Americans feeling let down by Barack Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan should take careful note of those who welcomed yet another "surge." It might help them to identify the source of their seemingly endless wars.
For instance, in a recent Washington Post opinion piece, William Kristol described Obama's West Point speech as "encouraging." It was "a good thing," he said, that Obama was finally speaking as "a war president."
But if the comments on the Post website are anything to go by, few ordinary Americans take Kristol's armchair warmongering seriously anymore. After all, as one poster quizzically asked, "A column by William Kristol the neocon that was wrong about everything from 2000-2008?"
Although Kristol, like the rest of the neocons, "erred" about Iraq's WMDs and Saddam's links to Al Qaeda and 9/11, it would be a fatal error indeed to dismiss him as a fool.
In order to understand what motivates Bill Kristol's professed hyper-patriotism, with its consistently disastrous prescriptions, it's worth recalling how his father, Irving Kristol, reacted to Vietnam War critic Senator George McGovern. The presidential contender's proposed cut in U.S. military expenditure would, according to the "godfather" of neoconservatism, "drive a knife in the heart of Israel."
"Jews don't like big military budgets," the elder Kristol explained in a Jewish publication in 1973. "But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States … American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don't want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel."
Oh yeah, that collective snickering sound you're hearing is that created by Russian leadership, trying not to laugh their heads off at how completely the US and NATO are making every single mistake that the old Soviet Union made during its occupation of Afghanistan.