Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Morning Talk: Real Insight from Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday.

Bill Kristol, who consistently demonstrates himself to be the smartest and most articulate panelist on any of the Sunday talk, came up with outstanding commentary on the Obama liberal foreign policy arguments.

First, Kristol identified the fundamental problem with Obama, and through him most liberals, is his
fundamental belief that terrorists have legitimate claims that should be addressed notwithstanding the savagery of their expression. Our political necessity and our nation’s long term security demand and answer to the question Kristol posed: what are the “legitimate claims” that Obama believes are possessed by Hezbollah and Hamas. No one should even contemplate voting for Obama until he answers that question.

Second, Kristol identified the fundamental attack on American multi-lateral diplomacy that Obama’s pursuit of direct Presidential negotiations with the Nazi Ahmadinejad discloses. While Obama talks about multilateral diplomacy, much like his attack on our trade policy with Canada, the few specifics of actual Obama policy bespeak a level of isolationism unseen since Jimmy Carter undercut America’s role in the world.

The synergy of the two questions was unspoken by Kristol. Much like Jimmy Carter, at its best Obama’s world view would inform a policy that is economically isolated and protectionist. At its worst, Obama’s naive beliefs that terror states like Iran and their terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah, would empower those quite self declared enemies of America to entrench existing power bases and expand into newer areas. Iraq and Lebanon seem the rather obvious locations for such expansion, do they not?

Instead of answering fundamental questions Obama poses queries of his own, like why Osama bin Laden is still sending video tapes. That sounds like Obama believes sending mass casualty bombers against the World Trade Center, the American Saudi barracks, the American Embassies, and the USS Cole is preferable to attacking through video tapes? Since Obama probably doesn’t harbor such thoughts why does he so deceitfully deny the enormous progress the US has made in destroying the global terror networks?

The answer, of course, is the fairy tale is the description of Obama’s candidacy as a new post partisan, post racial candidate. Obama’s just a typical radical liberal.


noneed4thneed said...

The title of your post is pretty funny. I find it hard to imagine Kristol providing any insight at all.

Art A Layman said...


I do share, somewhat, your admiration of Bill Kristol. I missed Fox News this morning but I usually watch it and he often comes across as smart and very articulate. He is at his best when he doesn't mount the conservative horse of a different color and speaks in a non-political way. The same is true of his NYT op-eds as opposed to his frequent blather in the Weekly Standard. Even when speaking or writing politically he can present a reasoned, general view of the world. He can, also, tend toward rants similar to yours. Could it be you come by it honestly?

Now I don't believe that Obama has said he will talk with Hamas or Hezbollah. Even if he has, the "legitimate claims" they might possess, could be found in the fact that they were elected as significant players in the governments of the Palestinians and the Lebanese. Militarily they appear the stronger element in both of those governments and are capable of destroying any gains toward peace in both venues. As abhorrent as they are, talking to them, as elements of those respective governments, cannot be equated to talking with Osama.

Iran, which Obama has said he would talk with, is a different situation entirely. They are a soveriegn country and while they engage in actions which we find inappropriate, they are currently impactive in our Iraq endeavors and in the larger issue of nuclear proliferation. To date the lame attempts by Dumbya, with his I won't talk until you agree to agree with me attitude, has gotten us nowhere. Historically, if our talks with friends, allies and enemies were predicated on "clean hands" we would have done a lot of talking to only ourselves.

Are Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations? By definition no doubt and certainly by our view of legitimate military action. Keep in mind that in King George III's view, we too were terrorists, insurgents seeking to overthrow the existing government. Granted we were not interlopers and our tactics were not inhumane but there are similarities. They do quite a bit of humanitarian good for the Palestinians and the poorer Lebanese. Their ideology seeks the elimination of Israel, not just the state. That is a war that is centuries old and it is unlikely that we will successfully change that ideology but we might convince them that there are more urgent problems to address today.

One premise of Dumbya's that I do agree with is that if you can establish a functioning democracy with an economic system that provides reasonable incomes and opportunities, the desire for war and military action wanes.

I think most agree that pure isolationism/protectionism is a bad idea in this growing economic world. At the same time, globalization and free trade has been especially hurtful to our working class population. There is collective wisdom among experts that direct job losses shifting to other countries is a minimal consequence of NAFTA. But the fact that we have trade deficits with those two countries that have grown tremendously since NAFTA, suggest that we are importing many goods that we would have produced here had not NAFTA been passed.

