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Irving Kristol's Intellectual Universe

The passing of Irving Kristol is a very sad occasion. He was a truly great man, a great intellectual, and a great, patriotic servant to his country. He was also a unique inspiration, to me personally, and to untold thousands of other young people for whom he provided a model of the intellectual life well-lived. He was a deep and fierce thinker, who nevertheless delivered his thoughts in the most amiable fashion, without animus or bile. He was curious and invited others to be curious, to engage in serious dialogue on the important issues of the day.

He was also a creator of communities and institutions. He occupied a unique space between the world of the mind and the world of action. Networks of thinkers, policy-makers, and politicians revolved around him -- and not because he thrust himself into their midst but because his mind and character attracted them to him. To go to work for him, as I did fresh out of college almost 30 years ago, was to enter a rich and exciting intellectual universe, filled with learning and integrity and a commitment to the well-being of society. I fear such a universe may no longer exist. But the memory of what Irving Kristol created is enough to warm the soul for a lifetime.

By Robert Kagan  | September 18, 2009; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  Kagan  | Tags:  Robert Kagan  
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Next: Learning From Irving Kristol


Let us be clear. Irving Kristol was one of those who supported and pushed for the invasion of Iraq. THE INVASION OF IRAQ WAS AND STILL IS A MISTAKE. I use capital letters here because there are still some people out there that, despite all facts to the contrary, believe to the contrary and virtually none of the neoconservatives have apologized to the American people for the invasion. Therefore, Mr. Kristol was NOT a great man, and, if one reads some of his writings, even just a few, one finds that Mr. Kristol was wrong about virtually everything he ever wrote about. I do not wish to speak ill of the dead but the most patriotic thing that Mr. Kristol ever did was to pass away, because by passing he no longer speaks or writes and no longer influences politicians into making costly mistakes like the invasion of Iraq, THE WORST FOREIGN POLICY DEBACLE THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER PERPETRATED.

When the hell are you people going to learn this? Personally, I am fed up with you guys.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | September 18, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

HS this is the only thing i could think of in response to your article.

Posted by: krj1944cableonenet | September 18, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol did two things for which he can never be forgiven:

1. He founded the American Enterprise Institute, from whence everything that is putrid about Washington emanates. Its influence on America has been malign.(That it was/is Dick Cheney's favorite place to give his speeches says enough.)

2. He fathered Bill Kristol, who -- along with Robert Kagan -- co-founded PNAC, the cabal of neo-con crazies and Zionists who polluted the Pentagon and the Bush White House with their plans, drawn up in the late 1990s, for the invasion of Iraq (and Iran).

The depth of Irving Kristol's much-ballyhooed intellect can be garnered from the following (courtesy of blog commenter Harry Hopkins):

"I remember back in the late 1990s, when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia, came to deliver a guest lecture. Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol during the first Bush administration.

"The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon's domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at the White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC [Republican National Committee] and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at Penn and the Kennedy School of Government.

"With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. 'I oppose it,' Irving replied. 'It subverts meritocracy.' "

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 18, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was the architect of neoconservatism. All the warm tributes will give hope to the poor guy that came up with New Coke. I am sure his standing and endeavours will survive whatever his son and Sarah Palin do to them. Peace.

Posted by: steveboyington | September 18, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"The passing of Irving Kristol is a very sad occasion. He was a truly great man, a great intellectual, and a great, patriotic servant to his country." ~ Kagan.

Unfortunately for America, the country Irving Kristol served was Israel.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 18, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

He was a goddamned traitor to the U. S. so the country you refer to (but curiously don't name) to which he was so patriotic must be Israel.

It's time for zionists like you Kagan to be measured for a rope.

But by all means let us know where he will be buried, once in a while I have the runs and would love to squat in reflection over this fine man.

Posted by: mot2win | September 18, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

For deacades Mr. Kristol and his son have done more to stratify, fragmant and damage this country than anyone except "Old Nick" himself, Milton Friedman. These were/are people who want to reinstitute a system of elitism that borders on royalism. That's one reason why the Kennedy's angered you so much: they were revered by their followers.

If, as Dr. Krauthammer is saying, the "public interest" has died, then why are no comments allowed to be posted in response to his valorization of Mr. Kristol? Or did you just draw the short stick, Mr. Kagan?

Liberal ideology may be inherintly meek, but ultra conservatives are cowards. Rather than let your ideology speak for itself by achiewving positive results for all Americans, you continually have to rig the game either rhetorically or by materially breaking or altering the law to make it look like you're right.

Long live the king.

Posted by: rogied25 | September 18, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Was not Mr. Kristol a communist before he became a NeoCon? It is a good thing he was not a liberal Democrat or he would never have been able to live down the commie label. Maybe they should be called NeoComms instead of NeoCons. Once a commie always a commie.

Posted by: ecomcon | September 18, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | September 18, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I can think of no one who caused more damage to this country in recent decades, both economically and morally. Let us share a moment of silence for the dead young men and women who made war for Krystol's cult, and for the innocent civilians who died in the mayhem.

