Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bill Kristol Makes Me Apoplectic

I popped a vein in my forehead last night watching the interview with Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show.

AAAAHHH! I am not even well-informed about Iraq, but it seems to me that the rhetoric of the American supporters of the war seems to be echoing the rhetoric that has justified the oppression of the Shia by the Sunni in Iraq. Shia are inferior and Iranian.

Kristol framed the bad guys as the Shia militia and Al Qaeda and the good guys as the Iraqi insuregents who are now turning against Al Qaeda. He is perpetuating the myth that Iraqis are (a)not Shia and (b)not responsible for any of the violence in their country. This argument reinforces our unbelievable ignorance of the differences between the Shia and the Sunni along with subtly regulating the Shia to non-Iraqi status. It does nothing to educate us. It also buys in to the claim that the Iranians and Al Qaeda -- 2 outside forces -- are responsible for the destabilization of Iraq. While I do think both have been destructive forces, certainly their influence in Iraq is vastly overstated. This argument does nothing to call to question the common use of Iran as the bogeyman along with the Iraqi-Sunni notion that the majority Shia population are "Iranians".

Maybe Bill Kristol should be reading Abu Aardvark:

Sure, some insurgent groups have been willing to take American weapons in order to rout their local rivals and to beef up their capabilities in advance of an anticipated showdown with the Shia militias (and Iraqi government) when the Americans finally leave. I long ago pointed out the real grievances that these groups had against an over-aggressive al-Qaeda (Islamic State of Iraq) muscling in on their territory, and I have no doubts that the strategy of arming 'former' insurgents and Sunni tribes is having some effect at the local level. But this has little to do with the insurgency's overarching strategy or its views of either the American presence or the current Iraqi government. Listen to what the leaders of the insurgency groups actually say, not to what American spokesmen project upon them: the major insurgency factions remain committed to fighting until the Americans withdraw and the current political system is revised.

Oh yeah, and war with Iran is not a bad idea. Yep, Kristol said that. See for yourself.

It's a bad idea, people.


Anonymous said...

A war with Iran would hit home in the US, literally. I think some people don't realize that. How the Iranian gov't would strike back (not to mention all the ticked Iranian populace) is up for debate (so I'm told).

Tori said...

The Iranian government uses unspecified threats to US interests all over the world the same way we use the threat of bombing the nuclear infrastructure. Both could happen, maybe. It's in both country's best interest to keep the other wondering.

Just because I do not want to see Iran bombed does not mean that I trust their government...

christopher said...

don't sweat it. bill kristol has no credibility on the issue.

kristol, columnist charles krauthammer, bush, and cheney will be the last ones standing on the whole remake-the-middle-east fantasy. they sound more and more absurd by the week.

the american public is ready to get the hell out of the region. much like we wanted to get the hell out of southeast asia 30 years ago.

Anonymous said...

While it is true that the U.S. people want out of the Middle East, the government of any country, and I mean any country that threatens the oil supply to the West will change that attitude overnight, and encounter the full weight of the U.S. military. Don't doubt it for a second

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

It was "the full weight of the U.S. military" in Iraq which drove oil prices from $25 pre-Iraq invasion, to $75 today. "Don't doubt it for a second"!


Anonymous said...

To anonymous #2 or GM:
Alas, truth of your statement does not negate the truth of anonymous #1.
My cynicism also allows for the possibility that the U.S. strategy in the Middle East is to create a Sunni vs Shia conflict so that arms may be traded to both to recoup the spent petro dollars. I doubt this, but only for a second.

Tori said...

I also believe that public opinion in America could change quickly... I don't think that the Sunni and the Shia need any help with conflict. They seem to have plenty of practice.

Marie said...

Warmongers, all of them, seeking to gain monetary gain or egotistically based power by inflicting unspeakable horror, bloodshed and pain upon countless people and animals. Yet we are the ones who give our power away to them. Instead of being guided by Jeffersonian ideals, we in the U.S. are being governed by the children of buffalo skinners. We have been lulled into believing that the 'other' is the enemy, forgetting that we are all citizens of Earth. Wake up! We have the power to reclaim our legacy if enough people would stop sleepwalking, watching mindless shows and playing mindless games while the world burns.

Tom - ex RA said...


Lets just hold hands with Bin Laden & sing Kum-By_Ya (in arabic of course).

Tori said...

I am always amazed that people who question the US response to threats against us are told to, in the words of tom-ex ra, "sing "kum ba ya" with Bin Laden."

It's such a facile response. We know that the war with Iraq has actually strengthened Al Qaeda:

QUOTE The U.S. invasion of Iraq took the pressure off al Qaeda in the Pakistani badlands and opened new doors for the group in the Middle East. It also played directly into the hands of al Qaeda leaders by seemingly confirming their claim that the United States was an imperialist force, which helped them reinforce various local alliances. UNQUOTE

Read the rest at Foreign Affairs: Al Qaeda Strikes Back


Marie said...

As a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, the aftermath of which the horror, burning and pollution lasted many months, I would have appreciated if Bin Laden and his accomplices had been captured and brought to justice, rather than this bloody and expensive war. Much intelligence would have been gleaned and it would have dealt a blow to Al Qaeda, who attacked us twice.

As an American, I possess a sacred right and obligation to participate in our democracy, for which I feel truly blessed. To ignore one's responsibility as an American citizen is to fail to self-educate, fail to speak freely, and to mindlessly accept any governmental decree or action without question. That is an abdication of duty.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marie.

After WWII we held the Nuremburg war trials where we found men guilty for following orders. Just following orders was not a defense. When our country is wrong it is our duty to stand up and not blindly follow.

Anonymous said...

Bush and his warmongers don't care about al-qaeda or bin Laden. They wanted to get Hussein before they stepped foot in the White House.

First it was WMD, then it was to "spread democracy" and liberate millions of people. Unfortunately a million Iraqis are dead and don't realize they were "liberated."

Most Americans, except for the Bush Cult don't want to be in Iraq, much less start another war!

Let's face it, Bush is guilty of genocide and should be tried as a war criminal. I'm not afraid of another terrorist attack; I'm afraid of my own government.

Die, Bush Die.