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What Obama can't bring himself to say -- we won in Iraq

President Obama says he is "not interested in re-litigating the past." Well, I am -- at least to this extent: Would it have been too much for the president of the United States to have acknowledged and paid tribute to a truly remarkable recent American achievement -- turning around the war in Iraq and putting that war on course to a successful outcome?

Here's what Obama did say about Iraq:

As we take the fight to al Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.

That's it: "This war is ending." But it's ending in a certain way -- with success. It could have ended with failure. Success rather than failure in Iraq has made a big difference elsewhere in the Middle East -- including in Iran. Of course Obama didn't allude to the possibility -- let alone embrace the prospect -- of regime change in Iran. But that possibility exists, and it exists in part because of the relative success of freedom and democracy in Shia-governed Iraq next door.

Yet Obama can't bring himself to say that we prevailed in Iraq. He did say that "tonight, all of our men and women in uniform -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world must know that they have our respect, our gratitude, and our full support." But he won't say that we are grateful for their victory in a war where defeat would have been disastrous.

By William Kristol  | January 27, 2010; 11:06 PM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Comments

Your "Mission Accomplished" epilogue is a bit premature, just like your hero Bush.

Iran's govt. is still controlled by the hardliners and Iraq is wobbly, witness the recent terror bombings there. No other Arabic country is headed down the primrose path to democracy either. And I wouldn't be surprised if Iraq all goes to hell in a handbasket once we pull out for real.

Posted by: adhughes | January 27, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

It was disastrous to invade Iraq in the first place. The American people believe the Iraq war was not worth it- and they are right.

Posted by: David77 | January 27, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Success is when there is an actual operating government in Iraq with free elections, and security for it's citizens. The recent explosions indicate that hasn't been totally achieved. You claim success too quickly in order to go on hoping we'll believe that what we did was right to begin with.

Posted by: Opinionated8 | January 27, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting. For years we heard that George W. Bush could never say he was wrong, never say he was sorry. But do we hold Obama to a different standard? Obama was against the surge; Biden wanted to split Iraq into three parts. Harry Reid said the Iraq War was lost. Is it beyond the grasp of Obama to admit that the men and women who comprised the surge were actually successful in turning the tide in Iraq?

Posted by: Captain_Universe | January 27, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

How can you call yourself a winner when you were the aggressor?

Posted by: AverageJane | January 27, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

How can you call yourself a winner when you were the aggressor?

Posted by: AverageJane | January 27, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Success is when there is an actual operating government in Iraq with free elections, and security for it's citizens. The recent explosions indicate that hasn't been totally achieved. You claim success too quickly in order to go on hoping we'll believe that what we did was right to begin with.

Posted by: Opinionated8 | January 27, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

"The aggressor?" Weren't allied forces the aggressors against Hitler? Weren't we successful? Com'on folks, you're better than that?

Posted by: Captain_Universe | January 27, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!!!!!!!!!

Why does Wapo STILL have this whack-job writing stuff on their pages?? I mean, for real! The man is retarded. He's a jew! We get it already! Jews: good. Everybody else: bad.

We get it! We get it!

Posted by: kurthunt | January 27, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there have been several free elections in Iraq. We had the Christmas bomber who, had an alert citizen not intervened, would have killed over 300 citizens. If "recent explosions" is the standard, along with security for it's citizens, how secure should those passengers have been?

Posted by: Captain_Universe | January 27, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"Won" what? A war that we started against an enemy that wasn't there for reasons that didn't exist? We didn't "win" anything you idiot. But a whole heck of a lot of people died for reasons we are still quite unclear about.

Posted by: cghjoyce | January 27, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"Blast targeting Iraqi Interior Ministry unit kills 38, a day after hotel attacks"
_____________________
This was the headline this a.m. in the Post. I guess Kristol missed it.

Posted by: wturecki | January 28, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

you dont win an unjust war.kristol is bad for this country hope he joins his dad soon.

Posted by: donaldtucker | January 28, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

We're down a trillion dollars. Over 4300 Americans are dead and over 30,000 wounded. Countless Iraqis have been killed, hurt, displaced or disappeared. If there can be any "political" gain from this, it could be Iran's as easily as ours. We went into this country seeking weapons that were not there. We disgraced ourselves in the world's eyes, exacerbated terrorism, and emptied our treasury.

And this contemptible, cowardly sunshine patriot preens and gloats.

There's a special circle of hell for William Kristol.

Posted by: Attucks | January 28, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to think of a way President Obama could have taken the advice given here.

The advice is in keeping with the great naval tradition that a captain who runs his ship aground still deserves medals and praise for achievements in damage control. I guess what makes me uncomfortable about it is the thought that former associates and cheerleaders of the last administration are fishing for praise more than anything else. They want acknowledgement from Obama that his predecessor and his predecessor's colleagues and admirers weren't complete screw-ups.

Iraq isn't a great Exhibit A for that case, but it's better than New Orleans or the economy. I still have a hard time seeing what would be in it for Obama to make this case himself. What do you want from the guy? He did have some nice lines honoring men and women in uniform, and those were the people who did whatever good we managed in Iraq.

Posted by: jbritt3 | January 28, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

"Weren't allied forces the aggressors against Hitler?"

You gotta be kidding. The Allies were attacked. Regardless of what you think about the Iraq war, WWII was not a pre-emptive war.

Posted by: mxyzptlk1 | January 28, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

What did we win? What was the reason we went to war in Iraq?

Posted by: RMB2 | January 28, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

If the war in Iraq can be called a 'Win'I would hate to see what defeat looked like. We only have left a destroyed nation, too many of it's citizens dead and no real democracy in place. I predict it will remain thus and be a blight on the name of the 'coalition of the willing' for many decades to come.
The 'School yard bully' never looks good in the real light of day and that is what we are.

Posted by: max6 | January 28, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Sure, Bill, we could declare victory. And when it crumbles, forget that we brought our clumsy son into Pottery Barn.

The father knew better, and once upon a time his nephew Dick did too. Guess he forgot what he said.

Posted by: mxyzptlk1 | January 28, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

After President George W. Bush mission accomplished debacle, I doubt any sane politician would do so again. What happens if the whole thing falls apart after we withdrawal? Better to be safe then sorry on this one no matter how much we would like to declare mission accomplished. Also you will attract a hornet's nest; you will be giving the terrorist a flag to taken down. In any case, it is redundant. You won when there is peace and quiet. It is self evident.

Posted by: AMQ1 | January 28, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Ummmmm...because we haven't?

You don't "win" a war you never had to fight in the first place.

And you don't "win" a civil war in a country that isn't you own.

And, finally Mr. Kristol -- a foreign country should NEVER crow about "winning" a war for another country. It is simply good manners.

Posted by: rebeccajm | January 28, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Last week, Newsweek quoted Irving Kristol, discussing his little boy, Bill, this way:

"My poor son has got it wrong again," he sometimes lamented to an old family friend.

Even his daddy knew that Bill will make up his facts to support his reality.

Posted by: savvynewyorker | January 28, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

If I was Billy K. I would keep my mouth shut after supporting so many destructive policies. But, the lust for money, power and fame just keeps his little hands typing. Maybe, one of these fine days he will type something worthwhile. Maybe.

Posted by: rusty3 | January 28, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes Bill, if he was going to bring it up at least be postive, like he exhorted the rest of us to be, how about "our men and women are going to return home from a successful mission. It may have taken longer than expected, but we achieved our goals, which is a stable and free Iraq holding democratic elections. There can be no doubt that this taste of freedom in the Middle East has spurred the Iranian people to stand up and hope for something more themselves." We have 130,000 of our men still there, let's give them admiration and respect for their hard fought victory.

Posted by: Faldo | January 28, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol makes absolutely no sense and sounds like a fool.

Posted by: twilson66 | January 28, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I keep inviting our WAPO chickenhawks like Kristol to move yo Iraq and get in on the ground floor of this great opportunity as Iraq becomes a beacon of democracy in its region. But, the fact that none will go for more than a few days and then not without a large security contingent only proves that Iraq is still a hellhole and will continue to be one in the future.

Posted by: rkerg | January 28, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Typical Republican nonsense. You couldn't expect anything less stupd from Bill Kristol. Ignore everything else about Iraq and praise the surge!!!! The last marines in Iraq left on Saturday. I can't wait for the other soldiers to come home so we can close this sorry chapter in our history. Where the Republicans calling for spending controls when we went to war in Iraq by the way? That war probably added a couple trillions in debt to the deficit. Yet you guys fuss about the stimulus because it's for projects here at home. You guys have no shame and lack a spine.

Posted by: ATLGuy | January 28, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

If Mr. Kritstol were an honorable man he would first accept his culpability is fostering the sentiment for war in Iraq, a war built on lies and deception and then retire from his "expert" punditry. But as with so many of his colleagues on both the right and the left, he conveniently ignores truth to continue to spew partisan talking points.

And as for the president's remarks regarding Iraq, he said the one thing that, in my estimation, most Americans wanted to hear and that is our sons, daughters, mothers and fathers will be coming home from that misguided and fraudulent exercise in stupidity very soon.

Posted by: youngj1 | January 28, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

It might be just a tad premature to declare "victory" in Iraq. Just how long will the Shia, Sunnis, and Kurds get along once the American troops are no longer babysitting them? If the place doesn't completely blow up after we leave, then maybe it will be time to revisit this "victory" thing.

Posted by: SuzanneM5 | January 28, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

$704 billion and counting for the war in Iraq. That's $6,100/family in America to fund the war. What did we win for that price, and what would $704B buy if we spent it more wisely? Terrorists weren't there to start, and we took our eye off the real threat.

Posted by: IndependentOpinion | January 28, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse


"What Obama can't bring himself to say -- we won in Iraq".........Kristol

--------

Yes youn Kristoln and all youc war criminal NeoCon mafia truely won:

- A million dead and counting.

- Hundreds of thousands with mental illness, orphans, widows and millions scattered in Jordan, Egypt and any place wher they don't just shut the door at their faces.

- And of course, you won in stealing others assets and wealth? You made tons of blood money? That's for sure.

- You know what? I don't like the smile you put on you uggly face. It gives us the ipression that you are telling us:" see! A bogus claim that Saddam had what it takes to blow us all in 45 minutes (Hi, Bliar!), and now look azll of you fools, ain't no weapons. We won in making everybody scared to death so we could start our slaughter.

How I wish you could just STFU. But The Wa Po is the Neo Con club, giving you the right to give us your bull, almost on a daily basis.