Krystol is dead, but his legacy lives on, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: jdadson | September 18, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol was no American patriot. His love of Israel overrode any affection that he might have had for this country. Those passions and priorities were passed along to another generation of Israel-Firsters who see the United States in largely instrumental terms -- rather than as an end unto itself.

Posted by: JPRS | September 18, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

May Irving Kristol rot in Hell. And may every craven, intellectually weak and dishonest slimeball who followed him suffer torture for an eternity. They all earned it a million times over

Posted by: bigbrother1 | September 18, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed by the vitriol being heaped on this man at the very hour of his passing. If ever there were to be arguments about the death of civility or a debasement of our culture, this might be a starting point.

These very mean commentators simply betray their own ignorance and make the civil, decent and lovely intellect of Irving Kristol shine all the brighter.

RIP Dr. Kristol and thank you for your contributions to our nation's discourse. So too, thank you for sharing your own journey from left to right and making it visible to friend and foe alike.

Your charms will be missed in these days of empty punditry.

Posted by: duchamp_98 | September 18, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I will refrain from some of the rude outrageous attack like comment those on the Right made about Teddy Kennedy on his death but...
I agree with the many comments above and that will come about the damage Iving did to our democracy with his view of where America should go. His support for the Neocon ideas that drove us to 2 wars and ruined our economy.

Posted by: SmileySam | September 18, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

BTW, isn't it strange that Krauthammers (sp) comment section is closed to comments? Are they trying to protect the citizens from hearing the truth about Irving ?

Posted by: SmileySam | September 18, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I am very glad to hear that this vicious evil old man died. I can only hope he went badly, in a lot of pain and that it took a very, very long time. America is a better place today.

Posted by: SODDI | September 18, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Saying he was a good person is one thing. Who knows what he was like to have a drink with? Saying that he was a valuable intellectual is laughable. He had no value in the realm of ideas or country. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | September 18, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

RIP, Irving Kristol, but your neoconservative legacy has been a disaster for the United States in specific and for the world in general.

Posted by: markomd | September 18, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

A fitting time for him to leave.

Perhaps this will erase the perpetual smirk from his son's punin.

It will also allow that little piece of political crap to feel loss similar to that he's inflicted upon others. Unfortunately the victims loss
was incurred at the beginning of life.

This bum made it to 89 rather than 19 or 29. Pity.

Posted by: jato11 | September 18, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance! His policies have left the United States in a mess.

Posted by: lynnlm | September 18, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol, the man who made Avigdor Lieberman the face of Israel and Judaism.

Posted by: MarkinJC | September 18, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"Modern conservatism." "Conservative thinker." "Learning from Irving Kristol."

These are just three of the many oxymorons surrounding the late, "great" Irving Kristol.

After all, the goal of ALL conservative "thinkers" to convince mankind that we all need to march backward to the Stone Age (or if that's not possible, back to the Dark Ages) aka the "good, old days", when men were men and when women, dogs, donkeys and non-white men did whatever men told them to do.

In a word, when all was right with the world.

Of course, these "conservative thinkers" are the same people who think the Earth is flat and only 6,000 years old, and that it is possible to make the Earth spin not temporarily but permanently in the opposite direction with a mere word from the Creator.

Posted by: jjedif | September 18, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The passing of Irving Kristol is a very glorious occasion. I can't wait to take a dump in this scumbag's grave.

Posted by: playa_brotha | September 18, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I love these posts. You are attacking a dead man's intellectual credentials with vitriol and venom and not a single intelligent thought. While I did not agree with the late Mr. Kristol very often, I at least respect the intelligence he brought to the debate. More than I can so for most of you. RIP Irving Kristol

Posted by: jzmn2 | September 18, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

One would hope Kagan would read the comments and find out what the American public think of his idol.

Posted by: playa_brotha | September 18, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

All the Americans who died for his infantile fantasies say good riddance. All the terrorists who honed their skills in Iraq mourn his passing.

Posted by: Garak | September 18, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's the 2 rules of Irving Kristol's intellectual universe:

1. Israel good.

2. Might makes right.

Posted by: Garak | September 18, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Jews don't like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States... American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don't want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel." ~ Irving Kristol

Thanks to the Kristols (Irving and Billy), a weak-minded American President was talked into an unnecessary, trillion-dollar war by the Kristol neo-cons -- all to "defend Israel."

Next up: Iran. (Like Iraq, it has been on the Kristol/Kagan/neo-con agenda since the late 1990s.)

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 18, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol was a low life filthy disgusting piece of scum, but the English language does not contain enough words to describe the sub human being he was. A good day for the world indeed.

Posted by: playa_brotha | September 18, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"The danger facing American Jews today is not that Christians want to persecute them but that Christians want to marry them." ~ Irving Kristol

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 18, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse


The only thing I know about Irving Kristol is that William is his son; and that certainly doesn't speak well for him. Based on what I've read today about Kristol, it seems as if he and his friends were a bunch of reactionaries.

