The Blessing of Kristol

One of the downsides to making the face of your political “thinking” operation a political operative instead of a real political thinker is that every now and then they’ll get sloppy and totally give up the goat. Thus, via Yglesias, we get this gem from Bill Kristol:

And while he’s at it, perhaps he could tell various admirals to stop moaning about how difficult it would be to deal with the pirates off the coast of Somalia (isn’t keeping the shipping lanes open a core mission of the Navy?) and order the Navy to clobber them. If need be, the Marines would no doubt be glad to recapitulate their origins and join in by going ashore in Africa to destroy the pirates’ safe havens.

Now, as Matt points out, we can take issue with the shameless warmongering here, or the condescension, or the flippant disregard for the difficult nature of military operations, but I rather think the on-a-dime turn is most interesting. After all, how long have we been hearing that we absolutely have to “listen to commanders” and give them whatever they ask for? But as detractors always pointed out, Bush & Co. were only listening to those commanders who agreed with their core assumptions, and telling them what they wanted to hear. Others were pushed out of their positions and otherwise ignored. And now we’ve got no less an emissary of the right than Bill Kristol putting it on full display.

It’s a shame that got lost amidst the flurry of outrage over the idea of pardoning torturers.

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