Posted by: foxblues | January 28, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

What constitutes a "successful outcome"? Successfully getting out? If so, then we're almost there -- but it's not over till the last U.S. boots are out of the sand.

But does that really count as success? Here's a little history flashback, excerpted from the Encyclopedia Britannica (1955 edition):

"Spanish authority ceased on Jan 1, 1899, and was followed by U.S. military rule from Jan. 1, 1899, to May 20, 1902. . . . The first Cuban congress met on May 5, 1902, and took over the government from the United States military authorities om May 20 . . . Material prosperity from 1902 to 1906 was very great, but political, social, and economic conditions led once more to revolution. . . . All possible efforts to secure a compromise that would preserve the republic failed. . . . [A]s an alternative to anarchy the United States was compelled to proclaim on Sept. 29, 1906, a provisional government. . . . The last U.S. troops were withdrawn April 1, 1909."

And as everyone knows, since then Cuba's subsequent history has been an unblemished success story.

Posted by: donnolo | January 28, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, it's embarrassing I even admit to reading your schlock, like I'm the guy in the supermarket checkout line reading a tabloid hoping the guy next to me is looking into the candy and not judging me. But it's kind of fun in a perverse way, wondering just how long you'll be able to keep it up, halfway thinking that there simply can be no way you actually believe half the crap you write, it's so outlandish. I'm going to smile and say it's a great big joke you're playing, cause nobody is that full of horse manure. Right? Right??

Posted by: loudeye | January 28, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

tell me again, what did we win in Iraq?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 28, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Kristol- Isn't their still bombings going on every other day?

Victory? Na... There will be another bloodbath after we leave and then it will settle- Maybe We could have had the same result after if we left in 04!

What's left, a nation of bitter feelings an unjust Government just like we found it.

Just like it always turns out.

There's no victory, Plus what did we gain?

WMD....Alkida... No one can say maybe some crude.. what was it all for?

What are the other wars for?

How come you always knock Ron Paul? He's been right about everything....?

We create more terrorist besides... Come on Kristol none of it makes sense...

Posted by: tanis65 | January 28, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Ya know what- Kristol never makes sense he's just a Merchant of death.

Plus he's so smug looking like he knows more than anyone.

All these wars are B.S. and the whole world knows it.

Posted by: tanis65 | January 28, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

"HE LIED" would have been more appropriate at the end of his remarks on Iraq...ALL OUR TROOPS ARE COMING HOME IS A LIE....in fact, he will leave 25,000 troops in Iraq...if you want to call them "non combat troops", then fine, but I bet they'll be engaged in combat. What a lie and the American public swallowed it.

Posted by: powerange | January 28, 2010 5:04 AM | Report abuse

The worst part of this? A chicken hawk who pushed America into an unjust war that killed tens of thousands of people gets space in a respectable -- albeit uber-establishment -- newspaper.

Posted by: jammmick | January 28, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

It is crazy to claim victory in a war of agression which is also a crime against humanity killing and torturing hundreds of thousands of humans and destroying a country with millions of refugees. It remains a shame for the US forever. Mr Kristol and his fellow zionists Rumsfeld, Wolfo.,Feith, Perle...etc, who were eager to start the war in the name of a foreign country sacrificing thousands of Americans destroying the American economy can claim victory, the American people not.

Posted by: mansour112 | January 28, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Really Kristol? Is that the best you can do? I would still argue that Iraq was unjustified, a needless expense we could have done without. Eventually, things were bound to get better in Iraq one way or another, but at what expense to both us and the Iraqi's?

Posted by: ggwalt | January 28, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Obama's fatal flaw is that he refuses to see himself as part of a tradition, the continuity of governance, policy, and core values. His is the conceit of the revolutionary, but minus a genuinely new vision. Listening to him is like trying to find inspiration in yet another tired rendition of "Happy Days Are Here Again."

Posted by: elgropo1 | January 28, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Probably a tad premature to declare victory, Bill - although it certainly does seem to be heading in that direction. Let's wait a while (several years) before we say it was a successful operation; a lot could still go wrong.

I also don't like the idea of the president saying all the troops will be gone by August. Why set a timetable that may or may not be accurate?

And Iran? Come on, let's not start another war we can't afford.

Posted by: stevenveshosky | January 28, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Only someone as totally self serving as Bill Kristol would declare a victory in Iraq while bombs are still going off in the Bhagdad -it seems like at will. Victory? Inless than 5 years the Iraq government will be aligned with Iran and be as represive a government to sections of their politicians as Sadam's was. They'll probably be using the arms we supplied them with against us. Yeah victory in iraq. No wonder we got involved in that stupid war with all those wacky neocons surrounding Bush.

Posted by: p2dppd | January 28, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr Kristol, History, not you will judge the status of the 2nd Iraq war and those who started it.

Posted by: fimclennan | January 28, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Yeah we won Iraq, Billy and there were no terrorist attacks under bush. You know you push yourself as an intellectual; but, in actuality, you have the same mental stature as Sarah. I bet you can see Russia from your front porch too.

Posted by: democratus | January 28, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama's clean energy policies offer us hope of weaning ourselves off Middle Eastern oil, so that we can leave these pathetic excuses for human beings who are in charge of these countries from Israel to Iran to fight their own battles. Much has been made of the Saudis and Gulf Arabs having paid the costs for the Sons of Iraq, without noting that they raised oil prices in order to do so. Just like the insurance companies which raise their premium prices instead of selling off the assets they already have to pay their own expenses when they come due.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | January 28, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
28 January 2010

Let me suggest to conservative pundit Bill Kristol the reason why President Barack Obama did not mention Iraq at all in his State of the Union Address to the American people last night:

IRAQ IS A SOURCE OF EMBARRASSMENT IF NOT SHAME ON AMERICA, AND HAD BETTER BE LEFT FORGOTTEN THAN EXPOLOITED POLITICALLY.

The reason why?

The United States of America invaded and occupied the independent and sovereign state of Iraq preemptively and unilaterally--and illegaly both under U.S. and international law--on false pretenses, meaning inadequate or even "doctored" intelligence.

That arrogant, hubristic and reckless action on the part of Republican President George W. Bush will forever be a stain on American honor.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | January 28, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Am in agreement with those who wrote that the U.S. did not win in Irag - just as we did not win in Vietnam. The American and Alied troops fought and served galantly but considering the bombings that continue to occur daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will never be able to stop this inner tribal and religious hatred of their neighbor or one they differ with. This has occured for years as 'tribal violence there and as in Africa and as now seen in Iraq continues even as Alied troops are withdrawing. We Americans will never understand that the enemy in these places is committed by their life to their beliefs and are willing to die for same. Regretably we in the US are fueled more by our Christian belief that ours is the only acceptable religion in the world and thus victory will always be ours - this is not WW I or II or even the Civil War where one side surrendered and the other victory. When will we learn that to connect with a people is not by the weapon but with acceptance of their culture and religious beliefs.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | January 28, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Love the personal attacks, hyperbole & negativity by those free to complain on this post. They have the right to b"tch & whine because of aggressive preemptive war against King George in 1776. 25 million free Women in the middle east & Afganistan isn't good enough, A totalitarian dictator removed who opened rape rooms & other horrific, violent oppression isn't enough. Elimination an enabler of terrorism & hideouts for Al Quaida isn't enough. The democratic leadership has been & is still treasonous by not acknowledging their playing "politics" with human lives because they are Bush Bigots. Others here complain about the cost of the wars all the while promoting a slush fund called the stimulus(#2 or 3....lost count). Which with kick-backs & payoffs(200 billion) & interest 200 to 500 billion) will total .5 trillion more than those Wars which actually Freed enslaved human beings. GO HYPOCRTITES! obama the enabler is a legend in his own mind.

Posted by: billstoobox | January 28, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I used to work for a company which had a project team made up of the CEO's pets.

This team so royally screwed up the project they were working on they had to work nights and weekends to it right.

After the thing was finally working, they expected to be rewarded for all their "extra efforts," which of course would not have been necessary if they hadn't made such a hash in the first place.

And, you know what? They were rewarded, handsomely, to the complete disgruntlement of everybody else, because that's how business works.

President Obama doesn't work like that, thank goodness.

Posted by: michael19 | January 28, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Those posting here are living in the past to justify their failed intellectual viewpoint & Obama's presidency. Wake up before you sink into depression from your close mind. Your hatred becomes you. I'm Saddened by the discourse from the paid trolls.

Posted by: billstoobox | January 28, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

"As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president."

That's what Barack Obama said. Not "it ended". It shouldn't be that hard for you to find since you printed it in your own column.

Couldn't Bill Kristol just once acknowledge that Barack Obama ended the war, and not Bill Kristol, who actually had a lot to do with starting it?

Posted by: Billy_Pilgrim | January 28, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Billy, you don't get to crow about victory in Iraq. This is about as selfish a thing as you've ever written, I mean really, looking for validation from Obama. What a child you are.

Posted by: barferio | January 28, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Question is, Lil' Billy, what exactly did we win in Iraq?

Posted by: Gatsby10 | January 28, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse


for iraq to be a success, it would have to have been the smart thing to do in the first place. it's simply a good outcome to a bad idea. but hey, the only ones the neocons can con are the neocons.
(whew!! talk about alliteration)

Posted by: pouliotmichael | January 28, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Not only the inability to admit victory in Iraq but, a simple thank you for the pre-scripted solution in Afghanistan. Which was given to this White-House from the previous. Dithering, under cutting the # of personnel & giving the Enemy Our dismissal time from War Class is Obama's gift in this process..

Posted by: billstoobox | January 28, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

You know Willie. may I call you Willie, the president has been right to not pursue the abuses of the Bush Administration. But the constant attempts to rewrite the Bush years, I believe will some day force that to happen. We are 10 years laying to rest a war with Iraq. When you guys started this,part of your mantra was "we are the world's lone remaining superpower". That statement is more difficult to make now. We were pushed done the road of ever increasing debt without accoutability and strained our military to its limits. Now you guys are worried about deficits and debt. Iraq, a country so weak, that it took our military little more than a month to lay that portion of the mission to rests. You want to boasts about successful outcomes. Is it always that way with you "from the safety of your office" war hawks?

