COLUMN: Conservative Kristol unclear

By Eric Naing

Hypothetically speaking, say you invade and occupy a country under false pretenses, suffer the loss of more than 2500 of your own soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians, destabilize the country to the point of civil war and lose all credibility on the world stage. What would you do next?

If you were leading neoconservative thinker William Kristol the answer would be to do it all over again, but this time invade an even more threatening and powerful country.

Kristol is arguably one of the most influential voices in modern American conservatism. Founder and editor of The Weekly Standard, Kristol argued in his 1998 article, “Saddam Must Go,” that we had to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein could have “biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles.” Kristol is also Chairman and co-founder of influential neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, which (surprise, surprise) advocated invading Iraq in 1998 and 2000. Many PNAC members became key members in the current Bush administration including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz.

Not surprisingly, the Republicans took Kristol’s bait and invaded Iraq. Fast forward to the present day and you see a bungled invasion of Iraq and an even worse-off occupation with no end in sight.

Having been exposed as a clueless foreign policy hack, Bill Kristol was forced to dismantle the PNAC and The Weekly Standard. He now lives in a self-imposed neocon exile, living with all those dead soldiers and civilians in his conscience … or maybe the exact opposite.

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    In the real world, The Weekly Standard still exists, PNAC is going strong and Bill Kristol is a regular fixture on the political talk show circuit.

    On a recent Fox News appearance, Kristol said, “We have to be ready to use military force against Iran” because of “its close, close ties to terrorist groups” and its nuclear weapons. When asked how Iran would be different from Iraq, Kristol responded “the Iranian people dislike their regime” and that American military force could “cause them to reconsider whether they really want to have this regime in power.”

    Talk about deja vu. Wasn’t it Paul Wolfowitz who once said of the Iraqi people, “I am reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators”? Pretty soon, Rumsfeld will be promising us that invading Iran will be a cakewalk.

    I am not about to claim that Iran is not a threat, but after the disaster that was and still is our Iraq adventure, attacking Iran seems more and more like the worst idea since, well, we invaded Iraq.

    We have thousands of troops actively fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, severely limiting any further military action. Just look at how little a role the United States is playing in the current Middle East crisis to see how limited we are militarily. And that’s not even considering the hornet’s nest we would stir up by attacking Iran.

    Things such as diplomacy and containment can and will work. We just have to learn to tune out Kristol’s neocons and their dreams of American empire.