Since President Obama delivered his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech last week, Bill Kristol has been arguing that it is somehow in-line with his neoconservative philosophy and that it vindicates President Bush’s “global war on terror” that he wholeheartedly supported.
Today on Fox News Sunday, Kristol continued with the theme, calling it “the most Bush-like speech of his presidency” and that it “articulated his own version of the pre-emptive doctrine.” Kristol later said that it actually lays the groundwork for a preemptive strike on Iran:
KRISTOL: There’s this one sentence, “There will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”
That’s a pretty striking statement. I mean any American president should say that who’s looking at Iran developing nuclear weapons. I think he is, it’s not just that Israel might use preemptive force against Iran. This speech lays the predicate for a legitimate use of force to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons by the U.S.
The problem with Krisol’s logic is that Obama’s speech outright rejected the Bush approach:
I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach — and condemnation without discussion — can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.
“The satisfying purity of indignation,” as Matt Duss noted, is “a wonderfully succinct description of the simplistic and destructive ideology that drove George W. Bush’s foreign policy, and which Bill Kristol is still trying heartily to convince himself and others hasn’t been discredited.”
Noting that Kristol and his washed-up neocon gang are increasingly turning their sights on Iran, IPS News’s Jim Lobe reminds us that, just like with the Iraq war, consequences and reality have little bearing on this new push:
Kristol doesn’t ask what may be the impact on McChrystal’s efforts [in Afghanistan] of war with Iran. There’s every reason to believe, at least at this point, that the Pentagon is probably the national-security institution most adamantly opposed to an attack on Iran — be it by Israel or its own forces — precisely because it would greatly complicate Washington’s position throughout the region. But that’s not the point. Now that Obama is committed in Afghanistan, the neo-con priority moves to Iran, with urgency.