With our country facing unemployment over 10% and myriads of other problems, you found time to worry about how our Iraqi adventure is judged. Willie, I'll say it again "10 years" to accomplish what against Iraq. Iraq? What did it costs us? What have we gained? How secure is the situation we are leaving behind? How has that emboldened Iran? How has that affected our relationships in the rest of the region? We leveraged our allies for minimal backing in this adventure. How do we stand with them? To paraphrase Jim Mora, Sr., successful outcome? successful outcome?". Willie you should not speak of successful outcomes until the answer to most of these questions are positive.

Posted by: concerned13 | January 28, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

You should be on your hands and knees in gratitude with tears of joy streaming down your cheeks if anybody stuck with cleaning up your mess tells you we are not interested in re-litigating the past when it comes to Iraq which equals the folly in the desert you are in no small part personally responsible for. Have you no shame? Think about the good that could have been done had you not urged this war for oil, the lives that could have been saved, the overwhelming tragedy and waste and then whine your little whine, what about Iraq? Seriously. Why aren't the masterminds of this fraud on democracy in jail? God have mercy on your soul.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 28, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

bill, whose bloodlust is never satiated, never seems to ask the iraqis if the u.s. assault on their country was worth it.

Posted by: mycomment | January 28, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

And Obama probably didn't mention Iraq last night because the surge was so successful we can't ever leave. We are still double downed in Iraq, still bleeding billions despite having "won" as you put it. Won the right to subsidize them forever. Yippee! Guard the oil fields for Exxon! Yippee! Oh, happy taxpayer. Hardly the battalion out a month as campaigned on is the reason there was no mention of Iraq. Behind even in the plan that Obama announced when he took office which was a MAJOR disappointment to those who worked to get him into office so he could get us out of Iraq which is as it should work in a democracy. If a democracy can't even work in our own, what horn are you tooting out of that makes it sound so great for another country? One that blows dollar signs for somebody, no doubt.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 28, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Success, Mr. Kristol? You mean we found the WMD that threatened our country?

Do you mean that the Iraq that recently banned more than 500 candidates from running for public office, including two top members of the opposition in Parliament, represents the kind of democracy Mr. Kristol promised would result from this war?

Did we succeed in weakening Al Qaeda by ending the non-existent affiliation between Iraq and Al Qaeda? Mr. Kristol claimed this relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda existed, but we now know that no such relationship ever existed.

Did we succeed in strengthening our position vis a vis Iran? Did we increase our influence over Iran? If Mr. Kristol believes so, what alternative universe is he occupying?

And what about the sectarian strife in Iraq that Mr. Kristol promised would not explode into slaughter and chaos?

I'm sure Mr. Kristol would prefer that we forget the claims he made regarding WMD in Iraq, the democratic miracle that Iraq would become, the undermining of Al Qaeda, and the strategic advantage over Iraq, all of which Mr. Kristol argued we'd achieve with this war, and none of which have come to pass.

But we haven't forgotten, Mr. Kristol, and your claim of "success" in Iraq represents new heights in delusion. It simply isn't possible for one to have been more wrong about the Iraq war than Mr. Kristol was, and his claim of success in Iraq is just another humiliating loss of credibility for his neocon con man.

Posted by: cassidyt | January 28, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's cripple this clown in the fall and then send him packing to his birthplace Indonesia in 2012.

Posted by: tjhall1 | January 28, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

For over 4,500 lives, tens of thousands of grieviously wounded, a trillion dollars and counting, what exactly have we "won" in Iraq?

Did we corral their oil? Nope - that went to China. Did we clean up their government? Nope - it is a corrupt as ever. Did we win friends and influence people? Not a chance - because of Iraq, we are hated by Muslims around the world.

After tearing the country apart, have we made it stable again? No, no, no. As the recent bombings will attest, the country is a basket case, quite likely to be taken over by very unfriendly and destablizing groups as soon as we toddle down the road.

There is no victory there, Mr. Kristol. We have lost, and lost big, by any measure.

Posted by: Casey1 | January 28, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Iraq? Wow. I haven't heard much about that from the press or the Democrats (but I repeat myself) lately. Things MUST be going well over there.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | January 28, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

the question is would we have done the deed knowing what we know now?

the answer is no we would not have gone into iraq.

but i like kristol.he is a rather clever man.

Posted by: razor2 | January 28, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Even if Mr. Kristol's conclusion that the war is won which is still not by any means confirmed, it is based on a false assumption.

This was a war of choice that was promised to be over in a matter of months. The better part of a decade later, the government of Iraq is extraordinarily fragile and hardly democratic. We have spent an inordinate amount of lives and money to reach Mr. Kristol's "victory." To pretend that our Iraq adventure was worth what we spent is preposterous.

Perhaps we can walk away with our heads held high but there is nothing to gloat about as we look at a gargantuan government debt, both in money and in weeping widows and parent-less children.

Posted by: BADMAN1 | January 28, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

where did we go wrong in iraq.

we assumed all peoples are the same.iraqis are a very tempremental people.we should have studied their interaction with the british before we went in.

i think the united states had better stay at home in future.what others do to each other is none of our business.

Posted by: razor2 | January 28, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Anybody hear Tom Ricks on Fresh Air yesterday? We haven't "won" anything. How the heck do you define winning? If getting out just before the place implodes is your idea of a win then please do it yourself next time. We have created a horrific mess over there that could easily become much worse for the entire region. But you want to hear someone say we won. Why? So you can feel better about your encouraging us to get into the mess. There are only bad choices left for us over there. I hope history is very unkind to you sir.

Posted by: midn88gar | January 28, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I know this flies in the face of the Neoconservative Torah, but whether we win or lose in Iraq is irrelevant. The enemy was -- and is -- Al Quaeda. Celebrating a win in Iraq is like a person with lung cancer celebrating a low cholesterol count.

Posted by: RadicalGlove | January 28, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

4374 KIA service members, 31616 wounded a thousands of military families trashed,trillion dollars spent, American reputation in the crapper and a civil war waiting to happen as soon as we leave. You call that a victory? "We Won" So typical from a Neo-con chickenhawk. We didn't win anything and you have no right to say anything on the subject, so take your flag waving coward butt and go back under your rock.

Posted by: rl5614 | January 28, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Billy, Billy, Billy. You are SUCH a tool.
If Iraq is still in one piece five years from now, maybe then you can crow. Until then, a more intelligent person would simply keep their big fat lying neo-con mouth shut.

Posted by: st50taw | January 28, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? THIS is what you picked to write about? What, other than assuaging your own sense of self worth, do you intend to accomplish today?

Posted by: trident420 | January 28, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

senile propaganda

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Posted by: styrutdhfgjytieuyrgdef | January 28, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps President Obama understands the insane hubris of congratulating ourselves for "prevailing" in a war that killed thousands of Americans and many more Iraqis and should never have been fought.

It's kind of like the irony of putting biblical references on the sights of a gun. Kill a Muslim for Jesus.

Posted by: arancia12 | January 28, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Dear Bill,

If you really want to "re-litigating the past" then go all the way back to the decision to go to war with Iraq in the first place!

The decision at the time was a fundamentally bad one given the numerous alternatives to thwart Saddam. With the benefit of hindsight the decision was a disaster given its cost in US treasure and American lives. Just think how much more money and credibility we would have in the area to seriously assist the large, well educated and determined Iranian opposition, or fight the true multiple fronts in the "war on terror". The Iranian people were (are) going to get there despite the set back from the war -- the ground swell of support Iranian religious zealots have been able to garner by our presence.

Please continue to laud our US troops, and even praise the surge as a solid tactic in a stupid war. But please stop cherry picking historical points to take political pot shots. The American people want us out of the war and that is what the President Obama is doing.

How about a note from you either praising the President for pushing the "Pay Go" rules, or even some fiscally conservative rhetorical pressure to help make sure this happens....

Posted by: pjmcb | January 28, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

As a retired foreign officer who has spent many years of service overseas in places like Kosovo, Yemen, Mali, Guinea, I have no doubt that President Obama is correct in not talking about having won in Iraq. The surge and the success you so want him to recognize and tout did little more than create space for the US to retreat from Iraq. I'm willing to bet within two years you will be writing how President Obama lost Iraq that was never won.

I can't help wonder what it will take for smart people like you to understand the limitations of military power. Especially the military power of a country that lacks the stomach for occupation? One can't bomb and kill a people into changing their culture and healing their divisions no matter how powerful one's military is.

My hope is that President Obama and his team are spending the time that they are not wasting touting the "victory" in Iraq by planning how to contain the potential havoc that Iraq is likely to cause in the region once we're gone.

Posted by: winjack | January 28, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"The aggressor?" Weren't allied forces the aggressors against Hitler? Weren't we successful? Com'on folks, you're better than that?

Posted by: Captain_Universe | January 27, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

_____________

Apparently you have revised history, Capt. We were not the aggressors in WWII. You might recall a little incident called Pearl Harbor. As far as allied forces go, there was a little incident called the invasion of Poland.

Yes, I am better than that.

Posted by: arancia12 | January 28, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Kristol:
You've surfaced from beneath that AIPAC pet rock, goody for you! Now, let's get something straight here, before your comedy routine rivals Jay & Conan put together: We have NOT won in Iraq. Read the newspapers daily to confirm this. Iraq, in fact, is on the verge of civil war, as was expected from the beginnings of the Bush Invasion / Regency of that place. There unfortunately will be lots of bloodshed before the meaningless elections in March 2010. And lots after. THAT is the legacy of your heroes Bush, Cheney, Chalabi, etc. The good news is that we (US military occupancy) are leaving Iraq, hopefully forever. Until you need some oil. Then you, Billy-Boy, and your cohorts can go and fight for it yourselves.

Posted by: MickNamVet | January 28, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

What Obama can't bring himself to say -- I resign, effective immediately!!

Posted by: warhorse | January 28, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Let's see if the author will send his children to Iran for regime change?

Posted by: imranwali80 | January 28, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Yea; We're winning in Iraq, but losing at home.
Obama's successor (if we live long enough to get one), will have to apologize to the American People for his complete failure to protect the United States FROM aggressors.

