Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Will to Kristol: whoa pardner

George Will takes Bill Kristol to task for his call to take out Iranian nuclear facilities. Even though he doesn't mention Kristol by name, Will criticizes him for seeing a clear solution through a bank of fog, smog, smoke and perhaps a few mirrors:

The administration, justly criticized for its Iraq premises and their execution, is suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature. The national, ethnic and religious dynamics of the Middle East are opaque to most people, but to "The Weekly Standard" -- voice of a spectacularly misnamed radicalism, "neoconservativism'' -- everything is crystal clear: Iran is the key to everything.

Will is right to point to the zealous tone of Kristol. However, I agree with Kristol that we have sent a perception of weakness to Iran and Syria. Whether this is actual weakness, our ponderous system or some sort of rope-a-dope, we don't know yet. I very much disagree with Will's willingness to rely on the stability of the status quo in the Middle East. It may be stable for us, but it's not for the people of the Middle East, just ask an Israeli. If we adopt Will's position, we need to get busy on developing energy alternatives and start warming up the oil drills here.

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