In Time Magazine yesterday, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol wrote a rosy piece on why Americans should get over their “adolescent moodiness” and embrace the “heartening developments” of the past six years.
In the op-ed, Kristol came to the conclusion that “no other people in human history have ever had it quite so good” as Americans. But in reaching that false conclusion, Kristol severely distorts and even lies about major developments:
Claim #1: There have been “very limited terrorist successes in Europe or even in the Middle East.” Between 2005 and 2006, international terrorist attacks increased 29 percent, reported U.S. intelligence. Forty-five percent of the attacks took place in Iraq. Between 2004 and 2005, international terrorist attacks tripled to nearly 10,000, in part due to the war in Iraq.
Claim #2: “We’ve had 5 1/2 years of robust economic growth.” Today, the top one percent of earners have a greater share of national income than at any time since 1920. Wage growth has slowed to a crawl, and “overall pace of job creation, which has slowed compared to prior years, is barely enough to keep pace with population growth.”
Claim #3: “The balance sheet is uncertain” in Iraq. Since January, violence “has increased in most provinces” and U.S. and Iraqi forces “have been unable to diminish rising sectarian violence contributing to the volatile security situation,” says a recent Pentagon report.
Kristol’s policy prescriptions have failed time and time again. In 2003, he claimed there was a “pop psychology” that “the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni. … There’s almost no evidence of that at all.” He advocated escalation, provided “optimistic” depictions of violence in Iraq, and supported the war so the U.S. can bomb Iraq and Syria.