Posted by: cybergeezer | January 28, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

You must distinguish between two different wars: The fight against Saddam Hussein was won on the day he crawled out of his hole.
But the struggle that is now taking place on Iraqi soil has nothing to do with that earlier war against Saddam. In this second war we are partners of the new Iraqi government, and it is not won yet.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | January 28, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

You must distinguish between two different wars: The fight against Saddam Hussein was won on the day he crawled out of his hole.
But the struggle that is now taking place on Iraqi soil has nothing to do with that earlier war against Saddam. In this second war we are partners of the new Iraqi government, and it is not won yet.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | January 28, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Bill, come on. What is he going to do? You MUST realize that whatever we do; however long we stay, that the place is going to convert to whatever it was going to become in the first place, after we topped Saddam: ie, a Shiite controlled client state of Iran, with an independent Kurdistan in the north, with a good blood-bath of Sunnis thrown in for good measure. Look at Ahmed Chalabi; he is an acknoleged agent of Iran, and succeeded in eliminating the Sunni candidates from the upcoming elections. The writing is on the wall. Saddam was there for a reason: only a bloodthirsty tyrant could control that country. Otherwise, it descends into chaos. Pre-Assad (pere, not fils) is another example. Before he came to power, there was one military coup after another, plunging the country into chaos. We will now see this in Iraq, until Iran comes in and stabilizes the situation by imposing their puppet regime on the 'rump' Iraq state (ie, sans the Kurds in the North). I'm sorry, Bill, but the blame lays squarely with Bush and you neo-Cons, who, for some incomprehensible reason, felt compelled to get us involved there. Even as Jew, I can't help but feel the overwhelming Jewish nature of Bush's neo-Com advisors had something to do with it: ie, protection of Israel at the expense of the higher national interests of the US.

Posted by: lafayette89 | January 28, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The mutterings of a totally incompetent twit. On every spectrum Iraq is a TOTAL failure. First, this very nut job foisted the lie of WMD, and that Chalabi was the George Washington of the vanquished Iraq, turns out NO WMD, and Chalabi was an IRANIAN agent. Finally with over 30,000 wounded American troops and nearly 5,000 killed in action, and well over 80,000 dead Iraqi civilians, for this wingnut to declare a "victory" on a war that was clearly a war for oil and zionist Zionist nut job agenda, is wrong in very sense of the word. Kristol's name is synonymous with the term failure.

Posted by: cisconwa | January 28, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Kristol is correct we have been successfull. Successfull in salvaging a bankrupt pointless invasion that should never have been done. Anyone other then Mr. Kristol feel like celebrating this 'victory'? Anyone other then Mr. Kristol have their ego's wrapped up in Iraq?

Posted by: kchses1 | January 28, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

We won the war? The largest military in the world invaded a small, underequipped, country and in a matter of 7 years of fighting, one trillion dollars, 4000 U. S. military deaths, tens if not hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, the loss of a quarter of the population by emigration, we won the war? Please! Only on the planet Neocon would anyone think that we are winners a war in Iraq. Republicans still think that Iraq was a major player in the World Trade Center terrorism. We lost more soldiers in Iraq than we lost to terrorism at the WTC. We are poorer and have depleted our army infrastructure. We may have won the battles, but the terrorists are the big winners in this ill conceived war.

Posted by: lswonder | January 28, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Let's cripple this clown in the fall and then send him packing to his birthplace Indonesia in 2012.

Posted by: tjhall1
___________

Wait a minute. You birthers are supposed to believe that Mr. President (whom you so gracefully refer to as "clown") was born in Kenya. You guys can't even get your stories straight much less run an opposition.

Can you even find Indonesia on a map?

Posted by: arancia12 | January 28, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic - these neocons are going to spend the rest of their lives trying to revise history...

Outside of the AEI - everyone knows that the Iraq adventure was a disaster...

Posted by: Sanuk | January 28, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

For President Obama and his campus coalition of Leftists and NeoBongs, there can never be a victory in anything-- only mutually agreed conciliations and apologies.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | January 28, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, you can't salvage Iraq. Apparently your definition of victory is hazy. Live in Bahgdad, try to survive to daily bombings, then tell me all is good there.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 28, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Billy, you tool, you! Victory is in the eye of the beholder, apparently. You want Obama to vindicate yours/Bush's/the-rest-of-the-idiot-neocons whole stake in the war. Victory for America is getting out of a war IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN, which is understood by all but those who have marinated in the neocon kool-aid for so long that you and the rest are incapable of seeing the world as it is (only as you think it should be).

Posted by: lloydamy | January 28, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

How about some silence from you, you half-witted sap. If it weren't for your daddy pull, you'd be flipping burgers and having a hard time of it.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | January 28, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Excellent points by Mr. Kristol. And this is affirmed by ranting of the unhinged lunatics that come out whenever Mr. Kristol tells the truth.

Thank you Mr. Kristol for speaking truth to power

Posted by: gagalbert | January 28, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Would it have been too much for former President Bush to acknowledge that Iraq was a tremendous mistake?

A mistake to have even invaded the country? A mistake where no one would have to say it is coming to an end successfully, or as a failure?

A mistake to have ignored the true threat to the United States? Could former President Bush admit the mistake of taking his eye off the real threat, the terrorist group who murdered almost 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, and allow it to fester for 7 more years till someone else had to deal with it?

For most of us Mr. Kristol, if not for the 4,000+ lost and tens of thousands with injuries as a result of this mistake, it's something we would rather forget.

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | January 28, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Iraq is by no means a done deal. Who will be surprised to find a new vicious leader, perhaps worse than Hussien, takes control of Iraq. What you cant admit kristol is that juniors dad made the right decision to leave that country alone after the gulf war.

Posted by: haa1313 | January 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Yet another delusional analysis from the party that creates it's own reality. I'd love to know exactly what we've "won?" Kristol is truly a nutcase.

Posted by: twnctyguy | January 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

mansour you should be writing about the killings in iraq.all self inflicted.bombs and massacres and bloodbaths.why are you silent?

Posted by: razor2 | January 28, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

mr. whatever 77, you say the american people think it was a mistake. i'm an american people and i thikn your an ostrich with your head in teh sand and your words only represent you and rosie odonell and the leftist regime currently holding sway in d.c. but as for me and most americans who understand teh middle east and what iraq accomplished, it is Kristol Klear. We Won

Posted by: harbinger317 | January 28, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Nutcase is much too kind. Drinking his own urine is a tad bit more accurate.

Posted by: wiltonsjs | January 28, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol's birth name was Shecky Kristlstein, Shecky had it changed to Kristol for obvious reason. Kristol , Charles Krauheimer, Jonah and Bernie Goldberg, Bob Kagan, David Frum, Ben Stein, Joe Lieberman all have dual Israeli citizenship. There main agenda with American Enterprise Institute is to destroy Iran so that Israel can expand at a faster rate. These are the Neo-Cons who controlled Bush and Cheney into a War with Iraq.

Posted by: orionexpress | January 28, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Yet Obama can't bring himself to say that we prevailed in Iraq."
*************************

Because no one but you has the chutzpah to claim "victory" in a conflict that should never, ever have occurred. Especially since the stability of that country will be in doubt for decades to come, with many more bombings, massacres, displaced families and corruption.

Very sad.

Posted by: abqcleve | January 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"What Obama can't bring himself to say--we won in Iraq"

Probably for the same reason Nixon refrained from declaring victory in Vietnam.

Posted by: slim2 | January 28, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Your "Mission Accomplished" epilogue is a bit premature, just like your hero Bush.

Posted by: adhughes | January 27, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse
-----
You won't be happy with anything better than a total, humiliating defeat for the U.S., will you? Are you angry that Obama is continuing Bush's policy of trying to win engagements that we're involved in?

Posted by: lug21 | January 28, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Celebrating a win in Iraq is like a person with lung cancer celebrating a low cholesterol count.

Posted by: RadicalGlov
********************************

Beautiful! I love starting my day with a smile. Thanks!

Posted by: abqcleve | January 28, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Excellent points by Mr. Kristol. And this is affirmed by ranting of the unhinged lunatics that come out whenever Mr. Kristol tells the truth.

Thank you Mr. Kristol for speaking truth to power

Posted by: gagalbert |


So what you're saying is that when truthsayers said Iraq didn't have WMD and was not threat to the US and didn't participate in 9.11 and the right shouted them down, their unhinged ranting showed that the anti-invasion group was right?

Funny how you didn't seem to figure that out at the time. Or is this another rule that only applies when it comes to conseravtives?

Posted by: arancia12 | January 28, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

We won in Iraq. Could Kristol please explain exactly what we won. When Obama was elected after eight years of Bush our economy was in a shambles, the national debt had reached unprecedented levels and our image in the world was badly tarnished. When Bush and conservatives were making their highly fudged case for the war many of us were asking why. Whats in it for us. How will defeating Iraq help us or the world. Now Kristol is declaring "we won". What did we win Mr Kristol and at what price.

Posted by: tryreason | January 28, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Sadamme Hussein killed 500,000 of his own people. Once again American is the world's hero.

Posted by: timbo2 | January 28, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Bill, he didn't mention success because the jury is still out on that issue. If Iraq remains one nation and doesn't devolve into three nations or a dictatorship, then Bush's criteria for success will be met. However, at this juncture, this outcome is far from certain. As likely is that a civil war will erupt, with the Kurds, most likely, forming their own nation. Whether or not the Arabs will form two other nations or one of the factions will submit the other to its dominance is unclear. One thing is certain though, the U.S. occupying Iraq (a fiction of the Western powers) for eternity is not success either. At this junction, the stability, such as it is, is due to our presence, which is not success if success is the country being free and self determined and not a protected colony. Bill, the question of whether the war was a success will be resolved by events following our withdrawal.

Posted by: csintala79 | January 28, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The shortness of this article and the lack of Depth lets you know that this one is for the paycheck. What a waste of space! Kristol is really waning on this one.

Posted by: minco_007 | January 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"It was disastrous to invade Iraq in the first place. The American people believe the Iraq war was not worth it- and they are right".
____________________________________________


I would recommend that those that have this attitude read the book by Khadir Hamza, entitled, "Saddam's Bomb Maker". Hamza was the individual in charge of Saddam Hussein's efforts to build an atomic bomb. He was educated in the U.S. and was able to flee to the U.S. in the 1990's.

Given Hamza's portrayal of Saddam Hussein and his regime, the assertion of both Republicans and Democrats over the years that Saddam "would have to be dealt with" rings entirely true.

Read the book and then tell us all what you think about the wasteful effort of deposing Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: sombreropoint38 | January 28, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Why exactly have we won???

After hundred of BILLIONS of dollars spent, ten of thousand of US soldiers died and wounded, not counting the Iraqi civilians, the enormous damage to this country financially, in security and reputation, what's the achievement you can brag about?

Given the current Iraqi situation, another dictator may just pop-up in the future, or it will become an Iran puppet. Then all this will be for nothing!

