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Chicken Hawk Bill Kristol Lets the Cat Out of the Bag: Iraq "Surge" Might Take an Additional Five Divisions (50,000 to 75,000 Soldiers)

Reported by Marie Therese - January 20, 2007 -

Bill Kristol, true believer and PNAC mastermind, acts like a broken record on the topic of Bush's proposed escalation in Iraq. During an interview with John Scott on FOX News Live Friday morning, January 19, 2007, Kristol repeated an argument that sounded eerily like words we all heard in the 60s, when we blindly threw an endless stream of American GIs at the Vietnamese insurgency.

First it was "advisors" for the South Vietnamese government. Then it was support troops. And slowly, inexorably, like some never-ending nightmare, more and more of our young men were sacrificed on the altar of "maybe this time we'll get it right". That short-sighted policy cost us the lives of 58,000 Americans and tore the country apart.

As I listened to Kristol's comments below, I kept thinking of Yogi Berra's famous remark: "This is like deja vu all over again."

BILL KRISTOL: " ... Hillary's got to navigate between being antiwar enough for the Democratic primary electorate and not going so far as to endanger her in the general election. And I think this latest move is a little risky. You know, a cap on troops at whatever number were there on January 1st, 2007? What - what's the rationale for that? If Dave Petraeus gets over there - the new commander - and says 'You know what? I think we can really make progress in Baghdad with an extra five divisions', Hillary's position is: 'No. 140,000 troops is the perfect number.' We can't send reinforcements to help make progress and win the war? It's kind of a crazy position, frankly.

"... Well, Hillary Clinton is on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Dave Petraeus is gonna testify Tuesday in the course of getting confirmed for his fourth star and for the command of the multi-national (!!!) force in Iraq. It will be very interesting to hear Hillary Clinton's questions to Dave Petraeus. But she staked out a position before talking to Dave Petraeus and I think there's a pretty effective Republican counter-attack here if, frankly, the Republicans were a little more assertive and a little less - you know - cringing on this issue.

"If they just said: 'Look! We're sending a new commander over there. We can't afford to lose. Dave Petraeus thinks he can win with an extra five divisions. Let's give him a chance. Let's give him a chance. And I'm curious to see what Hillary Clinton says in response to that."

Isn't it truly mind-boggling to see how a manicured, effete, rich snob like Kristol can so very glibly speak of sending America's children to die for - what? A plan that isn't a plan? A strategy that resembles swiss cheese? And how the hell did "20,000 soldiers" become "five divisions"? What does dapper little Billy Kristol know that the rest of us don't?

As I reported two weeks ago, Kristol made virtually the same argument on FOX News Sunday, the only difference being that, since then, he's upped the number of troops to be sent as cannon fodder!

BILL KRISTOL, January 7, 2007: "They may phase them in, so it might start with 20,000 but, look, [General] Dave Petraeus is going to take over and he's - he has taken over with the mission - win the war. And if he comes back to the President a month from now, when he's in command on the ground and says let's accelerate the surge in, which I think would be a good idea, frankly, front load the surge, it could be thirty or thirty-five thousand troops. ... 2007 is going to be a bloody year in Iraq. Period. That's just a fact. The question is whether it's a bloody year on the path to success for the U. S. in a vital, strategic interest or whether we lose."

COMMENT

Wake up, everyone, and smell the brimstone!

Last week on FOX News Sunday Dick Cheney said that this struggle may take up to 40 years to complete. Cheney deliberately sabotaged peace overtures from Iran at a time when we held all the cards (December 2003) and were in a strong position to get most of our demands met. What exactly is his agenda?

Now Bill Kristol - who's as thick as thieves with the entire neocon establishment - is telling the American people - loud and clear - that 20,000 soldiers are merely the first installments in a long-term, ill-advised and possibly insane attempt to mold the Middle East into a western democracy.

In an interesting aside, it seems that Bill Kristol is not the only one who thinks Dave Petraeus is the cat's meow. According to the following exchange on the January 7th edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, Senator Hillary Clinton is also quite a fan of his.

Mr. [JOE] KLEIN: Also Hillary Clinton. Even though she's very close to Jack Keane, the general who came up with the surge strategy and also David Petraeus, she's going to oppose the surge strategy.

[CHRIS] MATTHEWS: Consequentially or just verbally.

Mr. KLEIN: Verbally.

MATTHEWS: Yeah. OK. We'll be right back with this week's big question.

Mr. KLEIN: She doesn't have the power to...

MATTHEWS: The Democratic leaders of the House and the Congress don't like the surge idea. They told the president. So the big question for me this weekend is when will we know whether the surge has turned this war around? Elizabeth.

Ms. [ELIZABETH] BUMILLER: Six months.

Mr. [DAVID] GREGORY: I think it's going to take that long. Because even if there's a short-term gain, it's what the Iraqis do after that.

MATTHEWS: Six months.

Ms. [GLORIA] BORGER: I think at least six months to a year.

Mr. KLEIN: We'll know if it's failed in nine months. We won't know if it's succeeded for another 10 years.

Hillary Clinton - a good friend of Jack Keane, a man whom Bill Kristol has been touting for the past month as the brilliant, incisive creator of this so-called "new" strategy in Iraq.

Hillary Clinton - an admirer of Gen. David Petraeus, the man who will implement a strategy that virtually everyone seems to believe will result in a great loss of life and a lot of blood running in the streets of Baghdad.

The plot thickens ...


If you would like to contact Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, click on a link below.

Carl Levin (Michigan), Chairman

Edward M. Kennedy (Massachusetts)
Robert C. Byrd (West Virginia)
Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii)
Bill Nelson (Florida)
E. Benjamin Nelson (Nebraska)
Evan Bayh (Indiana)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York)
Mark L. Pryor (Arkansas)
Jim Webb (Virginia) - no online form available. Phone: 202-224-4024

Claire McCaskill (Missouri) mccaskilltransition@mccaskill.senate.gov