Just because Bush gives you a medal doesn't mean you are not a schmuck.

Posted by: Anadromous2 | September 18, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

His political philosophy preceded him in death. My condolences to the Kristol family.

Posted by: FormerSubscriber | September 18, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol was the founder of the Israeli neocon zionists in the US.His ideologue followers,like his son,shaped,formulated and executed Bush's disastrous domestic and foreign policies,and the American people are paying a heavy price for their evil minds.

Posted by: editor4tonio | September 18, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

He was a neocon servant of white supremacy. The world is a better place with his demise...

Posted by: demtse | September 18, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I am not shocked by the hate-filled rants on this page. If a man can be measured by his opponents, it's plain that no sane man or woman could take issue with the politics of Irving Kristol. His opposition appears to occupy a low circle in hell. What nasty people.

Posted by: raskolnik | September 18, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

May he rot in hell- Good Riddance

Posted by: saikir | September 18, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Cowardice is one of the hallmarks of neo-conservatism. It's a "philosophy" for people who would never fight in a war but have no trouble sending other poor people's off kids to die for the sake of pipe dreams.

And on that note, everyone should be aware of just how cowardly Krauthammer is being in his eulogy for Kristol. No comments allowed. Think on that.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | September 18, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to cheer or celebrate the death of anyone and, as someone who has also lost a father whom I loved and learned much from, I empathize today with William Kristol. Losing a father hurts. That said, fathers die - that's the way of the world - and as Plato I think said, "In peacetime sons bury their fathers, and in wartime, fathers bury their sons." Thanks to Irving Kristol and his son after him - neither of whom served in the wars of their generation - many, many fathers have buried their sons, dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, wars which both Kristols cheered for, argued for, used deceit to promote and cheered the deceit that others used. Not a good legacy to leave behind.

Posted by: irishpoet1 | September 18, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

He had a certain intelligence. I'm happy to count his opinions with those of Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and other extremists. It's good to have a second take on things even if that take is pretty nuts.

Weirdly enough, he seemed to be a supporter of Israel. Although not a member of OIPAC, he often gave much credit to the great war criminals of the 21st century.

In any event, one may hope that Iran can push the war criminals into the sea. We have put up with Israel for almost 65 years and that is truly enough.

Now I'm going to be called an anti-Semite. Fact is, all smart Israelis realize that they are killers and want to calm down.

Posted by: mitt1968 | September 18, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ravitchn | September 18, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

May he rest in peace. However, an alien concept.

Posted by: jato11 | September 18, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The big idea that little Billy Kristol inherited from his daddy, who got it from Strauss, is the idea that governing a democracy requires lying. That's the thought that unifies and underlies the work of father and son. The son has applied this precept to an extent undreamed of by his father. That doesn't mean either of them deserves a dirge from the rest of us.

If there is a third generation, let's hope any further Kristols pass on taking up careers in punditry.

Posted by: fzdybel | September 18, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol certainly did a lot of damage to the free world. The less of his kind--triggerfinger Leninists turned neocons--there are, the better for all.

Posted by: lichtme | September 18, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

RIH, rot in hell

Posted by: MightyNinth | September 18, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Erev Rosh Hashannah brings out all the anti-semites and cretins.

Posted by: GOPDAD | September 18, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

American Expeditions for Israel, (AEI) that is really what the American Enterprise Institute stands for, it's so pathetically obvious, down to the Hebrew like letters of "AEI." Mr. Kristol you were the Grand Pooh Bah of the nut jobs, nearly 5,000 of my brave comrades have died because of the truly idiotic polcies that you nutured, spawned, and touted that ultimately allowed us to invade a country that had NOTHING to do with 911. It's like ignoring Japan after they attacked Pearl Harbor and launching an invasion of--- Estonia? Wholly unrelated and irrelevant. Just like Mr. Kristo's wacky policies, so long nut jobs!

Posted by: cisconwa | September 19, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Of course a fat, dumpy hebrew goon like Kagan would write an article like this. It's like writing an extolling article about Joseph Stalin when Mikail Gorbachev has just passed away, claiming one was the progenitor of the other. Totally false, totally immoral, but that's what neo-cons like Kagan, Kristol Sr. and Kristol Jr. do. Hopefully, they will all be gone before long. No pleasant afterlife among the clouds and angels awaits them. The world will then be a better place.

Posted by: dsrobins | September 19, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Leaving aside Mr. Kagan's dubious implication that he's dedicated to "learning and integrity and a commitment to the well-being of society", the facts are that Mr. Kristol saw creating a new majority as more important than showing any sort of economic or fiscal responsibility. He acted accordingly, thus doing great damage to not only the American economic strength, but to the American political debate as well.

The hateful insults against a dead man seen here are highly distasteful. However, Mr. Kagan's idolization of a ruthless ideologue who couldn't be bothered with details like acts and his abject lack of actual knowledge about economics hamper his propaganda screeds in The Public Interest isn't much better.

Posted by: sembtex | September 19, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

"...great patriotic servant to his country...."