Posted by: in_starbucks | January 28, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Iraq war was a waste or a "disaster". You have a burgeoning democracy in the middle of the Middle East, something that has ALWAYS happened only by fire and sword, and that is otherwise restricted to Israel (one real reason the Islamic despots surrounding it want it destroyed). If diplomacy and "smart power" were really the way to foment democratic movements in the ME, then why has Obama studiously ignored an honest-to-goodness democratic revolt in Iran? It's also interesting how said revolt only happened after Iraq started to stabilize and prosper, an amazing coincidence that liberals (many of whom otherwise believe everything that happens is due to conspiracies) will nonetheless pretend occurred in a total vacuum.

Face it: Bush's clumsy, gutsy move is paying off. The primary mistake was not the war, but thinking we could handle the aftermath with a "small footprint" of troops rather than overwhelming occupying force. Once corrected, things took their proper path. Call me a naive fool, but I honestly believe all people want to be free, and will embrace it if given the chance. We gave them that chance. I won't apologize for that, or for the satisfaction of Saddam Hussein and his cronies being hung like dogs. Without Bush's intervention, we'd be listening to Obama speeches right now pathetically begging Saddam Hussein to "unclench his fist."

Posted by: zippyspeed | January 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

What a whinny little B I T C H you are WK. Crawl back under your rock - the one labelled "Failed and Discredited Neo-con Hack Writing Garbage for the Washington Post." I know it is a crowded rock, full of slippery and slimy folks. But that is your true home WK.

Posted by: respondus | January 28, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

So why don't you do what you said President Obama has done...BE QUIET!!! And that's being a bit polite rather than say "Just Shut Up why don't cha!"

Posted by: YesLord1 | January 28, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Bush, along with the support of Congress, rightfully dealt with Iraq and the surge opposed by the vast majority of the Democrats was a great success. Obama, Reid and others will never admit that they were wrong nor acknowledge the bold leadership provided by Bush and Petraeus.

Leaders can't vote present and change one's mind after the decision is made. Members of Congress can and do follow the political wind. Democrats went after a President for political gain, but ended up undermining the security of the country instead.

What people need to realize is that Iraq was a continuation of 12 years of ceasefire full of UN Resolutions violated one after the other by Saddam Hussein with the relevance of the UN itself at stake. AN emboldened and increasingly dangerous Hussein had to be dealt with and it took a true leader to make it happen. For all of Bush's faults, and there were several, his steadfast commitment to his decisions are not among them. History will vindicate him.

We now have a President who is faced with a similar situation in N. Korea and Iran as well as the current mission in Afghanistan. It will be his leadership or lack thereof that determines whether we can build upon the success of Iraq or squander it at the peril of all peace loving people. Changes to criminalize terrorism instead of addressing them as act of war are misguided and make our country less safe. The security of the nation is a President's top priority.

Posted by: Bubbs1 | January 28, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Bush, along with the support of Congress, rightfully dealt with Iraq and the surge opposed by the vast majority of the Democrats was a great success. Obama, Reid and others will never admit that they were wrong nor acknowledge the bold leadership provided by Bush and Petraeus.

Leaders can't vote present and change one's mind after the decision is made. Members of Congress can and do follow the political wind. Democrats went after a President for political gain, but ended up undermining the security of the country instead.

What people need to realize is that Iraq was a continuation of 12 years of ceasefire full of UN Resolutions violated one after the other by Saddam Hussein with the relevance of the UN itself at stake. AN emboldened and increasingly dangerous Hussein had to be dealt with and it took a true leader to make it happen. For all of Bush's faults, and there were several, his steadfast commitment to his decisions are not among them. History will vindicate him.

We now have a President who is faced with a similar situation in N. Korea and Iran as well as the current mission in Afghanistan. It will be his leadership or lack thereof that determines whether we can build upon the success of Iraq or squander it at the peril of all peace loving people. Changes to criminalize terrorism instead of addressing them as act of war are misguided and make our country less safe. The security of the nation is a President's top priority.

Posted by: Bubbs1 | January 28, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Krystol,
Precisely what did we win? The right for Haliburton to make obscene profits? The right for Iran to have more influence in Iraq?

Please, just go away. Or if you're so damn gung ho, enlist.

Posted by: rcasero | January 28, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe Bill Kristol is proclaiming victory in Iraq. Mission accomplished Bill? The bombings, corruption and slaughter continue. I cannot believe this partisan hack is taken seriously as some sort of 'thinker'.

Posted by: markylarge | January 28, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Believe it or not...there is a lot of power and strength in Quietness...try it!

Posted by: YesLord1 | January 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

As a retired foreign officer who has spent many years of service overseas in places like Kosovo, Yemen, Mali, Guinea, I have no doubt that President Obama is correct in not talking about having won in Iraq. The surge and the success you so want him to recognize and tout did little more than create space for the US to retreat from Iraq. I'm willing to bet within two years you will be writing how President Obama lost Iraq that was never won.

I can't help wonder what it will take for smart people like you to understand the limitations of military power. Especially the military power of a country that lacks the stomach for occupation? One can't bomb and kill a people into changing their culture and healing their divisions no matter how powerful one's military is.

My hope is that President Obama and his team are spending the time that they are not wasting touting the "victory" in Iraq by planning how to contain the potential havoc that Iraq is likely to cause in the region once we're gone.

Posted by: winjack | January 28, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

There is a saying I have heard recently that says something to the effect "America has a war and the Iraqi"s have time." The jury will will be out on the future of Iraq for quite a while, I am sure, and we will see if it can remain one nation, or will it split into three pieces.

Posted by: bmcduff55 | January 28, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

When the warmongering, Zionist neocon Kristol says " we won in Iraq ," the we that he refers to is his true country, Israel, not America. It was Kristol and his fellow Zionists who manipulated a very unintelligent and unquestioning President Bush into attacking Iraq, a disastrous blunder that is now in its 7th year, has killed 4400 American soldiers, has a $3 trillion cost, and has killed an estimated 500,000 Iraqis and displaced 4 million more. So, while America and Iraq were the losers, Israel got us to remove one of their enemies, at no cost to Israel. So Israel and their rabid Jewish lobby are so happy that they are now trying to repeat their success by provoking the U.S. into attacking Iran. And we are probably dumb enough to do it.

Posted by: raygordon2008 | January 28, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"So what you're saying is that when truthsayers said Iraq didn't have WMD..."

What would you know about the "truth"? Please, don't be shy and list your so called "truthsayers". You sound as idiotic as dear leader did last night in his (what should have been called) The STFU! Here's a list of accomplishments that our brave military men and women fought and succeeded in doing...

They enforced the UN mandate. They deposed, tried, and executed Saddam Hussein and brought justice to his henchman. They ended Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programs. They exposed the mass graves. They have made it possible for a representative government to form. They have made possible free and fair elections. They have trained new Iraqi security forces. They have sent untold terrorists to their virgins. Stores are open, girls are learning, there is a future!!

Posted by: warhorse | January 28, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Just WOW. Apparently the neocon definition of success", according to Krystol, is:

A million deaths.

A billion new enemies after invading a Muslim Arab country for no reason other than to set up the former administration's campaign donors in the world's second largest reserves (see Hunt Oil for the most publicized case), just as the west has been doing since 1920.

A trillion dollars in debt and a nearly ruined domestic economy in the US.

Krystol should be THANKING HIS LUCKY STARS that Obama is "not interested in re-litigating the past". By all rights Krystol and his cronies who facilitated this should be sitting in a courtroom facing war charges.

What INCREDIBLE hubris.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 28, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't know even if Israel is better off because of the Iraq war. Iran now sees the US and Iraq as much weakened (and rightly so). Its radicals can now boast to wipe Israel off the map. I would wonder if Iran can do that before the Iraq war.

Basically the neocons ideology ruins things both for US and Israel!

Posted by: in_starbucks | January 28, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

i can always tell when i am reading the post. more liberal, inane, inaccurate comments that one can shake a stick at, except in the ny times. if the saints win the superbowl you will say they lost. you know so little of warfare, conflict or world history. too many of you are pacificts and appeasers and yellow dog democrats. read churchills bio, the last lion, by manchester. then the bio of washington, adams, jefferson. go to prague, vienna, budapest and talk to the folks. inquire and see what is going on in western europe. read the koran. study the comments of the islamic terrorists over the last few decades then opine if you must. thank goodness most of you were never in my foxhole.

Posted by: dang3 | January 28, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I'like to thank Kristol for reminding everybody what a disaster Bushco. was for the country and the world. Keep it up Bill, the Dems will thank you in November!
NO ONE with half a brain thinks Iraq was a good idea. The tenure of Rumsfeld as SecDef was an unmitigated disaster, the enlisted despised his sarcastic snarkiness which disrespected their sacrifice, and a whole bunch of Iraq vets ran for office as dems. so much for the usual "all military are Republicans". By Obama keeping Gates showed he wanted what was best for the military, not his "man" in the position. and McCrystal is on record as saying "the Prez insisted, demanded from me my true and very own opinion on Afghanistan, not what I thought he wanted to hear." The neo-cons couldn't even handle three traditionally married women with kids saying "We're ashamed the President is from our state." they sent the conservative media after them to the point they were professionally ostarsized and received death threats. Yet conservatives have shown time and time again how rude, ignorant, bigoted and arrogant they are with things like Barack the Magic Negro cd, the racist and namecalling rallies, the guntoting idiots at townhalls, etc...HYPOCRITES!!!! and when we realize that the only assasinated politicians in the last 50 years have been democrats, McVeigh was a rightwing terrorist, Watergate, Iran/Contra, and now Phonegate in LA. oh right, I forgot about Pres Clinton lying about extra marital sex, but no one died and no one went to prison with that scandal. But the speaker of the house was guilty of the same thing so more hypocrisy....

Posted by: katem1 | January 28, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

In case anyone missed these studies of the Iraq War deaths, here is the not-so-final body count of William Kristol's "success". Personally I don't think humanity can stomach many more neocon "success" stories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORB_survey_of_Iraq_War_casualties

"On Friday, 14 September 2007, ORB (Opinion Research Business), an independent polling agency located in London, published estimates of the total war casualties in Iraq since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.[1] At over 1.2 million deaths (1,220,580), this estimate is the highest number published so far. From the poll margin of error of +/-2.5% ORB calculated a range of 733,158 to 1,446,063 deaths. The ORB estimate was performed by a random survey of 1,720 adults aged 18+, out of which 1,499 responded, in fifteen of the eighteen governorates within Iraq, between August 12 and August 19, 2007.[2][3] In comparison, the 2006 Lancet survey suggested almost half this number (654,965 deaths) through the end of June 2006. The Lancet authors calculated a range of 392,979 to 942,636 deaths."

