Once a week, Kristol writes a fact-free Op-Ed piece for the Times and yesterday he penned a brightly-polished turd that is right up their with the best of his best work.
He was writing about this MoveOn.org ad:
If you haven't seen it, it shows a young mom with her baby son, Alex. She tells John McCain that if he's serious about staying in Iraq for 100 years, and he's counting on little Alex to feed the cannon, he can look elsewhere.
Sure, like any 30 second ad, you can pull it apart by its loose threads, but the message is still there - war requires mothers to sacrifice their sons and daughters. When asked to make that sacrifice, many mothers, both Democrat and Republican, say they would rather not. It's how moms are.
Bill Kristol thinks Alex's mom is selfish. He quotes an unnamed mom blog commenter, the most reliable source ever, as saying:
“...Someone has to stand between our society and danger. If not my son, then who? If not little Alex then someone else will have to stand and deliver. Someone’s son, somewhere.”
Kristol, wiping away a crocodile tear, writes:
"The MoveOn ad is unapologetic in its selfishness, and barely disguised in its disdain for those who have chosen to serve — and its contempt for those parents who might be proud of sons and daughters who are serving. The ad boldly embraces a vision of a selfish and infantilized America, suggesting that military service and sacrifice are unnecessary and deplorable relics of the past.
And the sole responsibility of others."
Let's leave aside Kristol's overwrought interpretation of this mom having contempt for people who serve. Let's overlook Kristol's conflation of the disaster in Iraq with all wars that depend on the sacrifice of men and women like my brother and sister, my father and his brother, Jenny's father and, the least likely soldier of all, myself.
No, let's look at his last umbrage-laden sentence, that service in MoveOn's view is "...the sole responsibility of others."
For those of you who may have forgotten, Bill Kristol, besides being a crackerjack columnist, was also one of the leading lights behind the Project for the New American Century, or PNAC. PNAC was a collection of brilliant minds, all of them thinking as hard as they could about international things. You might have heard about their most innovative product. It's called the Iraq War.
Hmm, you might say, so Bill Kristol and his friends sent a lot of other people off to war. But surely, when it was their time to serve, Bill Kristol and his friends didn't think of it as "the sole responsibility of others."
So, who, among these brilliant architects of the misadventure in Iraq, served?
Kristol? Wolfowitz? Feith? Cheney? Perle? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?
No, when Bill Kristol had a chance to take someone else's place in the line, to serve his country as he wants Alex to, Bill Kristol stood with his fellow PNAC patriots and said, "Let somebody else do it."
When I get lectured about "...those who have chosen to serve — and ... parents who might be proud of sons and daughters who are serving" by a man whose closest brush with uniformed service comes when he orders a Big Mac from the back of his limousine, I think this is as useful and full of intellectual integrity as Kristol's paper-thin patriotism.
So to you, Mr. Kristol, this old enlisted man suggests you take your precious respect for the people who serve, roll it up into a tiny, little ball, and stick it firmly up your ass.
You know, where your head usually is.