Which coutry?
why the need to assert that (twice).

Both Kagan and (The Defender of Zion)Charles Krauthammer, two of the
worst zionist neocons, Israel firsters, sped to print with great raves about this man.

Repeatedly insisting what a great patriot Kristol was, builder of communitities and institutions. Right.

Tells all you need to know.

Which tells most of what needs to be said about him.

The Protests too much, right?

Posted by: whistling | September 19, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

The Kristols and Kagans, and Abrams and Cohens and Krauthammers of the world

are just the latest of the zionists plotting. Think of the sneering as they plan such things as Israeli "advisors" in Georgia to start trouble in Russia., the long plan. (They thought they'd have succeeded in bombing Iran by now, they got Iraq, right?) Turkey, Georgia, and the prize Russia. etc.

Little claques of zionists, like all those in history.

Who never succeeded, who were detested, purged and hated everywhere they've ever surfaced, plotted--in every country in every century.

They try again. PC is the game, or was until Madoff...when suddenly, as now you see the stuff hitting the fan. More history.

Posted by: whistling | September 19, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed by the vitriol being heaped on this man at the very hour of his passing. If ever there were to be arguments about the death of civility or a debasement of our culture, this might be a starting point.

Didnt read the coamments about Ted Kennedy, did ya?

Posted by: kreator6996 | September 19, 2009 4:20 AM | Report abuse

I took a look at Herr Kaut's tribute to the late beloved neocon in Chief, and fouud they're re-editing Chuck's 2005 column about Kristol and his quarterly.

The funny thing is that you can't post a word. You have a message saying that comments are closed.

First time I see this. What's the problem Hiatt? You don't believe anymore in democracy and exhange of argumentation and opinions?

Or do you fear a mountain of comments about the sad sir that brought war on innocent people?

You can tell a neocon by frisking between the legs. No ballz.

Posted by: foxblues | September 19, 2009 5:29 AM | Report abuse

A dead neocon. Good. Maybe Doctor Strangelove will be next.

Posted by: branfo4 | September 19, 2009 6:28 AM | Report abuse

so bill kristol will bury his father; think how many fathers have buried their sons and daughters courtesy of the kristols.

Posted by: mycomment | September 19, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."
From the comments above, the Post has a pretty low standard for what is inappropriate.

Posted by: jandmva | September 19, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Let me be clear, Mr. Kagan. Mr. Kristol was not an intellectual and like many others including you, was wrong about Iraq. He lent his voice and credibility to Mr. Bush's war and therefore is indirectly a mass murderer, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and our own service men and women. Just like you.

Posted by: jkarlinsky | September 19, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Too many Jewish pundits are praising Kristol. Why can't they leave that to gentiles? Kagan, Krauthammer and all the rest do not realize the harm Kristol and they have done to the reputation of Jews. Jews and Judaism, thanks to them, are seen as a cynical way of defending whatever Israeli ultranationalists want and do.

Posted by: ravitchn | September 19, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

It is disgusting to see how anti-semitism and extreme left are dominating the comments in the blogs like this in America the same that happens here, in Spain.
I feel a huge admiration for the great intelectual contribution of Irving Kristol and I extend my condolences to his family and dear ones.

Posted by: edurneuriarte | September 19, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

If God had blessed the Kristols with larger penises, we would not have to deal with the zionofascist neocons.

Unfortunately, the Kristols had to vent their inferiority complex upon millions of innocent people.

It is disgusting to think that Bush committed crimes against humanity at the urging of this wretched madman--

Posted by: lichtme | September 19, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me like someone who reverses their principles during their later adult life is someone who never had principles to begin with. I detest these neo-cons who have such a big problem with government power but have no problem at all with corporate power. If anyone noticed, it was unbridled corporate power which has put us into the worst recession since the Depression. The problem was not too much government regulation but too little

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | September 19, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh, happy day...

Now if only the rest of them would drop dead. These vile creatures have done more to ruin the good name of the United States and set this country's standing back decades with their evil ideology that is far more dangerous than anything spawned by Bin Laden. May he and his intellectual progeny go down in the annals of history with the well deserved disgrace and condemnation that they have earned. In the future, it is imperative that children be taught that neoconservatism completes the troika of evil "ism's" with fascism and marxism. Kristol can now join his intellectual brethren- Hitler and Stalin- in an infernal afterlife. The only question is which one of his dogmatic progeny joins him to form the bridge game in hell!

Posted by: orpheus2004 | September 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

It is really shocking to see how acceptable and mainstream blatant antisemitism has become. The fact that WP feels that these types of comments fall within their acceptable use polices really says a lot about how far we have sunk as a society that it is no longer taboo to be a Jew hater.

Posted by: Cyyy | September 19, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments on this piece are enough to make decent people throw up in disgust. Have you people no shame? Irving Kristol was one of the intellectual giants of the last half of the twentieth century.