Posted by: B2O2 | January 28, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Kurthunt says:

"OMG!!!!!!!!!!

Why does Wapo STILL have this whack-job writing stuff on their pages?? I mean, for real! The man is retarded. He's a jew! We get it already! Jews: good. Everybody else: bad.

We get it! We get it!"

Kurt, don't whack-jobs usually see things that aren't there? Like any reference whatsoever in this piece to being Jewish or otherwise?

Posted by: stout77 | January 28, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm really looking forward to a similar triumph in Afghanistan.

Posted by: brucemcarnes | January 28, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Obama didn't win - he and his traitor buddies (Harry Reid being another) should be in leg irons in Leavenworth for what they did to undermine our military during a time of war.

Barry's galaxy-sized ego gets in the way of acknowledging the sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, marines and airman because to admit we've won would be to admit that (once again) Barry and the far-left lunatics in this country were wrong.

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Billy, you were so much funnier in your Comedy Relief days. Like Dennis Miller you're just sad now.

On your victory see Pyrrhic victory. Another such victory and America will be undone.

Posted by: dilburt | January 28, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

But with all the money we spent liberating Iraq, we could have another "stimulus" bill to shovel even more taxpayers dollars at Democrat donors and far left organizations who advocate more left wing lunacy.

Money well spent, we need more tax fattened socialists in this country lecturing the rest of us on how to live our lives.

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

One thing is quite clear, William Kristol is a revisionist with zero credibility.

Posted by: JKJ88 | January 28, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Zero credibility?

Well, a columnist with "zero credibility" as you say, is a shade less dangerous than a President and his entire incompetent, corrupt political party, with "zero credibility".

How do pacifists "shoot the messanger" with government purchased syringes?

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

67 minutes were bi-partisan, because Obama's a Moderate.

Only spent 2 minutes chiding the Republicans for fighting 2 unfunded wars and unfunded tax cuts which doubled the National debt in 8 years. The Republicans sunk in their chairs, squirming like embarrassed school boys caught looking up the girls dresses. I thought some might die of shame.

Obama's final words - Stop the partisan bickering. Both parties are responsible to do their job and fix America. Yes, Obama is more statesman than politician.

Time for all to put America first and their petty politics second. Time for the Party of Debt Doesn't Matter to take responsibility for their actions and get to work with the Democrats to fix America. Time for all Conservatives to demand the Party of No join Obama in a bi-partisan fix of America. Alternatively it is time for all true Conservatives, as in debt does matter, to abandon the Republicans.

Posted by: chucky-el | January 28, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Krystal, you are a mentally sick person. What have we won in Iraq and is it worth the 4000 or so Americans killed or the +100,000 Iraqi's, including babies, killed? Wait a few years and you will see that Iraqi's are not going to be our friends. They are going to have terrible memories of our unjustified war of choice against their county.
By the way, did you watch the republicans on TV last night during the state of the union address. They were behaving like 1st graders. It is so nice that with all the troubles this country has, John Boehner has time to look so pretty. He must be spending a terrific amount of time in tanning booths somewhere, or else he has time and money to go to fancy resorts to get tanned.

Posted by: PaulofAnnapolis | January 28, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I must say that I really dislike it when folks who disagree with a columnist level _ad hominem_ attacks against him/her. F'rinstance, I think Charles Krauthammer is most often condescendingly obnoxious and badly mistaken, but calling him a traitor and poking fun at his physical disability seems peevish and mean-spirited. But after reading this "piece" (of what is a pertinent question, but I digress . . .) by Kristol, I feel like doing launching an _ad hominem_ attack against him myself. I have to wonder why he continues to be paid.

So, Bill . . . . You want the president to pretend that Iraq was a good idea, to say "Mission Accomplished," and repeat the other neocon nonsense which you constantly spout. You're offended he didn't say, "Good job, Billy! You were correct all along!"??? You want him to say "We prevailed." I think that a statement like "We are finally extricating ourselves from this stupendously ill-considered, falsely-promoted and poorly-conceived disaster" would suffice admirably.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | January 28, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I must say that I really dislike it when folks who disagree with a columnist level _ad hominem_ attacks against him/her. F'rinstance, I think Charles Krauthammer is most often condescendingly obnoxious and badly mistaken, but calling him a traitor and poking fun at his physical disability seems peevish and mean-spirited. But after reading this "piece" (of what is a pertinent question, but I digress . . .) by Kristol, I feel like doing launching an _ad hominem_ attack against him myself. I have to wonder why he continues to be paid.

So, Bill . . . . You want the president to pretend that Iraq was a good idea, to say "Mission Accomplished," and repeat the other neocon nonsense which you constantly spout. You're offended he didn't say, "Good job, Billy! You were correct all along!"??? You want him to say "We prevailed." I think that a statement like "We are finally extricating ourselves from this stupendously ill-considered, falsely-promoted and poorly-conceived disaster" would suffice admirably.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | January 28, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol's article on mission accomplished in Iraq typifies the white elephant mentality built on arrogance and lack of any compassion. The jury is still out on the political stability in Bagdad and will remain so for some time while powerbrokers jockey for position. Bomb attacks continue and reconstruction hinges on increased security measures. Kristol typifies the critic who never donned a uniform and served his country. For Kristol, regime change was a success, but at what cost to American lives, whether in body bags or psychological scarring, not to mention deaths of Iraqi civilians which for him is irrelevant. To him it is of no importance as long as the mission is accomplished.

Posted by: juke2 | January 28, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I wish to add more. It is clear that republicans are going to continue to block and obstruct every thing that the Obama administration wants to do.
Lets use our majority in both houses to really pass some meaningful legislation that helps Americans, not corporations or politicians. The hell with the GOP and all of their posturing members--please study the TV clips of the State of the Union address and look at the expressions and gestures of this bunch of GOP jerks who place all priority on getting re-elected and care not a wit for the working class in this country.

Posted by: PaulofAnnapolis | January 28, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Barry should have given a shout out to dear ol' Saddam, Uday and Qusay, Allah rest their souls.

He should have had Rev. Wright on stage to pour a bottle of Old Gold on the ground, in tribute to his dead homies.

Think of what ACORN and other "community organizers" could have done with the money we spent on Iraq! The Democrats might still have 60 Senators!

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"It is clear that republicans are going to continue to block and obstruct every thing that the Obama administration wants to do."

Confound those representatives - they won't vote for the corrupt nonsense Pelosi scribbled in crayon on construction paper.

Here's an idea - if Democrats want votes for their legislation, perhaps they should write legislation that deserves the votes.

If Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe can't even be persudaded to vote for your Bill (not to mention a growing number of Democrats), perhaps the Bill isn't very good or popular? Just maybe?

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

“What Obama can't bring himself to say -- we won in Iraq.”

Oh Kristol, you make me so sick.

You fought a country with no weapons, so why would you expect to lose?

Can't you bring yourself to the realization that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, and yet in your mind there still remained an element that with all our bombs we could still lose?

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and every other Republican has repeatedly claimed victory in Iraq years ago.

Have you forgotten your most cherished “Mission Accomplished” banner?

I’ll tell what pisses me off about the War in Iraq, besides the fact that we were repeatedly lied to so that Bush and Cheney could own themselves a few oil fields there, I don’t want to pay for that B.S. lie of a war anymore than any of your Republican psychos want to pay for my health care.

When is the war going to finally be over for you Kristol, or can’t you bring yourself to say the war is over?

Posted by: lindalovejones | January 28, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Won what? Against whom?

It would look a little ridiculous to say "we won when we illegally invaded another country to dispose someone we didn't like, even though they posed no immediate threat to the US" or "we won, in our goal of spending $1 trillion and 5,000 American lives....with nothing to show for it"

Posted by: maurban | January 28, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Bush and Cheney could own themselves a few oil fields"

Thank you Mr. Olbermann, for your comment.

Is there anyone on the left who isn't batsh-t crazy any longer? All that 60's LSD is finally kicking in?

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Remember when he lambasted our generals for having the audacity to say this war would cost more than $50 billion

Posted by: maurban | January 28, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"illegally invaded"

It was illegal? How exactly? When do the trials begin?

And since we will now be taking orders from the U.N., when is Barry going to transition his powers to Brussels?

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

It was still a massive mistake. It will go down in history as a massive mistake. It was a war we never should have fought - if we hadn't, who knows where we would be in Afghanistan? Who knows how many of our soldiers would still be alive? Who knows how much money we would have saved, and how many of our allies we would not have angered - not to mention the Muslim community around the world? Just because it's ending better than we thought it might doesn't mean it was worthwhile.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | January 28, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Fine, question the legality of it. Instead insert "we ignorantly invaded a country that posed no threat to us and wasted $1 trillion dollars and killed over 100,000 women and children for no reason at all"

Posted by: maurban | January 28, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

TO: Opinionated8 who wrote:
“Success is when there is an actual operating government in Iraq with free elections, and security for it's citizens. The recent explosions indicate that hasn't been totally achieved. You claim success too quickly in order to go on hoping we'll believe that what we did was right to begin with.”
______________________

Too quickly? We’ve been there for more than 8 years already, don’t you think if they really wanted to be liberated they’d work a little harder at it themselves?

I can’t afford to pay anymore money to an already rich nation for their liberation, and I can’t even get health care here at home.

Why don’t they pay us back the money we’ve already spent trying to “liberate” them.

Win lose or draw, I don’t want to pay one more penny for that lie called The War in Iraq.


Posted by: lindalovejones | January 28, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

According to Tuesdays's Post: "36 killed in bombings at 3 Baghdad hotel compounds favored by Westerners" Can you imagine that happening in West Germany in 1952? To paraphrase Mark Twain, "News of our victory has been greatly exaggerated."

Posted by: sjpatejak | January 28, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

kristol STILL trying to justify the single worst foriegn policy decision in the entire history of the nation. Amazing. President obama is being kind is just pointing out that Iraq was costly and that we are now leaving. By won does kristol mean "sacrificed trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of lives to install an anti-American Iranian puppet state?" Or does he cheer the very possible future of a broader ME war caused by Iraqi instability? Unbelievable. no decision has ever been made in our history that has a more negative impact on our national security or our national interest than this fiasco. Getting out without making it any worse that it already is is as good as it gets, billy. No "victory" Just not as much dishonor as it might have been.

