Monday, January 15, 2007

Bill Kristol - Educated Fool

Bill Kristol has a rather impressive resume. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College graduating in three years magna cum laude, he received a PH. D. in government also from Harvard. He founded the neo-conservative birdcage liner known as the Weekly Standard. He also founded the infamous Project for a New American Century. Rather impressive by any normal standards of accomplishment wouldn't you say? But over the last six years of the far right wing revolution in America I have listened to this successful right wing activist/pundit and come to one rather obvious conclusion. Bill Kristol is a blithering idiot. Yes, you heard me right. After all those years of education and political experience, poor Bill is about as bright as a wet match in a dark cave.

Lets read Bill at his best:

2003 - "There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."

2004 - "
the difficult negotiations leading up to the signing, and the continuing debates over the terms of a final constitution, have in fact demonstrated something remarkable in Iraq: a willingness on the part of the diverse ethnic and religious groups to disagree--peacefully--and then to compromise."

2006 - "What was striking, following the mosque bombing, was the evidence of Iraq's underlying stability in the face of attempts to undermine it. The country's vital institutions seem to have grown strong enough to withstand even the provocation of the bombing of the golden mosque."

Now don't get me wrong, from just the standpoint of literary content, these statements sound wonderful. If they weren't so frighteningly far removed from reality they would be the works of a brilliant prognosticator. The problem is that a man with much less education and virtually none of the political accomplishments, namely me, can see so clearly that every last word he uttered was sheer nonsense. I have no PH. D. from Harvard and from what I've seen of Bill Kristol I might just be better off. For all of his education, Mr. Kristol either has no ability to understand the geo-political issues in the middle east or he is a pathological liar. Quite possibly some combination of both.

When the Bush Administration rammed this invasion down our throats many ordinary Americans marched in the streets and predicted almost exactly what the outcome would be. While we were called traitors and being ridiculed, there was Bill and his academic elite right wing cohorts in La-La land telling us how the Iraqis would be kissing our feet for the next ten generations. Clearly he didn't understand an important factor that makes the middle east so incredibly different from western societies. The middle East is not a region of countries, it is a region of tribes and clans. If you ignore the national borders that were arbitrarily constructed by colonial powers, and instead look at a map which divides the Region by the various tribes and religious sects you start to understand how the people who live there see their environment. Americans see Iraq and Iran. Iraqis see Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmen, and Christians. The Bush administration concerns themselves with uniting Iraq while the Turks concern themselves with the problem that a significant portion of their population are Kurds and that the Kurdish Tribal land stretches across Turkey into Northern Iraq. If the Iraqi Kurds get independence, then the Turkish Kurds will likely want to reunite with them and form their own tribal homeland, causing serious political problems for the Turkish Government. The people who live there understand those complicated historic tribal issues. However, Bill Kristol and his neo-conservative buddies have determined that thousands of years of religious and tribal differences will have no effect on their grand scheme for the new democratic middle east.

I would truly like to believe that these kinds of issues would be forefront in the mind of a man with a PH.D. in Government, but of course in the case of Bill Kristol I would be wrong. I would like to believe that Bill Kristol would have foresaw that the inevitable Shiite Government in Iraq would be almost entirely controlled by the Iranians, but again I would be wrong. I may especially want to hope Bill Kristol would recognize that this occupation, or war, or whatever the heck we call it, is lost, but again I would be wrong.

Every Sunday when I see Mr. Kristol on one news program after another I just have to wonder, am I the only one noticing? How does a person who is consistently wrong keep getting back on the air? Could a sports pundit miss every prediction for the entire NFL season and be back the next year treated as though he were a genius? Who are these producers that think Bill Kristol, of all misguided idiots, can add anything of value to their show? These are the questions we should be asking the media. After helping drag us into a military disaster nearly four years ago, it is nearly criminal that the press unapologetically presents the same liars and fools every week to tell us how to get out of it. I guess thats why I'm not on Meet the Press or Fox Sunday News. I wouldn't be able to talk about the subject of the week if I saw Paul Wolfowitz on one side of me and Bill Kristol on the other. I would have no choice but to ask the question, when is the last time one of these Bozos have been right about anything, and what rocket scientist picked them to interpret political issues for the viewers?

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