Posted by: VirgilCaine | September 19, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

When Ted Kennedy died all negative comment about him was muted- nothing was printed for example about his ferocious opposition to Reagan's anti-Soviet policy, a policy that led to the eventual demise of the USSR. But liberals do not subscribe to the rule the Romans devised of not speaking ill of the recently dead. The savagery of the posts printed here shows exactly how uncivil liberals can be, the self-styled tolerant and compassionate.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 19, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The political adage "in death there is hope" is applicable here. May he rest in peace and good riddance.

Posted by: tschmidt | September 19, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol was no William F. Buckley. The world is a better place now that one more republican is gone and may many more follow.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

A man of ugly and virulent ideas, Irving Kristol. Really, given the military power of the United States, ideas more dangerous than anything ever cooked up in Stalin's or Hitler's could actually watch them in action too, as the Neoconservatives through some evil twist of our history, came to power here. Many roads of bones they BUILT.

All so very Orwellian in both tone and substance. What might we say about such a man passing except "good riddance?"

As for the most dangerous set of ideas of the last half of the 20th Century, many have backed away from them. I must hope that finally most will.

Posted by: terrybakee1 | September 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Kristol and the other Israeli Neocons are not right wing, they are Israeli Neocons. Their allegiance is to Israel not to the US. They don't give a hoot about social conservatism. All they want is wars for Israel paid for by American Christians, and to water down the White Christian population with illegal aliens so the Israeli Neocons don't stand out as much.

Posted by: washpost35 | September 19, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Hell burns a little hotter today, with Irving Kristol as fuel. The man's attempt to turn this country into another Nazi Germany prove the need for Hell itself!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | September 19, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

After reading all the vitriolic attacks on the memory of Mr. Kristol from th eleft in in these pages, I am not at all surprised he left their ranks early on and why the left whithered and confined to academia and segments of media. Mr Kristol was an accomplished man and the intellectual ammunition he provided helped bring down Soviet Communist imperialism. For that alone this country and the world should be thankful.

Posted by: pmathai | September 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Everything bad that has happened to the United States in the last 30 years can be traced back to Irving Kristol. May his neocon soul burn in hell.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 19, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Strauss, is the idea that governing a democracy requires lying."

That bunch espoused and extended the concept of "noble lie" to a perverse extreme that was not taught us by (Dr.) Howard White.

and i'll leave it at that

Posted by: jato11 | September 19, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that comments were not allowed to be posted for the other article. Sadly most Americans have no idea who this man and his followers are and the intent of their agenda. We finally have a president that is standing up to the likes of the neo-cons and look what they're doing to him in the name of tea parties. The pawns in the Christian right are once again blindly following the agents of neo conservatism. The way to dissect their policies is to ask who will their policies benefit? Surely not the United States. We have made more enemies in the name of neo-conservatism than we have made friends.

Posted by: drkatz73 | September 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

This is a loss to political science and original thinking. It is sad that the Neocon movement has nothing to do with intellect. Irving overestimated the converts. They do nothing new (neo) and are conning instead of thinking. The result is "no!" for neo and con the voters for con. That's not new.

Posted by: AffinityGW1 | September 19, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Another unlamentable Neoclown bites the dust. If only Freddie Hiatt and the Klawhammer would exit the political arena so gracefully.

The reputation of such a blind cheerleader of the bushes and of Regan cannot be modified by his mourning soulmates and apologists. He was a person who championed Neoclowndom, a pseudophilosophy which justified needless, useless wars and the squandering of public funds which could have been better used to help Americans.

To paraphrase the 9/12thers: "Bury Neoclownism with Kristol."

Posted by: notaneoclown | September 19, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

>> ...Irving Kristol....a truly great man,
a great intellectual, and a great, patriotic servant to his country. <<


Posted by: Marcaurelius | September 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Semi Reformed Trotskyite Kristol and Kagan still cling to permanant war as Trotsky clung to permanant revolution. The Military Industrial Complex found their natural allies in Neo Cons (Trotsky Cons)God knows what misery they have wrought with lies, demagogy and carely selcted Fear mongering tactics. I never rejoice in the death of another but the Trotsky Cons should all be in prison for treason

Posted by: jpenergy | September 19, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

NeoConservatism is a mental disorder.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | September 19, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"But the memory of what Irving Kristol created is enough to warm the soul for a lifetime."

And long after.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 19, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Shall not be missed by me. I assume he felt America's young people and wealth were expendable for the cause of Israel.

Won't miss his son either. Or Kagan or Krauthammer. Or......

Posted by: dblakeross | September 19, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's a quote from Irving Kristol:

"It is a cold war that, for the last twenty-five years, has engaged my attention and energy, and continues to do so. There is no "after the Cold War" for me."

This is an amazing admission by Kristol, and remarkably similar to Orwell in 1984:

"The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact."

In perpetual war, there is no "after the war". There is only during. Those like Irving Kristol who seek to keep a ruling plutocracy in place use perpetual war, openly advocated here by Kristol, proudly bragged about in fact, as a way to keep the fears stoked and the populace stirred up-- always fearful and angry at exactly the wrong people, never at the ones who are actually robbing them blind.