And how old would saddam be today? 78ish?? Would he be dead or otheriwise gone WITHOUT sacrificing so much???? What a colosal waste and this MORON is still cheerleading. AND we would not be fighting STILL in Afghanistan agains tthe REAL enemies of the United Sates and the free world if MORONS like kirstol had not helped morons like bush start the Iraq war and divert attention from the REAL enemies. My god what a tool.

Posted by: John1263 | January 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Iran won in Iraq. We just did the killing and dying, primarily because we were foolish enough to listen to Mr Krystol and his fellow travelers. (Well, the conservatives were that foolish).
By any substantial measure, they replaced a powerful adversary with a political ally that they can control.

Posted by: dijetlo | January 28, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

We legally invaded a country that had refused to honor a cease fire agreement, which had violated scores of UN agreements, which was shooting at our pilots in the "no-fly" zone, which every intelligence organization the world over believed was manufacturing WMDs, which was murdering its own citizens, etc.

We liberated millions of people who now vote in free elections and we dispatched to the nether worlds some of the worst totaliatarians the world has ever seen.

You hate President Bush, we get that, you and every other member of the Democrat Party. Your blind seething hatred is not based on anything factual, it's based on lies and political spin.

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

How exactly was anyone an "aggressor" agasint hitler? hitler invaded the Sudentenland, then al of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Was told that if he invaded anyone else it would automatically trigger declarations of war. He then invaded Poland Sept. 1 1939. It was not until Dec 9 1941 when Germany declared war on the US that we entered war with hitler. FDR did order the US navy to fire at U boats trying to sink our civilian shipping prior to that, but that is the basic chronology in Europe. Japan invaded China in 1931, Attacked again in 1933 setting up a Japanese puppet state in Manchuria. When they started to take over all of eastern China in 1937 we complained but did really nothing. When in 1941 we cut off oil shippments ad shipment sof scrap steel to Imperial Japan we did so to stop he growth of their war machine, draw tham into war, and raw them AWAY from opening a second front agains the USSR, who at that point was getting pounded by hitlers armies. (Operation Barbarossa) It was not unitl the US was attacked that we declared war against Japan, although this was a legal formality since a direct and deliberate attack on our armed forces creates a legal state of war anyway. FDR actually followed te law and our constitution, not like neo cons of today.

So no, allies were not aggressors in WWII. It was as close to the very definition of "just war" as you can find in all of history.

Posted by: John1263 | January 28, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"This war is ending." But it's ending in a certain way -- with success. It could have ended with failure. Success rather than failure in Iraq has made a big difference elsewhere in the Middle East -- including in Iran.

What an idiot. The war was a disaster. They are killing each other and blowing themselves up at an alarming pace.

Kristol is an idiot. No wonder the NY Times got rid of him.

Posted by: d1233 | January 28, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

i support your review 110%. "THE KING OBAMA" will never give credit where credit is due, unless he is giving it to himself or his staff. He is a fake!!!!! All of his talk leading up to the Presidential election, was just that "TALK", and he can only do that when he has a tele-promt. These elections that just took place has shaken him and other hardcore democrats to the core. He has dug himself a whole he can not get out of. So now "King Obama" will cry foul and blame the Bush administration for past mistakes. Mr. Obama, if you should read this, TAKE NOTE, WRONG WONT WORK. U LIED TO GET THE WHITE HOUSE, AND U WILL LIE AND COMPLAIN YOUR WAY RIGHT OUT OF IT. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TIRED AND ARE, AND WILL SHOW YOU BY THEIR VOTING THIS YEAR AND 2012, AND IF I WAS THE UMPIRE ID BE HAPPY TO THROW YOU OUT OF THE GAME. Honestly Obama is in over his head and it show. Shame on you Mr. President for not giving us the American people more credit. I hope your law practice is still there, for I think you will need a job in 2012. Thank you Mr. Kristol for your honesty and keeping those in public offices feet to the fire.

Posted by: WindyPines | January 28, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

America is fighting FOUR wars right now.

Iraq - no al-Qaeda there.

Afghanistan - no al-Qaeda there.

Drug War - total waste of our tax dollars

and the Black Ops off-budget (black budget) war against al-Qaeda in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

We can only afford ONE war.

It's the last one.

BRING ALL OUR TROOPS HOME! NOW!

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 28, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Okay Bill try it this way: A guy drives his car, filled with his friends (are they all drunk?), down the wrong road; runs over many innocent pedestrians, and winds up in a deep ditch. Rescuers arrive and gradually pull everyone out of the ditch, repair the car, and heal the injured the best they can. You call this "a success". I call it negligent manslaughter.

Posted by: fmasterpasqua | January 28, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Zero also didn't say "I hear you. You don't want an ill-conceived, rushed "solution" to one of the world's best health care systems, you don't want to continue to bankrupt the country beyond saving, you don't believe government is the primary solution to our problems, you may even believe government is the primary cause of many of our problems."

Posted by: mtumbadjibouti | January 28, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@Captain_Universe
No, Germany was the aggressor against the Allies in WWII. Hitler invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The aggressor is the nation that starts military action. Iraq was the aggressor against Kuwait in 1990, Afghanistan was the aggressor against the United States in 2001, and the United States was the aggressor against Iraq in 2003.

The Iraq war was a failure from the start, because it started. We have alienated and radicalized Muslims around the world, turned friendly countries into neutrals and neutrals into hostiles. We destroyed infrastructure, violated rights, abandoned principles, sacrificed our nation's security, treasure, reputation, and blood. We have armed, trained, and funded a new generation of Islamic militants (Shi'ites and Sunnis) in Iraq with very little goodwill from them to show for our effort. The minimal gain of a marginally better government in Iraq (for however long it might last) is far outweighed by the prices paid.

Posted by: lartfromabove | January 28, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Any one thinks Iraq war is the right choice is NUTS!

Just imagine, if no Iraq war:
1. Afghanistan is done. Bush gains political capital.
2. He has political capital to tackle entitlement reform and cut the deficit.
3. The financial crisis may not be as deep since it can be addressed early on.

Instead in 2005 and 2006, Bush can talk only about Iraq war and he goes down the history as one of the WORST presidents.

Posted by: in_starbucks | January 28, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Have we really turned Iraq around? And if we have, isn't it because will still have about 130,000 troops there? What happens when we leave? My own suspicion is that Iraq will revert to the civil war, massacre, dictatorship, murder and endless coups that have characterized Iraq since its creation.

Governments propped up by US bayonets seldom last when the bayonets are gone.

Posted by: Carl_Goss | January 28, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I want whatever drugs Bill Kristol is on b/c he is clearly numbed out of his mind and in a pure fantasy world. That's some GOOD STUFF! He should get out of writing and start selling whatever it is...he'll make a fortune!

Posted by: B-rod | January 28, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Well

I guess the Washington Post is owned now.

Oil ads and Kristol.

Kristol here ?

my god

What's next.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Kristol

The intel on Iraq was WRONG

I'd argue it was ILLEGAL to GO INTO IRAQ.

Enjoy FEDERAL POUND ME IN THE MOUTH PRISON Kristol.

If you promote Iraq as a success.

IT was a CRIME

You call Abu Ghraib WINNING

YOU SICK SICK MAN.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Why did the WP give this guy a voice ?

He's one real sick mother.

Win ? Abu Ghraib was a WIN ?

The intel was WRONG

We never had ANY right to GO INTO IRAQ.

But - we won ?

No, it was called ILLEGAL BILLY.

Gee, what ELSE do you promote that's illegal- and why you always got that grin ? What ELSE are you doing that's illegal BILLY ?

You - sir - are NOT your father - and that's a win and loss - because he's dead.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This guy just likes to provoke with tongue in cheek bizarre, outlandish statements. Shame on WaPo for giving him a forum.

Posted by: qualquan | January 28, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps my last comment was irreverent on a personal level.

BUT Kristol is using his voice here to be equally irreverent by attempting to let in one more pre-programmed cheap shot on President Obama - USING Iraq ? to do so ?

The CIA intel that led us into Iraq was FAULTY.

We know this now.

We had NO grounds to go into Iraq.

Billy, you can't just bring a Westernized Pill of democracy and shove it down Iraqi's throats. That's a very complicated region - with a LONG history.

MANY people died in Iraq Billy, many more die EVERY DAY - there are more suicide - truck/car bombs in Iraq NOW than before.

You call THAT a win ? What ? don't you READ the Washington Post ? Bombs go off almost DAILY in Iraq.

THAT - my friend, is NO win.

I argue the Iraqi war WAS illegal to boot.

Second, we brought Ashcroft's message on Abu Ghraib "And now Iraq can get a taste of Western Democracy and Justice".

No, survivors of Abu Ghraib speak of the OVENS in the back used for human bodies - THAT is no WIN.

THAT you USE an illegal war ? to present some 'high' moral ground to then purport you can 'look down' onto President Obama for not calling Iraq a WIN ?

REAL shallow Kristol - my last post doesn't even come CLOSE to being SHALLOW.

As far as I'm concerned - you wrote this as yet one more attempt to help pave the way for the next election.

You have nothing GOOD to bring.

Maybe you didn't check Kristol - Fusion is 2 years away- ALL OIL DIES when Lawrence Livermore Labs releases success on fusion.

The ENTIRE FIASCO was a money grab - the LAST days of Petro - and you attempt to present this as some moralistic success ?

RETHINK it Kristol.

Please- TRY and rethink your message.

Maybe you should wipe that grin off your face- since you're so 'right'.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"By the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide," Prime Minister Brown said in London. He's sending more British soldiers to die in Afghanistan.

Gordon Brown is as much a pet poodle for Obama, as Tony Blair was a lap dog for Bush. When it comes to war, Obama is just as reckless and stupid as Bush. If you are consistent - if you hate Bush - you hate Obama, too.

Posted by: alance | January 28, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Where is your magic ball Kristol

After we uprooted the middle east ?

You are just DARNED sure 'terrorists' would have popped up and come to attack the United States ?

Is THAT what you're saying ?

What WAS the threat ?

And why stop at Iraq then ? Why not just go nation by nation Kristol - until enough people have died - and even more are provoked to bring forward the very thing you claim these illegal wars are 'protecting' us from.

What's next ?

The war on 'fear' ?

How about a war on 'ignorance' ?

Sorry Kristol - your cheap shot didn't score.


Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I cannot stop thinking - Dear Neo-Cons,

Iran thank you for making it strong and free of enemy in Middle East.

