June 23, 2008

Bill Kristol hates babies

Bill Kristol, the New York Times' 65-pound eight-year-old linebacker, is at it again with a column, or something vaguely resembling one, about that MoveOn ad where a mother tells John McCain that she won't sacrifice her baby on the altar of his hundred-year plan for Iraq. Here are Kristol's objections.

Now it might be pedantic to point out that John McCain isn’t counting on Alex to serve in Iraq, because little Alex will only be 9 years old when President McCain leaves office after two terms.

The word you're looking for isn't "pedantic," it's "idiotic." Does Kristol really think a president can't establish policy that will continue to have an effect decades after he leaves office?

And it might be picky to remark that when McCain was asked whether U.S. troops might have to remain in Iraq for as long as 50 years, he replied, “Maybe 100” — explaining, “As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, it’s fine with me, and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world. ...”

In other words, McCain is open to an extended military presence in Iraq, similar to ones we’ve had in Germany, Japan or Kuwait. He does not wish for, nor does he anticipate, a 100-year war in Iraq.

Not "picky," "desperate." Germany and Japan are not "volatile parts of the world." And it will be many decades before Iraq is remotely like Kuwait (where we've only had permanent bases for about 15 years, and how has that worked out?) in terms of either stability or geopolitical significance -- and thanks to the Bush-McCain foreign policy, Kuwait may head in the direction of Iraq, rather than the other way around.

Andrew Sullivan has made short work of this objection already. "McCain's position is that he'd be fine with stationing American troops in fifty permanent bases in the middle of Mesopotamia for the next century or more. The woman in the ad is perfectly entitled to believe that such troops would not be in the same position as troops in South Korea or Germany."

So, why, I wondered after first seeing the MoveOn ad, did I find it so ... creepy? I was having trouble putting my finder on just why until I came across a post by a mother of a soldier recently deployed in Iraq, at the Web site BlueStarChronicles.com

First of all putting my finder on?! I apologize for ever having called Bill Kristol a hack, since the man has come up with a phrase that has apparently has been used only twice before in all recorded history. And don't tell me about the proximity of the D and G keys. I prefer to believe the man is a poet than a poor typist.

But more importantly...

Remember when the New York Times held its op-ed columnists to higher standards than wingnut blogs. I'm shocked Kristol didn't go all the way and accuse Alex's mother of being an actress and suggest that Obama is a secret Muslim. (Kristol lifted his pedantic argument from this site too.)

In the United States, individuals can choose to serve in the military or not. The choice not to serve should carry no taint, nor should it be viewed with the least prejudice. If Alex chooses to pursue other opportunities, he won’t be criticized by John McCain or anyone else.

Except that McCain's only memorable line from the GOP primaries was attacking the dirty hippies at Woodstock who avoided service while he was in Nam.

The MoveOn ad is unapologetic in its selfishness, and barely disguised in its disdain for those who have chosen to serve — and its contempt for those parents who might be proud of sons and daughters who are serving. The ad boldly embraces a vision of a selfish and infantilized America, suggesting that military service and sacrifice are unnecessary and deplorable relics of the past.

And the sole responsibility of others.

Forget that what Alex's mother is obviously trying to say is that she doesn't want anyone's son slaughtered on McCain's altar. The rich irony here has to do with the fact that virtually no one among Kirstol's neocon shock troops cohorts has ever volunteered to serve, or encouraged their sons or daughter to. [Update: I'm informed that Michael Ledeen has two sons in the Marines; the exception that proves the rule]. No wonder he threw in that line about not criticizing people for "pursuing other opportunities." I'm not disagreeing with him about that. I'm just pointing out that Bill Kristol and his pals, no less than Alex's mother, expect other people's children to bear responsibility for them. The difference is that Kristol deceitfully pushed an immoral foreign policy that has so far caused the deaths of more than 4,000 of those children. How is that less selfish and disdainful?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


FYI - I served, my husband served, and we would be thrilled to have our son serve if he so desired. We are NeoCon wingnuts, according to your definition, and I know many, many neocons who have served in the military - voluntarily.

You can't fairly compare a volunteer force as we have now, and will likely have from now on with a force that was populated by draftees.

The volunteers in the military don't want draftees. I don't really understand why you left wingnuts don't understand this.

My use of "shock troops" may have been inappropriate, as I meant to describe the neocon elite who populate the media and government -- most of whom have not served and have no interest in serving.

I'm not understanding the rest of your comment. Who made such a comparison?