The tea party protesters are a perfect example. Health insurance corporations have enlisted Glenn Beck and other spokesmodels to stir them up and become angry against all of the phantoms-- minorities, immigrants, fictitious "death panels" and imperialist Russian "Czars"-- while actually supporting, without knowing it, the CEOs and corporate big shots who are the ones actually making their lives miserable with huge premium payments and little health care to show for it.

Perpetual war, misdirection, smoke and mirrors- yes, Irving Kristol was a master of it all.

Posted by: BillEPilgrim | September 19, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

10:19 above

dares to compare this vile little Straussian traitor to Ted Kennedy.

In fact, if there are many more "patriots"
like the Kristols, Kagan, all WaPo columnists,
Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams (s) Feith, Wurmsers, you name the next 50...

America won't survive without an unprecedented effort that pits our traditional welcome of others...

against the Fifth Column these people will be called in history.

With Netanyahoo thumbing his nose at the US (re:setlements yesterday (Not reported in the Post) and if ISrael attacks Iran,

the enemy part will be easy. The rest will fall into place. So easily.

Posted by: whistling | September 19, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I receive no satisfaction from the passing of any person; may God forgive for not feeling the same about Irving Kristol. May his soul be warmed in the eternal fires of hell.

Posted by: JohnDebba | September 19, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

BTW, isn't it strange that Krauthammers (sp) comment section is closed to comments? Are they trying to protect the citizens from hearing the truth about Irving ?
Maybe even stranger that someone didn't realize that the Krauthammer piece was written 4/29/2005. A little long to keep the "comments" open. Wouldn't you say?

Posted by: dnjames1940 | September 19, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Kristol put Israel ahead of America. Recognizing it is not anti-semitism. Acting on it is treason.

Posted by: Garak | September 19, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

What can be expected from an ex Communist turning his coat into a conservative one, only to take that to the extreme of neo-conservatism, world domination?
Consistency of ideas??

Posted by: argo | September 19, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What can be expected from an ex Communist turning his coat into a conservative one, only to take that to the extreme of neo-conservatism ?
Consistency of ideas??

Posted by: argo | September 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the best way to honour Mr. Kristol's passing for for people raised culturally Christian to follow in his footsteps and to look out for their tribe—that is the broad-based Christian tribe. Just as there was nothing wrong with Mr. Kristol's placing Jewish concerns first; surely it is right for Christians to take the same approach. Before reading a newspaper, check to see it the owner is Christian. The same goes for a columnist. This isn't to say that Jewish columnists aren't worthwhile; only that perhaps they mayn ot have Christian well-being, let alone American, as their first priority. It may be that they are promoting the esoteric interests of a small country named Israel. Not that there is anything wrong with Jews supporting Israel – only that Christians should be aware of it before they send billions of tax dollars to Israel and receive in return their son in a body bag from Iraq for a war Christians really didn't need.

Posted by: KevindeBruxelles | September 19, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones."
Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene ii.

Posted by: flamingliberal | September 19, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Kristol's pal Norman Podhoretz cannot last much longer. Then all the vitriol here can be reignited for his passing. Both Podhoretz and Kristol are examples of what happens to Jews when they cannot stick to their defunct, extinct, fossil-like religion and seek something else. That something else can be almost anything, and usually is.

Posted by: ravitchn | September 19, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Kristol's pal Norman Podhoretz cannot last much longer. Then all the vitriol here can be reignited for his passing. Both Podhoretz and Kristol are examples of what happens to Jews when they cannot stick to their defunct, extinct, fossil-like religion and seek something else. That something else can be almost anything, and usually is.

Posted by: ravitchn


The problem with Kristol and Podhoretz is that they did stick with their religion (the more right-wing faction of it, anyway).

You are obviously unfamiliar with Podhoretz's article on why American Jews vote, overwhelmingly, Democratic.

According to Podhoretz, it is because they have lost their religion and have become secular, ethnic Jews.

You can read Podhoretz's article here:

As for Kristol, his attitude towards Judaism can begin to be gleaned from his comment, "The danger facing American Jews today is not that Christians want to persecute them but that Christians want to marry them."

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

A disquieting glimpse into Irving Kristol's "Intellectual Universe":

"There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work." ~ Irving Kristol

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 19, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

S.o Kristol defended McCarthyism, supported the Vietnam War, encouraged the Iraq War. How many mistakes can a man make?

I have little good to say about 'former communists' who see the light. The change of mind indicates the weakness of his thinking.

Posted by: Stlbroker1 | September 19, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The absence of the words "inside job" and "false flag" is defeaning. Therefore, the anti-neocon, anti-Israel diatribes are a diversionary tactic by Zionist disinformation agents. There was no attempt to deny that the WTC 1, 2, 6 and 7 were demolished with cutting charges and low yield nuclear weapons, or that the Pentagon was bombed. That would only remind readers of the embarassing subject.

