Iran tonight suggest he has quietly decided to accept the previously unacceptable?"

What a hack. Irrelevance, thy name is GOP.

"The Audacity of Hope" in the context of President Obama's book means (and I'm sure you recall the context, Mr. Kristol) "daring to hope." But, hope is more than mere dreams: it has embedded in it that very quality you seek, bizarrely, to contrast: persistence.

Hope without persistence is like a new bike without wheels: it looks good under the Christmas tree, but that's where it will remain, gathering dust.

Come to think of it, hope without persistence is like....the GOP.

And, Mr. Kristol, Obama's statement only seemed relaxed to you because it was rational; it wasn't the shrill sound and fury signifying nothing you've preferred over the past eight years.

Geez, these neocons are worse than useless.

Posted by: abqcleve | March 25, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

These posts are ment for meaningful dialog on the subject yet a vast majority are simply excuses for name calling.

Can you give a cogent argument for or against the point raised by Bill Kristol?

Is the world safer or more dangerous with a nuclear Iran?

Posted by: fester1 | March 25, 2009 2:57 PM

First, name-calling can be meaningful dialog, provided it abides by the WAPO rules posted elsewhere here. Second, if a paid columnist poses a stupid, inane, idiotic, America-hating duncity such as, "Is the world safer or more dangerous with a nuclear Iran?" he deserves every ounce of cr*p we can dish at him.

Posted by: abqcleve | March 25, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Kristol has just demonstrated his own ignorance.

"...Barack Obama no longer invokes the audacity of hope, but rather appeals to the virtue of persistence."

Without "the audacity of hope" to "change" a situation, why would you persist?

Kristol, we can only "hope" that the rest of the world doesn't embrace your self serving pessimism!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | March 25, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol - unlike you, the vast and overwhelming 95 percent majority of Americans don't think it's such a hot idea to be involved in three wars simultaneously.

But we do think you should volunteer for combat duty.


Where'd Bill Kristol go?

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 25, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, the master of the tentative ("I guess," "so to speak," "if," "I would have thought not," "by all accounts," and numerous question marks) provides no insight, only innuendo. If Bush's stand tough "deadline" approach was so effective, why is Iran's nuclear ambition still an issue? What is this deadline Kristol wants set? A deadline by which the U.S. will stop talking and instead attack?

Kristol, born in 1952, should be wary of a rush to war--considering the horrors he experienced during his tour of duty in Viet Nam.

Oh, no. That's right. He *dodged* going to Viet Nam. The horrors of war are for other people to experience. He just advocates them.

Posted by: multiplepov | March 25, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

President Bush didn't seem to evince any sense of urgency either in his eight years in office, other than declaring Iran one of the "axis of evil" and pis*ing them off royally, what else did Bush do actually? Amazing how Republicans expect so much from Obama in his mere eight WEEKS in office, and tolerated so little action from eight YEARS of the Bush Adminsitration. Good grief! Mr. Kristol you have to give Presient Obama a little more time to clean up the mess the Bush adminstration left behind.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | March 25, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr NMReader,

This is something in a way I agree with you on.
But have you ever noticed how those with your political views are pretty negative?
Negative to the point of being abusive offensive and dare I say ... BITTER?

Read the posts below yours ...

gutter-hugging traders in second-hand ideological excrement?
Posted by: chrisfox8

Kristol needs to be handed a gun.
Sent to Iraq or Iran
Posted by: Fei_Hu

I sincerely believe that Kristol suffers from paranoid delusions.
Posted by: kurthunt

Kristol, get a real job you maggot.
Posted by: hairguy01

And much much worse from EVERYONE else.
I commend you NMReader for showing maturity and discourse.
Aren't you horrified though that EVERYONE else with the same political views as you on here acts and writes like a vile, insulting, trash mouthed moron?

Basically, acting TOWARDS other political views in the exact same way as the methods you say don't work?

