Why on earth would anyone ask Bill Kristol's opinion on foreign policy when his percentage of being correct on any issue is somewhere well below the Mendoza line?
But on Fox News, having a grasp of facts is not a hiring qualification, though it appears that bloodlust is. Because in discussing North Korea's recent missile tests, the consensus among all the pundits is that it's time to go bomb North Korea. You know, Obama has had all of five months in office to show that his sissy diplomacy tactics could work and as per Mara Liasson, clearly, they've failed.
But it's "Brother Kristol" (when did Fox News hosts start sounding like Communist Party Leaders?) who so righteously earned his spot on the Worst Person list on Countdown by saying that it's probably not a bad idea to launch an attack or two (or a dozen) against North Korea:
You know, it might be worth doing some targeted air strikes to show the North Koreans, instead of always talking about ‘gee, there could be consequences’ to show that they can’t simply keep going down this path.
Funnily enough, this was the same advice he gave for Iraq. Problem was he didn't have any ideas about what we do after those air strikes. And we're still there in Iraq, losing lives left and right six years later. Then after Brit Hume, Juan Williams and Liasson weigh in with their eagerness to sacrifice other people's children, William the Bloody ups the ante, by raising the spectre of North Korea encouraging a nuclear Iran --NIE and signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty be damned--that leads to some ooga-booga scary Middle Eastern nuclear domino theory:
We have some huge priority in—correctly put a huge priority in trying to stop Iran from going to nuclear...going nuclear. If we look back-- if the Iranians look around and see that Pakistan went nuclear, no consequences. If North Korea is going nuclear, has gone nuclear, no real consequences, except a lot of talk of how it's not acceptable. Well, now we’re saying, ‘Gee, Iran is not acceptable too.’ North Korea is awfully important to Iran for a couple of reasons -- proliferation issues, they could actually help directly or indirectly the Iranian program, bu more importantly, the example. I do think the Obama administration to the degree that they really do not want four years from now looking at a world where Iran is nuclear and Egypt and Saudi Arabia is going nuclear and the entire non-proliferation regime has collapsed. They need to be, from their own point of view, in actually dealing with Iran, much tougher on North Korea, I think, than our previous policies have been.
Seriously, are we not paying dearly for your utter wrongness enough now? If you're so gung-ho for yet another war, Wiliam the Bloody, suit the hell up or shut the hell up.
Transcripts below the fold (h/t David)
WALLACE: First of all, and let me start with you, Bill Kristol, and this is always guesswork, what do we think is going on in North Korea, with nuclear test and the series of missile tests. Is this one more taste of them trying to create an international crisis, blackmail the world and get some payment out of it or does this indicate that they’re really determined to become a nuclear power?
KRISTOL: Well, they’re certainly determined to become a nuclear power. There appears to be succession struggle going on. It looks like the current dear leader isn't going to last very long, and you might… just might be involved somehow with that. Bob Gates said it would be considered a grave threat if they did more of this, and we would take it very seriously. But they, of course, have already proliferated. The Syrian plant that the Israelis hit in September of 2007 was a North Korean-constructed plant. So I think we have a real proliferation problem here. I do think…I do think Gates was signalling over the weekend that we're going to make a bit of a change to policy. He has to think about putting missile defense funds back in the budget. Strengthening the Proliferation Security Initiative which started a few years ago which they would have the right to search ships going into North Korea. And I don't rule out possibility of us deciding, and I think it might be the wise thing to decide, to knock out a few…they’re apparently rolling a long term missile to a base to test…a long range missile… to test another one. You know, it might be worth doing some targeted airstrikes to show the North Koreans, instead of always talking about ‘gee, there could be consequences’ to show that they can’t simply keep going down this path.
WALLACE: What is interesting…it was interesting, Juan, that in his speech, Secretary Gates said, ‘you know, we do this thing where they create a crisis, and we pay for it.’ He said, ‘I don't want to keep buying the same horse over and over again.’ So, at least he seemed to be signalling we're not going to have six-party talks and pay off the North Koreans.