I could also do without the hellfire preaching Christians. Your sadism is beyond belief, and it would not surprise me if you were also trying to discredit opponents of Israel and Zionism. If you really believe in Hell, download Robert Ingersoll. You will be glad you did.

Posted by: markoller | September 19, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse


bastion of zionism, greed, inhumanity, bigotry, greed, zionism, and most of all, enablers of the military-industrial-complex.

may these subhumans never again return to earth in this capacity. they should return as extinct microbes!

kagan, krauthammer, kristol,perle, who is who of the chosen mofo's

Posted by: peaceful2008 | September 19, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled by nyrunner101's comment: "I do not wish to speak ill of the dead but the most patriotic thing that Mr. Kristol ever did was to pass away...". Could you possibly be more offensive? The Birthers may well welcome you as a new communicant. Congratulations. See you at Town Hall.

Posted by: postgeorgetown | September 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The comments on this piece are enough to make decent people throw up in disgust. Have you people no shame? Irving Kristol was one of the intellectual giants of the last half of the twentieth century.

Posted by: VirgilCaine--


Death doesn't wash your crimes does it? it is one thing if these criminal/intellectuals reversed course before death and informed the public of their evil intents. but these are evil people, to that last breath. may their admirers join them in hell, maybe in the posh, stylish, exclusive corner of hell for the chosen criminals

Posted by: peaceful2008 | September 19, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

zionist with no shame, no heart and an allegiance only to their evil religion, Judaism, the religion of greed

Posted by: peaceful2008 | September 19, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The Kristols and Kagan.... Israel firsters.

Posted by: qualquan | September 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

wake up America,

you are infested to the core with these zionist/neocon murderer. they are here to rape and pilage your land and take the profits to the land of Israel

pay attention to all your "think-tanks" they are the infestation of evil zionists

Posted by: peaceful2008 | September 19, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

It's no surprise that IK is being lauded here in Kagan's column, neither is it surprising to witness Kagan's defense of the indefensible antics of the biggest Israeli-AIPAC lobbyist ever to breathe air in America, and the man most responsible for the deaths of thousands of young Americans in a Middle Eastern dirthole.

Truly the epitome of the tail that wagged the dog, Kristol was held in extremely high regard in Tel Aviv, and he is a hero to the Likud party, the Knesset, and it's members.

I have no doubts at all that, through the efforts of such men as Kristol, the Likud will achieve it's aims of controlling US foreign policy -- and not just in Trotskiest 'Permanent Warfare' mode, but in banking, insurance, and Big Oil.

Today's modern Israel should be called for what it really is -- the remote command and control center for the United States of America -- US Policy Central HQ.

Think I'm joking? Don't laugh too hard -- these men now want war with Iran, and they will likely get their wish, so be prepared to see your children off to the nearest Bootcamp sometime soon after their graduation from High School.

Also, remember that as your son or daughter lay dying in a remore ME desert, there won't be amy Israeli soldiers coming to his/her rescue in Iraq OR Iran. Why is that? Don't ask, just do what you're told as an American. See that smile on Kagan's face?

Remember that, just like Iraq, Iran is the most vicious, most vile, most dangerous enemy the USA has ever faced... or is it really Israel itself?


Posted by: Frank57 | September 19, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Their allegiance is to Israel not to the US. They don't give a hoot about social conservatism. All they want is wars for Israel paid for by American Christians, and to water down the White Christian population with illegal aliens so the Israeli Neocons don't stand out as much."

Precisely. They despise the white majority and wish to demote them in any way they can.

Posted by: LeePefley1 | September 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Last week at the Tea Bagger rally in DC there were signs that said "Bury ObamaCare along with Kennedy." Given that warm sentiment for the recently deceased, how about "Bury Right-wing racism and militarism along with Kristol"

Posted by: tlehman1117 | September 19, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

peaceful 2008 "zionist with no shame, no heart and an allegiance only to their evil religion, Judaism, the religion of greed"

Why is racist crap like this allowed on this site? Who let peaceful 2008 out of his psych unit?

Posted by: tlehman1117 | September 19, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est

Posted by: shabetai1 | September 19, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Irving Kristol was "a great, patriotic servant to his country" no doubt but, assuming you can't serve two masters, which country?

Posted by: patrick3 | September 19, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Jimmy Carter will slam Mr. Kristol's critics for being "overwhelmingly" anti-
Semitic? It would once again be a gross overstatement,but he'd be a heck of a lot closer to the truth.

Posted by: tpb2 | September 19, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

This is from Friday's Charles Krauthammer column comments section.

Does He Lie? at 9/18/2009 2:45 AM EDT
What are you complaining about Krauthammer? Barack Obama is a ZOG front man, and he has a gun to his head in the form of a birth certificate.

Obama's Secretary of State is as servile towards Israel as any Soviet apparatchik was towards Stalin, and the Vice President comes close. Then there is Chief of Staff Rahm "Rahmbo" Emanuel.

Read "Senator Hillary Clinton's Remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee" (AIPAC), February 1, 2007

It is so embarrassing, it was scrubbed from the AIPAC website, but it can still be found on the Radio Islam website.