Bin laden thank you for saving his life bying directing US force few thousand miles away.

While even the Iraqi do not like you because you badly mess up their country (only if you care about them).

Posted by: in_starbucks | January 28, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

obama can never be wrong, bill...
it is a symptom of his disease,
he should be in a state home for
impaired/retarded children raised
by old white people in hawaii,
because thier mother and her muslim
boytoy, didnt have time to raise
a son. he cant even throw a baseball.

Posted by: simonsays1 | January 28, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes. He did not mention Iraq. Progressives want him to mention Iraq in the context of investigating the lies that led up to the war. War crimes investigation for previous administration officials. Each one of the deaths treated as a war crime and appropriate punishment needs to be dished out. Thanks Bill for reminding.

Posted by: hattrick752 | January 28, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes wonder if Kristol wrote this JUST to see the responses ?

So the Ailes/Rove base can review them and figure out their weaknesses.

I wouldn't be surprised.

The VERY Islamic fundamentalism the Christian fundamentalist base fears ?

SAME thing -

BOTH as dangerous.

One creates the other too.

Kristol and the Coulter / www.humanevents.com crowd NEED an enemy - because they can only define themselves by REACTING.

I'm reaching for something more pro-active myself.

I don't need Kristol and Coulter to 'react to' - just a temporary bump of ignorance on the road to humanity revealing it's full potential - and I GUARANTEE YOU - humanity will not succeed by dividing itself on religion.

Odd - in Latin, I see Religere and Religare- 'to unite' - some scholars say 'to tie back' - and yet ? DOES it unite ?

Either way- I see fusion RIGHT around the corner- Lawrence Livermore Labs says 1 to 2 years TOPS - and they WILL have it working.

THAT day ? Exxon stock tumbles, world markets tumble - Chevron ? Who I see is paying for this web page to load and the WP's salaries ? Since the Chevron ad loads almost every page ?

Even Chevron dies with fusion.


And Good riddance to this oil bound nation and economy.

Fusion will CUT AWAY the ignorant who would actually prop up a phony war to - get those wells back online - it wasn't until July 2008- when Bush FINALLY got Chevron, Conoco, BP, Exxon pumps back online in Iraqi oil fields -to which Saddam had shut off.

THAT is the REAL reason for Iraq.

OIL - and it's SAD we WASTED so many HUMAN resources for a DEAD resource SUCH AS OIL, especially when we are about to see and witness fusion, more energy OUT than in, for the first time in human civilization.

You can't METER unlimited energy resources.

THAT's the beauty.

All Kristol HAS in his peanut parade is threat of terrorism to justify a nation that's been mislead on oil for WAY WAY WAY too long.

Well- oil is about to GO, and GOOD riddance. Maybe Kristol only cares about GEOCODED lives, lives that exist within a nation - no, I care about ALL life- humanity is the LONG TERM WINNER, nationalism is just a temporary bump up from feudalism to which it replaced, or did it even really ?

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow Kristol

THREE who paragraphs -

EMPTY at that.

I've cut through your corporate pig farm bacon fat here -

DING DING DING

Dinner time !

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MyFellowAmericans | January 28, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

No wonder this country is in the mess it's in, when the perspective of the Democrats and the left in general, has the same basis in reality as a Harry Potter novel.

Do you rubes really believe the nonsense you spout? The people who invented the political spin you parrot didn't, why do you ignorant lefties?

Are you lying to us or were you lied to and were stupid enough to believe it?

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding me.... Just days ago three car bombs go off... killing 36 people... and Mr Kristol wants to declare victory in Iraq?? I said it two years ago ...when I was in the Green Zone... I'll say it again... once the US military pulls out... the fighting in Iraq will restart. I swear the jounalist are as bad as the politicians themselves.

Posted by: BobbyYarush | January 28, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Smarmy, insincere, clueless, vacant Kristol: why does the Post keep publishing your droolings?

We'll have "won" when we finish paying for this fiasco.

Posted by: multiplepov | January 28, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

OMG, a car bomb went off, therefore everything is lost.

That's good news because car bombs go off every day in Egypt, Syria and Iran, so we can be sure those governments will topple soon?

Car bombs are the military equivalent of a Halloween prank as are suicide bombers. The desperate tactic of losers hoping to get media coverage and sympathy for their lost cause.

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is always talking and never saying anything.

Posted by: Jerzy | January 28, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

We're down a trillion dollars. Over 4300 Americans are dead and over 30,000 wounded. Countless Iraqis have been killed, hurt, displaced or disappeared. If there can be any "political" gain from this, it could be Iran's as easily as ours. We went into this country seeking weapons that were not there. We disgraced ourselves in the world's eyes, exacerbated terrorism, and emptied our treasury.

And this contemptible, cowardly sunshine patriot preens and gloats.

There's a special circle of hell for William Kristol.

Posted by: Attucks | January 28, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse
=====================================
=====================================
Hmm, I guess Dems only like those wars started by a democratic president.
WWI - Wilson (D), WWII - Roosevelt (D), Korean War (D), Vietnam War - Kennedy/Johnson (D & D)......

Posted by: short1 | January 28, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but can someone please explain again WHAT we won in Iraq? And our enemy there was WHO? Someone the neo-cons lied to us about having weapons of mass destruction? I'm surprised Bill thinks we "won" in Iraq since our oil companies have not yet split up the oil fields amongst themselves as envisioned by Dick Cheney.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | January 28, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

We won in Iraq? Let's see. There are still daily car bombings in Baghdad. US troops are acting as border guards to separate Kurds from Iraqis. An election may or may not happen in March. A Shiia led government heavily influenced by Iran. And, the various Sunni and Shiia factions are just biding their time until they re-commence warfare on one another. All that adds up to quite a win.

Posted by: drlatham22 | January 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Barry has endorsed the war in Iraq, otherwise he would have pulled out all of the troops upon taking office.

Unlike the rest of the juvenile, childish left, Barry finally had to acknowledge reality, that our mission in Iraq was worthy and that it made a difference and that what we've won is worth protecting.

Just because he can't bring himself to admit he was wrong, by keeping the troops there to continue the gains we've made is admission enough.

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 28, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

But Bill, you all said that setting a timetable for withdrawl would encourage the terrorists and endanger our troops? Isn't that what you said? I don't hear anything in your column about the dire warnings you gave us when Senator Obama called for pulling out the troops on a timetable? And if we are leaving Iraq with the "good guys" in power, does that really amount to a "success" when we invaded a country to destroy their stockpile of weapons of mass destruction only to find that they didn't have any? And then had to fight a war against Al Qaeda in Iraq, a group who didn't exist before we invaded? And lost thousands of good men and women in action, and many thousands more injured, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians dead. Exactly what is your definition of "success" Bill?

Posted by: gposner | January 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I could get a job writing for WaPo, I can write fairy tales too. Getting the Japanese Emperor to tell his people don't die for me and see it become the second largest economy in the world is winning. 2 million professionals and businessmen bugging out never to return while the Shia/Sunni fighting goes on is not a win.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 28, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Memo to CaptainUniverse: Can you say Centcomm commander Petraeus children? Success does have it's rewards. Unfortunately Maliki has told Khatami, Please won't your be, my neighbor?

Posted by: jameschirico | January 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If the neo-con who has been wrong on virtually every major question before the American people can't find anything wrong with what Obama said, he will, of course, criticize him for what he didn't say. Same old, same old useless stuff by Billy.

Posted by: DWSouthern | January 28, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

We won? We won what? An award for being the world's biggest and baddest killers of innocent people? An award for destroying other countries that did nothing to hurt us?

I have paid attention to the suffering of the Iraqi people, including the continuing suffering, that this war and occupation brought to them. It has destroyed their country, and either killed injured or made homeless about 7 million innocent souls.


This is just a disgusting piece of writing.

"the war for oil is the war for the beast" and Kristol has the mark of the beast on him.

Posted by: dancewater | January 28, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown: Tells The GOP, Sometimes I'll Vote With You and Sometimnes, I Won't"


Brown Tells The GOP: "I Got Here with a Small Group Of Friends,To Get Down Here"


I Told You all, Scott Brown is an Independent-Moderate.

GOP Followers Call Him a [RINO] But he Never Used Republican Logo & He Rejected Republican Help. Especially Romney and Palin.
________________

BOSTON — Scott Brown says he has already told Senate Republican leaders they won't always be able to count on his vote. The man who staged an upset in last week's Massachusetts Senate special election, in part by pledging to be the 41st GOP vote against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he staked his claim in early conversations with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip Jon Kyl.

"I already told them, you know, `I got here with the help of a close group of friends and very little help from anyone down there, so there'll be issues when I'll be with you and there are issues when I won't be with you,'" Brown said Thursday during the half-hour interview. "So, I just need to look at each vote and then make a proper analysis and then decide."

Asked how McConnell and Kyl responded, Brown said, "They understood. They said, `You can probably do whatever you want, Scott. And, so, just let us know where your head's at, and we'll talk it through, and just keep us posted.'"

The senator-elect did not elaborate on possible breaking points, though the Washington newcomer dismissed any suggestion he will relent once he starts working in the highly partisan capital.

"That's not pressure; pressure is what I'm going through right now," said Brown. He cited his efforts to complete a transition in 2 1/2 weeks, compared with the normal 2 1/2 months for regularly elected senators, while preparing to surrender his responsibilities as a state senator, become a Beltway commuter and resume his triathlon training.

He started Thursday with a one-hour bike ride and 1,500-meter swim.

"I'm trying to do it very well and be balanced and still get my workouts in," said Brown. "There's nothing wrong with having good conversation and debating. We do it here in our own caucus, at a smaller level. ... It's just a different building, really."

Posted by: omaarsblade | January 28, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Earlier this week it was announced that Iran will sell Iraq $5-600 million worth of diesel fuel. This is in addition to the trade deals already in place which have turned Iraq into Iran's cash cow ($4 billion in 2008). This gives Iran valuable foreign currency with which to fund it's nuclear weapons buildup and to fund terrorism.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, explain again how the US won in Iraq?

Posted by: MichaelF1 | January 28, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Has William Kristol ever written an article that did not revolve around Iran? Pity he has to view the world through his prism of neo-conservatism, otherwise he might see the positive aspects of the Obama administration.

Posted by: adams88 | February 1, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

So now it's fine to invade any country at any time for any reason and feel good about it just so long as we win! I don't think so!!

Posted by: ronteppins | February 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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