Few, if any, of the goods we import are uniquely Canadian or Mexican so they are shipping us goods that we could have made here. Making them here would have created many more jobs and labor competition would have kept wages rising benefitting our economy and our culture.

We all know we can't undo NAFTA, or at least are not likely to. Some pressures might tend to equalize the affects of NAFTA. Thinking or brainstorming the issue is not likely to cause any major problems.

Video tapes versus deadly crimes? You know that Obama's reference is to the continued existence of Osama and not a comparison of which is more palatable.

We have done a good deal of harm to the global terror network. Alas they are much like a Zebrafish; they can regenerate cells over and over again. Often faster than we can kill them. Our best efforts would be to cut off the head. This doesn't guarantee an ultimate win. It will slow down regeneration significantly. A new head would have to establish "hero" status before becoming a force but we always fail to realize that their timetable is not consistent with our culture of "now".

Obama's criticisms, as you well know, are directed at Osama still being with us despite all of Dumbya's harsh rhetoric and promises.

The global terror threat is not going to be resolved in my remaining lifetime, nor in Dumbya's nor in yours. It very well might be with us for centuries. Given the number of Muslims around the world; the extreme poverty among them in the nations they inhabit; they seem to have a resource bank not dissimilar from the oil reserves, including the unknown ones, at the turn of the 19th century.

The problems, both terror and economic, facing our nation, call for a concerted effort on the part of our best and brightest to come together and find better ways to approach resolution. Could it be that you should be included in that core?

Art A Layman said...


By the way I had read the David Brooks, another astute conservative voice, piece but followed your link and read it again.

Maybe you should have read the whole piece and not stopped after the first few paragraphs. You might have a different take on Obama.

Broadening your intellectual base is never a bad thing.

Yoda said...

"the smartest and most articulate panelist on any of the Sunday talk"

Good, he is... To Charles Krauthammer however, my vote goes...

Anonymous said...

Why does anyone take Kristol seriously? He has been wrong about foreign policy so many times you can't count them all, but here's one:

" “The good news,” he wrote on July 28, 2003, “is that we may turning the corner in the debate on post-war Iraq. . . .More important, and despite the continued killings of American soldiers, the situation on the ground in Iraq may well be turning. "

much more at

Spotlight (on Kristol's Reign of Errors)

Anonymous said...

What do Obama, Bill Gates, and Condi Rice all have in common? They want to see more dialogue with Iran.

What do Obama and McSame (2006 model) have in common? They both agree you have to talk to Hamas, the governing force in Palestine.

What do Kristol and Bush have in common? Both are fools.

Anonymous said...

The base is PISSED OFF!

KenRichards said...

Unfortunately the force protection crew moved cement T-walls around last week and took out the AFN for 1000 people in my area. I am going through FOX News withdrawal since that is all I ever watch at night given our limited choice of selection.

Kristol certainly stands above most and I pay extra attention to his analysis. I can't think of an example where he was wrong so I am curious what examples exist.

Anonymous said...

Your right but McCain is only a smigeon better.

Bobster67 said...

When will some politicians, and others learn that you do not negotiate with killers. Or governments that support them. Once someons kills another innocent person to get attention about their so called grivances they have lost all credibility.
Countries like Iran, Syria, Yemen, etc... that support and aid killers of innocent should be oscracized by the civilized nations.
And so called government bodies like the PA, and their henchmen.

Art A Layman said...


Kristol can sometimes provide expert analysis, he has a terrible record as a prognosticator. I believe Spotlight gave you a link as well as highlighted one of his, shall we say, overzealous proclamations.


I would presume you would include Pakistan among those countries? They gave aid and support to the Taliban in Afghanistan which in turn gave aid and received support from Al Qaeda. Surely they are not deserving of our negotiation and I would hope we would stop well short of providing any funds to them.

Anonymous said...

You guys all believe in rumors and hearsay entirely to much. Why don't some of you start dealing in reality?

Republican base ha ha ha ha ... there is none! You squandered it! Now many of whom have left the party. The so called base thinks immigration is the biggest issue if that is true why did Tom Tancredo fail, why is King's # slipping. It is because their issue is only important to the minority around them and not to the general public.

If Republicans decide to run on immigration in this state or anywhere else, it will be the final nail in the coffin. You already see christians fleeing the party because of the harsh tone republicans take upon their fellow man.


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