Listen to Sen. Biden on Shalom TV. He concludes by saying, "When I was a young Senator, I'd say, if I were a Jew I would be a Zionist. I am a Zionist. You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist."

Finally, read about Rahm "Rahmbo" Emanuel: "The Enforcer."

The Enforcer, Rolling Stone, JOSHUA GREEN, Posted Oct 20, 2005 2:44 PM

I quote:

And there's the story of how, the night after Clinton was elected, Emanuel was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting "Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead!" and plunging the knife into the table after every name.

Posted by: markoller | September 19, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

My Washington Post blog home page includes 293 pages of messages, mostly dealing with the war on terror. It is better than anything on the 911 'truth' websites, but I can no longer provide a direct link. All I can suggest is downloading a column and clicking View All. Then, click markoller and comments.

Try downloading "The Van Jones Matter," at Click View All, scroll to the third message, and click markoller.

Posted by: markoller | September 19, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

It is a case of one deranged right winger singing the praise of another deranged right winger.....dime a dozen. You can find that on any day of the week on the front pages of the Washington Post.

Posted by: kevin1231 | September 19, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer next. Let's roll.

Posted by: branfo4 | September 19, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

bigbrother1; I am a Veteran(Served 2 years in S.E.Asia and have been wounded in Battle. I had my own ass on the line defending our Country's interests. I believe you will find more (Neo?Conservatives have put thier money where there Mouths are than you would from Liberals, Anti-Semites or the likes of whatever you call yourself. I am just an ordinary American who politically could be considered a Conservative(Neo-Conservative). As for cowardice; Who is Denigrating a Man when he is no longer alive to defend himself? HMMMMM?

Posted by: Totilla | September 20, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

I, too, am astonished by the viciousness of the comments from the left. I particularly like those who accuse Krystol of cowardice while posting anonymously. Could there be anything more self refuting than that?

The more vicious comments come from those who know the least. Krystol was a Democrat who approved of FDR, but not the direction of LBJ. Krystol was a classic liberal, as was Milton Friedman, who believed in personal liberty. During the 70's classic liberalism changed from personal liberty with a minimum of government to a system advocating a more powerful government while reducing personal liberty. That became, and still is, the new liberal mantra. Krystol, rightly, rebelled against that new "philosophy". Like Scoop Jackson, he believed in a strong national defense.

Krystol is an example of a committed liberal who watched as his party completely changed the definition of liberalism by turning it on its head. The change has ended up 180 degrees out of synch with the original definition. As such, today's liberals are so ashamed of the label "liberal", they have abandoned it in favor of "progressive". But, we know they stand for big government, little liberty.

I suggest (and I know it won't be taken) a reading of some of Krystol's writings. One short, but interesting one is a commentary on an FA Hayek book

Both the book and the review emphasis the philosophy of liberty espoused by classic liberals.


Posted by: RickCaird | September 20, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Let me welcome readers to Germany 1933 and acknowledge the Washington post as the carrier of the racist torch in America.
Post readers certainly have a certain vile perspective.

Posted by: cosmicview1 | September 20, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

1. By my very rough count about a third of the comments violate the posted rules regarding acceptable comments.

2. I hope the tenor of these comments reflects a post and link at some place like Democratic Underground or Daily Kos, because if the tone (no argument about disagreeing on substance) of these comments is typical of WaPo readers, whom I would like to think of as for the most part center-left, this country is in a very bad way.

Posted by: mhjhnsn | September 20, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Got nothing against Jewish people.
The sad truth is that Bill and Irving Kristol have been wrong about more things than anyone thought possible. One reason is that they had much more power and position (and Billy still does) than they deserved based on merit and their record.
Name one thing Bill Kristol has been right about. Iraq, Lebanon, Palin, Quayle...

Posted by: clearthinking1 | September 21, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

If Kristol was so smart, why is his son a complete dunce?

Posted by: xSamplex | September 21, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

And the Right calls liberals/Dems elitist?

Posted by: jckdoors | September 21, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

xSamplex: I suppose we could ask the same question of your father.

That was way too easy.


Posted by: RickCaird | September 21, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I suffered through a 1995 interview with this individual on CSpan yesterday. He was bland, of pedestrian vocabulary, uninteresting, had zero gems of wisdom and bored the hell out of viewers with his tales of yesteryear, all the while seemingly incapable of defending the twisted front of a philosophy used to couple zionists with the always war loving right wing.

Once lowered into the hole, it is safe to assume there were familiar hands reaching up to drag him further down to that great gathering of war profitters, chaos mongerers and trickle-downers who were his cronies.

To be a Jew is to belong to a religion. Most American Jews are good Americans.

To be a zionist is to claim Jews are a race, and that race is superior to all others.

This creature did as much damage to Jews as he did to America.

Posted by: mot2win | September 21, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The boundries of Irving's "intellectual universe" extended only within in his sub par brain.

Posted by: wiatrol | September 22, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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