I wonder ... aer they going to shame moderates and conservatives to their ( and your ) views?
Or are they going to so disgust us with their immaturity and leave you standing dazed and wondering why no one wants to have anything to do with foul-mouthed, negativity spewing progressives?

Posted by: chromenhawk | March 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Kristol you are a traitor.
Why don't you retire in israel.

Posted by: TomKK | March 25, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The common assumption here is that those of us who hold Kristol in contempt somehow favor a nuclear Iran. Well, no. Iran with a nuclear weapon would be catastrophic. We just acknowledge that Kristol's favored technique -- don't talk to the guys; just flex your biceps -- was proven horribly ineffective with respect to North Korea. Thanks to Bush's resistance to basic diplomacy, the world is now a much more dangerous place.

Kristol wants us to carry a big stick. Fine. Agreed. But remember the other clause: "Speak softly."

Bush's "bring 'em on" rhetoric has demonstrably failed, but that doesn't stop the Washington Post from paying a disgraced hack to keep working it.

What few realize is just how bad William Kristol is for Israel. Every time this mediocrity opens his mouth, the anti-Semites swarm like cockroaches. It used to be that America -- not right-wing America, but *America itself* -- supported Israel. Kristol and his gang have turned Israel's crucial alliance with America into a partisan cause.

Posted by: jarviq | March 25, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol:

There seems no ready answer as to why the Iranian leadership pursues its nuclear program at great economic and political cost? What’s the payday for the Mullahs and is this payday worth the steep cost?

If there are to be negotiations between the US and Iran, the US trump card remains the ability to confer instant international legitimacy to the Islamic Republic, and as such, the reasoning behind Mr. Obama’s subtle shift in nomenclature is revealed.

What should be apparent at this point is Iran has no interest in international legitimacy as conferred upon it by the United States. The Islamic Republic’s international legitimacy if guaranteed by the Great Satan would be the ultimate insult to Ayatollah Khomeini’s Revolution and memory.

To avoid compromising bargains with the US and West, the Mullahs are boot strapping themselves up with their nuclear program, so they can enter the international community in their own time and on their own terms.

The Mullahs in Tehran do have help in their quest, and it comes from a Washington of all places. Mr. Obama’s failed personal outreach to Mr. Medvedev for “help” on Iran sent a clear signal to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Secretary of State Clinton did no better on what she termed “the security crisis” in Beijing. As soon as Mrs. Clinton was wheels up from the Middle Kingdom, the Chinese announced a $3.2 Billion gas deal with Iran. This slap from China is just as personal as Mr. Medvedev’s.

Thus, when Mr. Obama’s video diplomacy was received in Iran, there is no question it was stamped DOA. Aytollah Khamanei danced on it’s grave the next day adding, in great irony, more Iranian preconditions than there were before. This slap by the supreme leader is the result of a singularly elementary approach by the Obama administration to triangulate Iran with Russia and China. Let’s hope the lesson is learned in the Oval and Foggy Botton, so we can move on to the reboot US foreign policy.

Posted by: fechancellor | March 25, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the NY Times fired him so that's why he writes for the Post. What exactly do people like Kristol do? No service to his country yet always willing to sacrifice American troops for his "causes", no discernible skill sets yet seems to live comfortably, not a particularly likeable person yet he seems to be in demand in high places, spends Sunday morning jousting with Juan Williams on Fox Noise, but who cares. Huh?

Posted by: sundog2 | March 25, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

While the West may talk of stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the reality is that by ostracizing Iran we are increasing the chances of Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons posing a threat to peace. Rather by normalising relations with Iran we can bring even a nuclear capable Iran on board towards responsible nuclear behavior (the way India has been co-opted). In fact we must remember that nuclear armed Pakistan and its A. Q Khan pose greater threat of nuclear proliferation than Iran.

Posted by: dinkarvimala | March 25, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

To fechacellor:

Alternatively, Iran (Shi'a Republic of) and the US both have a huge short and long term interest in becoming strategic allies.