It occurs to me now that I could have found room in my post to link the Bush-McCain Iraq policy to the decline in enlistment. A permanent mission in Iraq is already harming our military as young adults look at the situation and decide to pursue other opportunities.

Bill Kristol is a punk. He had another column at the beginning of the month taking Obama to task for a commencement speech where he didn't include the military as honorable service towards the country. Which is a fair argument, considering I see Bill hanging out by the 42nd Street recruiting station all the time.

Yeah, that was another one he lifted right from the blogowebs. I bet with a little legwork, you could trace every one of his columns to one of a half dozen blogs. Totally hackery.

2 things:

--As much as I think Billy the K is a "major league asshole" (as Cheney might say), I thought the Move-On commercial was lame. The young men and women who volunteer for service are not being handed over to the military by their moms. ("You can't have him."?) If there was a draft the spot might work.

--Why do people who served in the military seem to feel they are the only ones with a valid opinion about the invasion and occupation of Iraq? And if not, why do they feel the need to begin the discussion with "FYI I served ..." (Thank you for your service Beth, but unless you are advocating a military dictatorship, my opinion counts too!)

I don't feel I'm the only one with a valid opinion about the military. I think open discussion is very worthy - I just keep seeing the left side of the political spectrum calling those of us on the right ChickenHawks - like we never served and have no right to comment because the left is convinced we never served.

The fact is, as I see it, all of us have the right co comment on anything - and it has nothing, nothing to do with who you are or how you make your living. I said FYI, I served simply because the author of the post implied that all neocons are completely unaware of the military and have never served.

That's all.

Man, first McCain calls his wife a cunt and now Kristol is talking about taint. Neo-cons just can't keep their heads out of the crotch.

I guess Kristol is a chickenhawk, in the sense he wants to send other people's kids to war. Chickenhawk also means to find other people's underage sons sexually enticing, and Billy ain't the type for that.

While he may not be the world's most masculine adult male, Bill seems totally hetero vanilla. If he ever colored outside the lines sexually it would have happened centuries ago when he and Alan Keyes were roommates at Harvard. Imagine being a fly on the wall while those two fought over the rubber dress.

Maybe someone on here will explain why Kristol is always smiling, or whatever, inappropriately ? ....Oh, I forgot ! He's 'Bushworld'.

Bad ad, bad war. I know which is worse. No amount of faux indignation will wash the blood from Kristol's Joker smile. Volunteers are not babies but none ever lost so much as an eyelash for being called one.
As for service there's an Eric Shinseki for every Ricardo Sanchez, a Smedley Butler for every 5 Curtis leMays, and over 4,500 graves for every George W. Bush.

I don't think Daniel or any other lefty ever claimed that all neocons are chickenhawks. It just so happens that a huge proportion of neocon pundits are.

Also, let's keep this straight: It was Bush who said "Major League Asshole." Cheney's response was "yeah, big time."

Thanks, Vance.

But if it comes out of Bush's mouth, I assume vice signed off on it.

"We are NeoCon wingnuts"
Is "neocon" not a derogatory name for people who are megalomaniac liberals pretending to be conservatives so they can co-opt conservatives' patriotism to start wars? The name "neocon", as it is colloquially used, means deceptive, belligerent liberal provoking war. when did this become a badge of honor?

Do you mean NeoCons are really Jews? I resemble that remark!

"I just keep seeing the left side of the political spectrum calling those of us on the right ChickenHawks - like we never served and have no right to comment because the left is convinced we never served."

Beth, if you're still around, Kristol was the one saying that people are selfish if they don't want their kids to serve in the great Iraq fuck-up. That makes it very relevant to consider whether Kristol or family members have ever shown any inclination to serve.

The reason liberals are always talking about chickenhawks is that wingnuts act as if having a particular preference in foreign policy is the same as being tough, brave and patriotic.

Back to your first comment. You say: "The volunteers in the military don't want draftees. I don't really understand why you left wingnuts don't understand this." Liberals don't believe that soldiers decide whether or not there will be a draft. We believe politicians decide that, and a politician who wants our country to occupy the heart of the Middle East for a century may very well find himself deciding that a draft is necessary.

If you don't understand why we believe this, there's not much anyone can do for you.

"Remember when the New York Times held its op-ed columnists to higher standards than wingnut blogs."

Yes, and then Paul Krugman started writing for them.

Does Kristol's (weak) argument mean that all the soldiers get to come home when Bush II leaves office???

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