Why Bill Kristol Should Be Ignored on Iraq

Bill Kristol, predictably, thinks we should send troops back into Iraq to restart the war:

“[President Obama needs to go] on TV saying, ‘This is a strategic crisis, for the reasons I’m going to lay out here. We have to do something that no one wants to do, which is to go back in with a lot of air power and with special forces, and maybe a few conventional troops, to help stabilize the situation,'” Kristol told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday.

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Bush, Obama and Renewed Violence in Iraq

Sometimes my mind just boggles at how ridiculous the American media and political discourse can be. A perfect example is the current attempt to turn the inevitable — yes, inevitable — violence in Iraq into a political weapon to use against President Obama. This begins with Fox News actually crediting President Bush with anticipating the surge in sectarian violence there after our troops left.
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IAEA: Iran Nowhere Near a Nuclear Weapon

As many on the right and within Israel continue to beat the drums of war and want an invasion of Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued a report saying that Iran has complied with the requirements of a negotiated arrangement and is now nowhere near being able to produce even a single nuclear weapon.
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Putin, Netanyahu and Neo-Con Cognitive Dissonance

A very interesting thing has happened in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and hostile moves in the eastern Ukraine — he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are suddenly buddies. Israel even abstained from the UN vote that condemned Russia’s recent military actions. This poses a real problem for American neo-cons who are demanding strong action against Putin.
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Ignorance and Foreign Policy

Americans tend to be notoriously ignorant about the goings on in the rest of the world, which is why this article by several social scientists who did a clever survey about the situation in the Ukraine is not the least bit surprising. It found that the less people know about where the Ukraine is, the more likely they are to support American military action.
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Putin and Obama’s ‘Weakness’

Now that the Ukraine has blown up and Putin has sent troops into Crimea, the right is having a grand old time blaming it all on Obama being “weak” on foreign policy and thus making Putin feel “emboldened” that he could do it. Sarah Palin is even claiming to be a prophet, with Fox News pushing that idea far and wide:
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Really, John Kerry?

The Academy Awards were Sunday night and the award for best actor really should have gone to John Kerry for managing to deliver this line about the Russian invasion of Crimea without busting a gut laughing.

“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests. This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century.”

Gulf of Tonkin, anyone? Iraqi WMDs? For crying out loud, the United States are the Jedi masters of starting wars on false pretexts. In related news, the pot and the kettle were killed in a bar fight outside Kiev.

Gates: Obama Just Not Enthusiastic Enough

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican that President Obama asked to stay on in that position after the 2008 election, has a new book out that apparently makes some rather incoherent criticisms of the president. Greg Jaffe has a review of the book in the Washington Post. One of the odd positions he evidently takes is that while Obama was right in his decisions about the war in Afghanistan, he just wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about it.
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