It is too late to avoid the emergence of a multi-polar world. It is here. In such a world, how many friends you have counts more than how many you don't deign to talk to. In that sense, China and Russia, and India, and Brazil and various Eurpean, south American, African and Asian countries are way ahead of the curve in their cordial dealings with Iran.

Khamenei, despite the "terror and arms" insult did not shut the door. He said change your behavior and we'll change ours. What you call 'added preconditions' are in fact suggestions for moves toward normalization of relations. Essentially he is saying 'how can I say I love you, when you are strangulating me?"

Posted by: BiBiJon | March 25, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

jarvig 4:28

How do you decide which name to use?

Not that it matters.

You're just the head zionist here;and at least you don't pretend anything else.

As do the writers here who post such as:

"...the common assumption here"....

"...the Obama tape arrived in Iran stamped DOA'

"...Obama's failed outreadh to Medvedev.."

"Nuke in the hands of Iran would be catastropic."

They think if they say it the unchosen come to believe it. It's a program.
It's getting really old.
They are not polling well, and surely they know it.

Posted by: whistling | March 25, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"the anti-Semites swarm like cockroaches."


The term "Semite" refers to all Jews and all Arabs everywhere in the world. The term is not synonymous with Israel, which is a political state. Where were the "anti-Semitic" comments in anyone's post?

Posted by: multiplepov | March 25, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse


Doesn't it follow, then, that most people have become/are becoming anti-semitic?

There's a new poll, done by Abe Foxman of the ADL, which shows fully 1/3 of Americans think J ews are resonsible for the economic breakdown. The same in Europe and Asia. And that's those who will say so.

The real statistic must be close to your
"swarming cockroaches", don't cha think?

And how smart are you to keep yapping about it and reminding those who aren't, yet.

Posted by: whistling | March 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Krystol was interviewed by Ted Kopple in 2003 and asked what happens if his PNAC --i.e. neo-con war everywhere -- project fails. He basically said he will go in hiding because it will be a big failure. Dude you and your ilk have cost thousands of lives and heartaches, beyond that you and your pals have destroyed the US economy as we know it, your ideology is a failure, you are a big failure, fired from NY Times. Get lost go to Alaska you may want to hold Palin's bag when she is being interviewed or go to Israel Bibi Netanyahu may need a water boy. You need to shut up or support the president because he is the only president we have who can save our economy, election is over. Your mocking isn't doing you any good you little maggot.

Posted by: mbintampa | March 25, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

MHARWICK just above

harries us with a possible headline:


Change that to DESTROYS ISRAEL...

and then ask yourselves, very seriously,

How much of the whole would would cheer?

No, really. Cheer.

Posted by: whistling | March 25, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol is a certified Zionist warmonger who with others of his ilk have involved us in an impossible and unending conflict with Islam. My wife is now visiting her family in Esfahan, a beautiful city in Iran. I want no additional war for Israel, this time against Iran, for reasons of WMD which they do not have, and a weaponization program discontinued by our own NIE in 2003.

Ghada Karmi is a renowned commentator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a well-known figure on British radio and TV. She was born in Jerusalem, and forced to leave as a child in 1948. She grew up in Britain where she became a physician, academic and writer. Currently, Karmi is a research fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. These are her words on Zionist Israel:

In the Chapter "Why do Jews support Israel?" the author asks "Why did a project, which was, on the face of it, implausible in the first place and inevitably destructive of others, succeed so well? Just as importantly, why did it continue to receive support, despite a clear record of aggression and multiple breaches of international law against its neighbors that ensured its survival - not just as a state but as a disruptive force?" A number of disparate factors account for the unconditional support for Israel: the Holocaust and its associated trauma and guilt’s, the exigencies of Western regional policy, religious mythology, so-called common values, and Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East" et cetera. It is difficult to find a similar phenomenon for a state in the 21st Century that gets away with vast human rights violations, colonial subjugation of another people and a disdain of international law. Not only for the American Jewish community but also for many liberal Jews "Israel had taken on a mythic quality, part-identity, part-religion, and its dissolution, as a Jewish state, became psychologically and emotionally unthinkable. The obverse of this coin was of course a paranoid suspicion and hatred of anyone who threatened Israel in the slightest way." Karmi describes the Zionist desperate attempt to prove an unbroken chain between the Jews of Palestine and those of Europe. "Put like this, the absurdity of the idea is obvious, but that in fact was the proposition Zionists wanted people to believe in order to justify the Jewish `return` to the ´homeland`." Because the Zionist claim rested on such shaky grounds, Jewish researchers "tried to use genetics as a way of demonstrating a link between European (Ashkenazi) Jews and their supposed Middle Eastern origins by way of finding a common ancestry with Middle Eastern Jews".

Unless we Americans can break the imposition of Zionism on us, we will find bankruptcy, futility from the likes of Mr. Kriston.

Posted by: tarquinis1 | March 25, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse


Such a scamp
So lite-weight
A media tramp
Brunch at the Bistro
Family in toe
Laugh it up now
But please just go...

Posted by: aurorasmith2001 | March 25, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: patrick3 | March 25, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

full disclosure: my foreign policy views are closer to kristol's than not.

but the fact is this article doesn't matter. iran will not be dissuaded from a nuclear weapon and force won't be used.

so, the only questions are how do we live with--or possibly die by--iran's nuclear bomb that will be there sooner rather than later.

keevan d. morgan, chicago

Posted by: keevandmorgan | March 25, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

kristol proceeds from the assumption that iran is developing nuclear weapons. i've never been shown any remotely compelling evidence of this, because intelligence services and UN weapons inspectors have failed to demonstrate it - in fact they've released assessments to the contrary - which the US government and MSM have largely ignored.

remember last time the US public was fed cooked-up, phony charges of a country possessing WMDs? don't be duped again.

Posted by: watchclosely | March 25, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

re: mulitplepov's "observation" that anti-semitic refers to all jews and arabs everywhere.

well, no, not really. if we want to talk ancient times, that is what it means in a broad sense--and you can throw in hittites most likely. but not in the modern world. i hate to cite wikipedia, but here it does an adequate and quick job on the topic--

"The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern people originating in southwestern Asia, including Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Ethiopian Semites. It was proposed at first to refer to the languages related to Hebrew by Ludwig Schlözer, in Eichhorn's "Repertorium", vol. VIII (Leipzig, 1781), p. 161. Through Eichhorn the name then came into general usage (cf. his "Einleitung in das Alte Testament" (Leipzig, 1787), I, p. 45). In his "Gesch. der neuen Sprachenkunde", pt. I (Göttingen, 1807) it had already become a fixed technical term.[1]

The word "Semitic" is an adjective derived from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah in the Bible (Genesis 5.32, 6.10, 10.21), or more precisely from the Greek derivative of that name, namely Σημ (Sēm); the noun form referring to a person is Semite.

The term "anti-Semitic" (or "anti-Semite") usually refers to Jews only. It was coined in 1879 by German journalist Wilhelm Marr in a pamphlet called, "The Victory of Germandom over Jewry". Using ideas of race and nationalism, Marr argued that Jews had become the first major power in the West. He accused them of being liberals, a people without roots who had Judaized Germans beyond salvation. In 1879 Marr founded the 'League for Anti-Semitism.'"

and don't think jews are either anti-islam or anti-persian. jews and muslims built a great civilization on the iberian penninsula and were kicked out TOGETHER by the dastardly ferdinand and isabella. indeed, one of the great indictments of the islamic fundamentalists is that they reject islam's greatest moment--in tandem with jews. indeed, one of the arab armies conquering iberia in the first place was jewish.

