Smug lackwit Bill Kristol takes to his New York Times op-ed perch today to inform the world that while he found MoveOn.org's latest advertisement effort, "Not Alex," to be the outfit's "most effective" effort yet, he is nevertheless "not persuaded." [Watch "Not Alex" here.]
I know: BIG surprise. Still, Kristol is ostensibly required to write about something, so he might as well weigh in on this matter. His main criticism? Well, it's largely that Alex's mother has nothing to worry about, seeing as he'll be too young to serve in Iraq during the McCain presidency:
Now it might be pedantic to point out that John McCain isn't counting on Alex to serve in Iraq, because little Alex will only be 9 years old when President McCain leaves office after two terms.
Leaving aside the fact that by acknowledging that Alex will emerge from the end of McCain's terms unscathed (by the Iraq War, anyway), Kristol is more or less admitting that those who are old enough to serve in John McCain's army have plenty of scathing to look forward to, my main problem is with Kristol's contention that once a presidency ends, so do the problems caused by that president. And seeing as how McCain is only too happy to continue our bog-down in Iraq, uphold the Bush administration's policy of appeasement toward al Qaeda, and perhaps ensnare the country in a wider war with Iran, the chances are high that one day, the lasting damage of McCain's foreign policy preferences might rebound to Alex's misfortune.
But, look, if some more perspective on this matter is needed, here you go:
On this past Sunday's edition of This Week With George Stephanopoulos, the host honored those who had recently died in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you were paying attention, you might have noted that among the fallen were five who were, at the time of their death, just nineteen years old.
On May 1, 2003, when President George W. Bush hung his famous "Mission Accomplished" banner on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, those same five soldiers were just fourteen years old. When the first Gulf War ended in February of 1991, those same five soldiers were between the ages of one and two. On March 17, 1988, when Saddam Hussein attacked the Kurdish town of Halabja with poison gas -- an event that was an oft-cited point of outrage as Bush attempted to gin up a moral pretext for the current conflict -- those same five soldiers were several months short of being conceived. And when Hussein appeared in this 1983 picture, shaking hands with then-colleague Donald Rumsfeld, it was possible that the parents of those same five soldiers had not yet met.
So, yeah. I hate to be pedantic, too. I just hate glib ignorance masquerading as assurance even more.