On the Daily Show last night, host Jon Stewart challenged Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s claim that Brookings’ analysts Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack are “skeptics of the war.”
Stewart pressed Kristol on why actual skeptics of the war should trust war hawks such as him “to undo the terrible thing” they created by pushing for the invasion of Iraq and making failed predictions at every turn. “Don’t trust me,” responded Kristol. “Trust skeptics of the war like Mike O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack.”
“They weren’t really skeptics,” Stewart said. “Ken Pollack would like us to invade Iran, for God’s sake…those are very hawkish guys.” Watch it:
By challenging Kristol, Stewart has done something that most mainstream news outlets have failed to do, which is correctly label O’Hanlon and Pollack as hawks who supported both the initial invasion of Iraq and the President’s escalation strategy. Much of the mainstream media has referred to the two as “vocal critics” of the Bush administration.
Even though O’Hanlon has admitted that he “was not a critic of this war,” his and Pollack’s op-ed has enabled pro-war hawks like Kristol and Vice President Cheney to claim validation for their opinions from alleged critics. By labeling O’Hanlon and Pollack as critics, the media is giving political cover to the same voices who misguidedly pushed America into war in the first place.
UPDATE: During the interview, Kristol also said “it’s not a bad idea” to invade Iran and that Americans should let Iraq “play…out for the next six months.”