and persia has sheltered jews from the storm on more than one occasion. and that's why the current regime's anti-semitism is so forlorn and wicked. the current regime also rejects its own past glory in favor of a current mess of porridge. unfortunately, for every good and great king of persia like cyrus and darius, and ahashueras, there has been a jerk like haman and ahmadinejad.

so much knowledge to be had; so little of it considered by most people.

keevan d. morgan, chicago

Posted by: keevandmorgan | March 25, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

to watch closely:

and north korea doesn't have a nuclear program or bomb, either--and didn't give it's technology to syria.

get your head out of the sand. your thinking has prevailed. be satisfied with that. there will be no stopping iran's development of its bomb and then what will be will be.

but get the bomb, iran will.

keevan d. morgan, chicago

Posted by: keevandmorgan | March 25, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone here get it?

We are waiting to see if Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, then to act on this intel. There is no reason to believe that we will be able to know before it is too late.

They will blow up an isolated NATO base in Af'stan or Tel Aviv. We will be unable to respond because there will be no clear evidence of where the bomb came from.

Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

Posted by: GodsCountry | March 25, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Persistence seems to be 'de rigeur'.

We have 'persistent' divisions over US sanctions on Iran; 'persistent' speculation of Iranian nuclear weapons or 'WMD'; a 'persistent' discrepancy between Vanunu's statement on Israeli nukes and Israel's 'keep 'em guessing retoric; 'persistent' questions regarding Russia's ongoing defense arms sales to Iran.

In sum, despite Obama's courage, strength, political realism, humility and self-confidence in his gestures towards Iran, there remains a 'persistent' fatal flaw in the Obama approach that amounts to a lingering streak of arrogance that is reflected in both the tone and the substance of his conflicting messages to Iran.
This is most obvious (after telling the Iranians that they are a great culture with proud traditions, which is presumably something they already knew, experienced and felt on their own) in his lecturing Iran about the responsibilities that come with the right to assume its place in the "community of nations," and then linking Iran's behavior with "terror of arms" and a "capacity to destroy."
It is difficult to see how Washington can reconcile the positive gesture of reaching out with Obama's irrepressible need to lecture others about the rules of righteous nationhood.

One of the principal complaints that Iran has against the U.S. - and this is mirrored in widespread Arab and Islamist resistance to the U.S. and its allies - is the lingering colonial tendency by the leading Western powers to feel that they write the rules for the conduct of other nations.

This 'persistent' error is exacerbated by Washington sending hundreds of thousands of troops into Iraq on a dubious and destructive mission, backing Israel with a gusher of arms, and then enthusiastically standing by Israel while children are murdered in UN safe camps in a policy of state terror.

Posted by: coiaorguk | March 25, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

If the savage and constnt warmongers of
always at war in their short barbaric history

has a bomb

why shouldn't Iran, which hasn't done an aggressive attack in centuries. And,by the way, which has something to give to the world. Oil and a splendid, ancient and interesting culture.

Israel has settlements and Gazan wars, and wars with cluster bombs in Lebanon, and...

Oh what a joy Israel's been to the US and to the world.

Posted by: whistling | March 25, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

So Kristol says... About what? Iran. Don't these guys have anything else to say, now that the economy is ruined -thanks to the neo-con mafia way of running the economy-, now that people are loosing their jobs, their houses or their pensions? No, for them it is still Iran which matters, as for the economy they can always blame Obama.
Why? Because they are Jews. What is wrong with being Jews? Nothing. But they are not just ordinary Jews. Those are a special breed, the chosen ones, those who dream they can expand Israel at the expense of its Arab neighbors. Are they religious zealots? No, most of them are atheists, yet this does not prevent them from evangelizing religious wars between the Christians and the Muslims.
Hang on isn't that the definition of zionism? Yup! that's right, zionism is the equivalent of fascism. Says who? So said the UN. But why has this changed? Well, you 've guessed it. Thanks to the US.

