Friday, August 24, 2007

Kristol on The Daily Show

My friend JR clued me into an appearance by William Kristol on The Daily Show, hosted by Jon Stewart. This has been going on for a while apparently, and Kristol's most recent visit is linked above. They were talking about the Iraq war, of course, Kristol is pro and Stewart is con.

The segment is pretty short considering how important the subject is (7+ minutes), and without being very technical this interview gets to the crucible of the dilemma wrt Iraq, much more than most debate we have seen about the subject in the public arena. Kristol explains why he thinks the surge is succeeding, but Stewart replies, "Why should we trust you?" meaning the President, Kristol, or supporters of the war in general.

I was very moved by Stewart's question, because that's exactly the core of my frustration (as someone who supports the war) toward those who oppose it. To a large extent, the debate isn't about what we think, but who we are and what we are motivated by. That's why, as distasteful as it may be, we're going to have to get to the bottom of the "chickenhawk" vs. "unpatriotic" sorts of argument.

For my part, it's pretty simple. I want the United States to win the war in Iraq. And at the moment, that seems to me like a completely plausible outcome, so I favor continuing the American troop presence in Iraq until it is not plausible any more. There might be a time when I feel differently. Obviously I can't predict when that will happen, but I can say that I tend to give credibility to sources who also want to win the war. And on that score it's not really a close call.


Anonymous said...

JK: I would like to win the war also, being the sort who prefers winning to losing, but i wonder what your definition of victory would be. I think that this is part of the frustration of the antiwar crowd. When Brush fils says 'Mission Accomplished' and then three years later is calling for a Surge, can we be certain that our Commander-in-Chief is clear about what the goal is? I submit that the issue of trust is a grave one; and I also submit that Bush fils and his administration have earned the suspicion of their critics. Is the Mission Accomplished or not? If not, why did we say it was? That, in a nutshell, is why I tend to side with Stewart on this one.
P.S. I know that Ron Paul is not a 'serious candidate' but he is the only declared candidate that sounds remotely like Goldwater.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was supposed to be 'Bush fils' not 'Brush fils'; no disrespect intended.