Bill Kristol on Iraq, back in the long, long ago.

This Modern World Blog Archive The Lost Bill Kristol Tapes
The Lost Kristol Tapes
What the New York Times Bought

By Jonathan Schwarz

Imagine that there were a Beatles record only a few people knew existed. And imagine you got the chance to listen to it, and as you did, your excitement grew, note by note. You realized it wasn’t merely as good as Rubber Soul, or Revolver, or Sgt. Pepper’s. It was much, much better. And now, imagine how badly you’d want to tell other Beatles fans all about it.
So go read it, and watch the c-span segment with Ellsberg schooling Bill on american history. Enjoy :)

After that: has anything changed since then?


Heavy Weapons Guy
Interesting debate. I wouldn't say that Ellsberg won, but they both had good points.

It would be interesting to see them debate again today. I wonder if any of their opinions have changed.
I don't know - it's interesting to hear what the arguments were in 2003, no? And I'm not sure what exactly has changed - the dynamic is pretty much the same - either major political block believes it's perfectly fine to torture and have wars of choice - they only differ on the circumstances, where neither of them really could relate these circumstances to reality. Instead of simply substituting something they call a "world- view", which in essence is a standing justification for unlimited foreign intervention - economically and militarily.

Even if Ellsberg introduces a secondary argument - that it's ridiculous to believe that the great US has the power to change governments and large dynamics by military force. While explaining that the arrogance involved is not a new phenomenon - it's a recurring theme throughout american history. And I would add, european before that.

So it's an old tune. And I'd rather want to hear that new beatles- record. But it's a curious problem. At this point it's political mainstream that the US should intervene in various unspecific forms - like it has always been. But it's unclear what sort of restraints are involved - when it comes to internal affairs in other countries, about their governments, about the military's role, about the secretive services - even about torture and the rule of law.

So to answer the question - Kristol won the debate, hands down. Even if he's wrong about everything, and every premise he based his views on have proven to have been wrong, if not deliberately falsified.