When will our country rid itself from these bloodsucker parasites? When will we take the future of our nation in our own hands instead of their own sick brains?
I want my children to live in a better world, not in the nightmarish fearsome twisted vision these people have cultivated us for decades. As for them, the proper place to be is a beautiful little city by the Dutch countryside called the Hague where they could give reason for their crimes against the mankind.

Posted by: skata3 | March 25, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to use the new.
Liberal Surrender Monkey term when referring to terrorist.

Overseas "Contingency" Operation

Posted by: dashriprock | March 25, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a pointless discussion. Some things are very predictable. The Iranians have given the Great Satan the big finger repeatedly since 1979. They will get the bomb. They will use it. They will probably do it through a proxy as they did with the Khobar Towers, the marine barracks bombing, the French paratrooper barracks,ect. They know that Obama does not have the stomach for a fight.

Posted by: Strukov | March 25, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Multiplepov wrote: "The term 'Semite' refers to all Jews and all Arabs everywhere in the world. The term is not synonymous with Israel, which is a political state. Where were the "anti-Semitic" comments in anyone's post?"

Well, no. As Mr. Morgan points out, the term "anti-Semite" has very little to do with the concept of "Semite." It means anti-Jewish. Period. (Just as Hitler's concept of the "Aryan" had very little to do with actual Aryans.)

The anti-Semitic comments here -- and I don't mean anti-Zionist, but anti-Semitic -- are not precisely subtle:

"Bill Kristolberg, Shecky Krautheimer, David Frummstein and Wolfowitz are taking it pretty hard that Pres. Obama may not Bomb Iran..."

Which is not to say that Kristol is anything but a rank buffoon.

(HuckFinn suggests that he was right about the surge. Eh. The surge simply put a brief lid on the violence: it hardly won the war; and we're still going to have to extricate ourselves. The proposal that the surge preempted -- a staged withdrawal of troops, beginning immediately -- might well have been preferable. Surge fans are just looking for something -- *anything* -- to hold onto in this miserable parade of failed strategies. I'll grant you Bosnia -- Kristol was not actually wrong about that, and it proved a great Clinton success. His track record on the whole, however has been just abysmal.)

Posted by: jarviq | March 25, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I am not a fan of William Kristol. However, some of the bloggers here have clearly been out of bounds in two respects.
First, the incredible intolerance. WaPo has been criticized for running a columnist with whom those people disagree. I thought one of the fundamental elements of liberalism is tolerance. Evidently, this is in short supply among many liberals here.
Secondly, and even more shocking, is the blatant anti--Semitism displayed by many. Kristol wrote about Iran. Many people, including President Obama have expressed concern with Iran. The President declared that Iran is a threat to the US. French President Sarkozy has criticized President Obama's approach in the same manner as Kristol has.
You may disagree with Kristol, but why is his comment on Iran interpreted by many to relate to Israel? There are evidently many people who see Jews under every rock. The anti-Semitism is manifest. Hitler's heirs are alive and well.

Posted by: vokma | March 25, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"So why does Kristol, wrong about everything and right about nothing, get to write in WaPo? "

Because he got booted by the NYTimes, so had to settle for the Bush League.

Posted by: thrh | March 25, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"Hitler's heirs are alive and well.

Posted by: vokma | March 25, 2009 9:18 PM "

And living in Tel Aviv.

"Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return." --W.H.Auden.

Posted by: thrh | March 25, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least some balance has come into the conversation.

Lets see

First, name-calling can be meaningful dialog, provided it abides by the WAPO rules posted elsewhere here. Second, if a paid columnist poses a stupid, inane, idiotic, America-hating duncity such as, "Is the world safer or more dangerous with a nuclear Iran?" he deserves every ounce of cr*p we can dish at him.

Posted by: abqcleve | March 25, 2009 3:21 PM

So if I understand this, its not against the law for me to go out and spray paint puppies,but, should I really do it? And asking a completely logical question deserves rebuke rather than a discussion. Its a heck of warped world we live in.

