So let me get this straight: Newsweek magazine has handed Karl Rove a column to rewrite the history of the Bush administration as he pleases, and The New York Times has just hired William Kristol as a commentator to spread his unique brand of intellectually dishonest warmongering? Talk about hangover from the Bush binge! Wow! Just when you think the corporate media cannot sink any lower they dive deeper into the morass and surprise you!
Today, the final day of 2007, the Times waxed eloquently in its masthead editorial about how the neo-cons and Christian nationalists comprising the Bush administration have ruined the country by undermining everything America supposedly stood for in the world. "And, by the way, we're hiring William Kristol to offer our readers his important insights about how the world works." Un-fucking-believable! Happy New Year Bill!
This is a person who has lied over and over again in virtually all of his public utterances about the U.S. role in the world and particularly the U.S. role in the Middle East, which is supposed to be his forte. Kristol has been a cheerleader for every failed violent murderous policy that the plutocrats and cronies inside the Bush-Cheney Beltway clique have conjured up. He has been wrong constantly -- murderously wrong. Kristol has consistently extolled the "benefits" to our nation's standing in the world of a belligerent imperial foreign policy that tells the rest of the world to go to hell and threatens violence against any nation that refuses to fall in line.
If Kristol were a fashion or film commentator then his ideological rantings would not mean a whole hell of a lot. But he has played a role in fomenting real world policies that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people. I'm sure his kids will never serve in the U.S. military, just as he ducked service while calling for greater levels of violence in Southeast Asia when he was of fighting age. But ideas matter. And Kristol has been an architect of many of the policies that the Times chose to decry in today's editorial.
"Freedom of Speech" does not excuse propaganda and lies that lead us to war.
I would like to remind people that in 1993 William Kristol circulated an influential memo arguing that any and all health care proposals coming out of the Clinton Administration should be opposed "sight unseen." He couldn't be bothered by honestly assessing the merits of the Clinton health care plan, he wanted the Republicans to just crush it to stop the Democrats from attaining any victory.
Kristol was also a constant source of phony accusations during the entire Monica Lewinsky episode and had close ties to Kenneth Starr's office even while pretending to be an independent commentator. Clinton "cannot survive" he concluded early on in one of his many television appearances. Kristol said on ABC's This Week: "It is a fact that [Clinton aide] Sidney Blumenthal has called members of the press to try to get them to look into congressmen's private lives." That statement was proven to be completely false.
I would also like to remind people that in 1996 Kristol was a mover and shaker along with Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and other extremists in calling for a new world order under American military dominance and he relished the possibility of a "new Pearl Harbor" to allow these radicals to make their imperial fantasies our new dismal reality.
In an editorial in The Washington Post during the 2000 presidential campaign entitled, "Gore's Family Values," Kristol wrote: "Al Gore is not a totalitarian. But his willingness to use his family members for political purposes reveals a self-regard and self-absorption, a ruthlessness and lack of restraint, that have taken him into new territory, well beyond George W. Bush, beyond even his master, Bill Clinton."
During the 2000 Florida recount, Kristol called the executive producer of ABC News This Week, Dorrance Smith, who was then in charge of public relations for Bush in Florida, and suggested to him that the overseas absentee ballots could be ginned up into a question of Gore denying members of the armed forces their votes.
In the 1990s, Kristol argued that the fact that Saddam Hussein remained in power after the 1991 Gulf War resulted in "a lack of awe" for the United States. Well, after seven years of a retrograde president following Kristol's ideological imperatives I supposed he now believes the United States has gained back the "awe" of the world.
Kristol never saw a war he didn't love. With 9/11 he saw his opportunity to translate his ideas into action. All he needed was a viable pretext. "No one disputes the nature of the threat," he wrote, "nor is there any doubt that, after September 11, Saddam's weapons of mass destruction pose a kind of danger that we hadn't grasped before."
During the lead up to the Iraq invasion, Kristol told the Senate Foreign Relations committee: "Reconstructing Iraq may prove to be a less difficult task than the challenge of building a viable state in Afghanistan."
After his beloved war became a fait accompli, Kristol wrote: "The mission begins in Baghdad, but it does not end there," and "We stand at the cusp of a new historical era. . . . This is a decisive moment. . . . It is so clearly about more than Iraq. It is about more even than the future of the Middle East and the war on terror. It is about what sort of role the United States intends to play in the world in the twenty-first century."
So now we get to read about Kristol's lovely views of humankind and planet earth in the pages of The New York Times -- Gee, I wonder what profound insights he's going to have about the next war, and the war after that, and the war after that, and on and on and on.
What will it take for the facade on the part of the media, which pretend to desire to give the American people varying viewpoints on the world, going to fall apart and reveal itself as the corporate propaganda machine it truly is? I mean why on earth does a man who has been wrong, wrong, wrong on virtually everything -- history, politics, international relations -- just because he's a right-wing neo-conservative gasbag -- get to disseminate his views so widely in the political discourse? Is this the best the Times can do?
People in power must really like what Mr. Kristol has to say to catapult him to the nation's "paper of record" so he can spew his vitriol and contempt for democracy, habeas corpus, and the rule of law if they happen to interfere with U.S. imperial objectives.
Hooray for the Times! Hooray for the corporate propagandists who must feel the tide turning against their agenda and now wish to redouble their efforts to skew the political debate their way. Their world rests on what Thomas Friedman so eloquently described as the nexus of McDonalds hamburgers and McDonnell Douglas's cruise missiles. If we as a nation are going to learn anything from the disaster of the last seven years it is that we must have limits and repudiate warmongers and philistines like William Kristol and not allow those in power to ram these sons of bitches down our throats any longer!
Enough is enough!