WILLIAMS: No, and I think it's time for that. And I think picking up on what Bill was saying suddenly you have Defense Secretary Gates in a meeting with the top Chinese defense leader yesterday, Saturday. saying, you know what the Chinese now view this as a threat. And of course, China is the biggest patron of North Korea, contributing oil as well as food to keep them afloat. And so, if you have China now willing to participate…not only China, but also then Japan, which is threatened, willing to take action and South Korea willing to intercept ships that might be bringing the material to the north, I think you have a whole different ball of wax. But the key here this is now a crisis that requires immediate action. And it saddens me to say that President Obama’s willingness to say, you know what, I come with open hand to deal with you, Kim Jung Il. You know, he has responded with anger, launching these long-range missiles, now these short term missiles. Doesn't seem to me that you can do anything but take aggressive action against them because he’s a threat to world security.
HUME: Which raises the question of whether to continue trying to pursue diplomacy with China as a partner will work. I’m convinced, a growing conventional wisdom in Washington is that didn't work, that it amounted, as some critics to call it, to outsourcing American diplomacy and we ought to deal with the North directly. And so the Bush administration tried both. And it all failed. However, it is inescapable fact that China has real leverage with North Korea. If China were to decide to step on all this and say knock it off, that would have a powerful effect. And then the question then arises, well, does the United States and its weakened economic condition-- with China buying our debt and so on-- have any real leverage with China? I think the answer to that may well be yes. China needs the United States as a trading partner as much as we need China, and maybe more so. We are the great market for Chinese products. China cannot afford to see the U.S. economy go down and they cannot afford any kind of breach in our trading relationship. I think we may have more leverage than we realize with China. And if we can exercise that, that might have a powerful effect…
WALLACE: Would you consider Brother Kristol’s idea of taking out a missile on the launch pad?
HUME: I would. But I can't imagine this administration deciding to do anything like that any time soon. Which is why I'm talking about diplomatic options, because I can't imagine them going in any other direction right now.
LIASSON: Look, they can't take out a missile, unless South Korea is on board, because South Korea is going to have to bear the brunt of the consequences and blow back from that. And that is what has been so difficult about this issue. China wants stability more than they want a non-nuclear North Korea. They don't want whole bunch of North Koreans flooding over the border if that state collapses. But I do think that Gates’ remarks this week were really significant because it did suggest that the late Bush administration and early Obama administration approach has now failed. And we're going to have to look at something else, whether it's missile defense, you know, more aggressive interventions of ships coming out of North Korea, and maybe this is going to end up having nuclear-armed neighbors in that region. I mean, that might be been we're headed: to a nuclear-armed South Korea and Japan. I don’t know…he didn't talk about that. But I’m saying if it's going to be a fait accompli that North Korea is going to be nuclear, they don't want anything from us, they want to be nuclear power. They’re not just holding out for some goodie that we haven't thought up yet to give to them, we're going to have to go in a different direction.
HUME: I was going to say that, in effect, North Korea—I mean, South Korea living under the American nuclear umbrella is …really is a nuclear power in that sense. It would be different matter, it seems to me though, if Japan were to decide to amend its constitution and take steps in that direction, because I think that would really—that would really put some pressure on the Chinese.
KRISTOL: I mean, the other country [garbled] mentioned is Iran. We have some huge priority in—correctly put a huge priority in trying to stop Iran from going to nuclear...going nuclear. If we look back-- if the Iranians look around and see that Pakistan went nuclear, no consequences. If North Korea is going nuclear, has gone nuclear, no real consequences, except a lot of talk of how it's not acceptable. Well, now we’re saying, ‘Gee, Iran is not acceptable too.’ North Korea is awfully important to Iran for a couple of reasons -- proliferation issues, they could actually help directly or indirectly the Iranian program, bu more importantly, the example. I do think the Obama administration to the degree that they really do not want four years from now looking at a world where Iran is nuclear and Egypt and Saudi Arabia is going nuclear and the entire non-proliferation regime has collapsed. They need to be, from their own point of view, actually dealing with Iran, much tougher on North Korea, I think, than our previous policies have been.
WILLIAMS: One quick statement here. I do think that the Obama administration has the spine to act – they may not add more troops, but they are willing to act against North Korea.