The argument that since Israel has the bomb that it is only fair that Iran does not hold any water. Israel has never threatened to use there weapons while Iran has repeatedly called for the distruction of Israel.

Where does the silly idea that Iran has not invaded anyone in 200 years come from? They have used proxy faction terrorists to invade throughout the region killing civilians and non combatants for decades. If they get the bomb, the world will be held hostage everytime they want something. It cant be allowed to happen.

Posted by: fester1 | March 25, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

They dumped this critter from the NY Times, and now he seems to a have roost on the Wash Bag. What is it about idiots that attract East Coast papers to publish them. Kristol is a nitwit!

Posted by: spencer911 | March 25, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the U.S. should worry too much about an Iranian bomb, Israel can be our canary in a coal mine, when our satellites see the flash, we'll know for sure Iran has nukes. After all, to paraphrase, the lives of Israelis are very,very less valuable than the lives of American soldiers.

Posted by: dschaff1 | March 25, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Iran's nuclear facilities are all under IAEA supervision. Everything is monitored 24/7 and is accounted for. There is no way Iran can divert and build a bomb without the IAEA noticing it.

Not to mention that israel is not a NPT signatory and has around 300-400 nuclear warheads. I think we need to fear netanyahu and lieberman way more than ahmadinejad.

Posted by: TomKK | March 25, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

According to all 16 US intelligence agencies' consensus in our Government's last NIE on Iran, in fact Iran has no nuclear weapons program and stopped attempting to develop nuclear weapons in 2003. Accordingly Secretary Gates has recently stated that there is time for our Government to negotiate with Iran concerning its possible future development of nuclear weapons, rather than taking military action against Iran such as this author and the Israeli government wish our Government to do. Like other commentators I fail to understand why the Post continues to publish the unfounded war-mongering arguments of this author. Does the Post really want to involve us in another unnecessary and criminal war of aggression against another Middle Eastern country which presently poses no military threat to us?

Posted by: rlyoung311 | March 26, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

"chrisfox8" is David Axelrod.

Posted by: GodsCountry | March 26, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

...Story has it that once a group of robbers decided to rob a little village. So they started to spread the word around that somebody is giving out nice and precious gifts just over the hill. So the simple residents of the village started to believe this story and left for the hill to collect their gifts; and of course the robbers atarted robbing their houses. But the robbers knew that soon the villagers would be back, having found out the truth, outposted coleagues between the village and the hill to persuade the returning villagers that the truth is in fact what the robbers have told them and not what the people have actually witnessed for themselves.

People like Kristol, (there are quite a few like him around), are those outposts that are placed there by the Zionists to percuade the doubters (the enlightened)to believe what the Zionists are saying about Iran or any other country that refuses to tow the US-Israeli line, rather than what they know for a fact.

Posted by: bluebirdiran | March 26, 2009 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama couldnt care less if Iran gets nukes, to him it would be a good thing. Besides, who believes anything he says? Both him and tax-cheat Geitner take different positions depending on what day it is. How this country can survive with two-faced leaders is beyond me.

Posted by: Rick554 | March 26, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed that the majority of these comments sound as if they were written by Nazis. I thought most of them had escaped to South America after the war. Your bloodthirsty ignorance and hate produced 100 million dead. And now you say, "Again!"

Posted by: yes1 | March 26, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 writes:

"So why does Kristol, wrong about everything and right about nothing, get to write in WaPo? For the same reason the paper carries George Will and Charles Krauthammer? To answer in advance charges of editorial bias?"


How in the world could having almost nothing but extreme-right-wing columnists be an "answer" to charges of editorial bias? It IS editorial bias.

I do get the impression that many years ago, the taking on of conservative voices at the WAPO was for that very reason, because the tiny but very vocal minority of extreme right-wing Rush Limbaugh listeners demanded it. Now however, its a mostly right-wing lineup, especially given that some of the writers like Kristol and Krauthammer are not just right but ultra-right, are in fact the heads of entire movements, in Kristol's case, of the far, far right.

I can't imagine what the Washington Post thinks that it's trying to "balance" with that, they'd have to publish not only Noam Chomsky but about four others equally radical on the left to even start matching the extreme right lineup they have now.

I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

It's a right wing joke as it stands now, out of touch almost entirely with what's actually happning in the country.

Posted by: BillEPilgrim | March 26, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Just tell your buddies in the government how many dead Muslims you'd like to see, and they'll tell the Isra--oh, wait. You don't have any friends in government anymore. I was going to say, just tell them how many dead Muslims you need to see in order to get your rocks off and they could get Israel to rustle up a nice Palestinian body count (somewhere in the thousands would probably tickle you pink) over in "Judea and Samaria." That way we wouldn't have to, you know, risk WWIII by attacking Iran. Plus, I know you hate them because they're Muslims and all, but I imagine your hatred will be mollified when you learn that Persians actually aren't Arabs--which means that their lives are actually worth something in the Kristol family calculus. Whereas the Palestinans are really Arabs, so you can truly take joy in their deaths. Just stick to calling for Israel to kill more of them--it's safer for us and more satisfying for your bloodlust.

Posted by: ets2104 | March 26, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Some of you believe Iran is not developing nuclear weapons - at this time.
Iran is acting wisely. Iran is developing the fuel necessary to build weapons. When this is accomplished, they will build the weapons. There is no logical advantage in reversing the order or in simultaneous programs. They have the perfect cover, "we only want nuclear energy", for the most obvious, visible, time consuming and essential part of the program. Once they have the fuel, weaponization can occur rapidly, before the world can respond.
I thought BHO was smart...but it looks like he's being had.

Posted by: GodsCountry | March 26, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of hearing from these Chicken Hawks who push for war as a foreign policy tool. War should be used as a last resort means of self defense. It should not be used as a tool to advance a foreign policy agenda. Please stand up against these Chicken Hawks by letting your elected officials know where you stand on this issue at and what they need to do in order to earn your vote. Join us at

Posted by: letsgobuffalo | March 27, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Obama did in fact overtly accuse Iranians of terrorism, in as much as he imbedded the following obviously insulting bombshell into what was otherwise basically a very culturally-sensitive love-note:

However, this insert was meant to be a terror-bad behavior proviso effecting the appearance of political condescension to the Iranian populace.

He obviously meant to partially discredit his own overall message to the typical Iranian populace who, like the general American populace, are not familiar with intra-government dialogue which often contrevenes public statements. Khatemi simply obliged by pointing out the discrepancy, in apparent puzzlement.

Imagine Iranians hearing Obama's message without the condescension-proviso--they would think we are setting them up! Imagine Americans hearing Obama saying all these goochy thoughts without the proviso--that was obviously to make this outgoing message digestible to the still-skeptical Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike.

Readers should recognize the Obama Noruz message as an obvious start to a major new attitude toward Iran's government, contrasting what President Cheney advocated, in a way that would be tenable to both the Iranian populace and the American populace.

Not hard to figure out.

Posted by: punkumin | March 27, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It’s enlightening to read the overwhelming dismissal of Mr. Kristol and his commentary posted by his readers. The prevailing attitude is that he’s been wrong about everything and yet continues as a principle columnist at a major news outlet. For sure, with such animus toward Mr. Kristol personally and ridicule of toward his informed opinion, it must be a purely commercial decision by the Washington Post to include the gentleman as lightening rod to attract increased electrical volume. He certainly delivers: so much spark from so little combustion. The man is a coiled atomic collider surely worth his honorarium.

Oh, in answer to Mr. Kristol’s closing question – no; but Mr. Kristol knows that.

Luis de Agustin

Posted by: Luis_de_Agustin | March 28, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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