Kristol's paean to Bush has the unbelievable title of "Why Bush Will Be a Winner," which should be clue #1 that we are nowhere in the land of reality but rather have moved to Cloud Cuckooland with the neocons...where the "free" market fixes everything and all you have to do is explain to the benighted masses democracy at the end of a gun barrel and -- voila! -- you have tiny little idealistic Americas everywhere.
To understand just how out of touch Kristol is, you have to look at the contortions he makes to avoid telling the truth about Bush's failed Presidency:
What about terrorism? Apart from Iraq, there has been less of it, here and abroad, than many experts predicted on Sept. 12, 2001. So Bush and Vice President Cheney probably are doing some important things right. The war in Afghanistan has gone reasonably well.
Oh, yeah, "apart from Iraq." Yes, apart from the biggest blunder any President has made since Johnson trumped up the Gulf of Tonkin incident, terrorism is down. And if I discount all the miserably decrepit falling down, understaffed, failing schools in DC, DC has a top-notch school system. And what "experts" could Kristol be talking about? His own cadre of neo-imperialists, who jumped on 9-11 as an excuse to go after anyone they felt didn't toe the American line and attempted to relabel anyone operating outside the law as a terrorist (remember how people who smoked marijuana were really just terrorist sympathizers), most likely. So sure, I suppose if you count Kristol's cabal of reality-deniers as experts, you can easily arrive at the conclusion that Bush's crackdown on U.S. citizens' Constitutional rights has been an overwhelming success. And then he dares talk about the war in Afghanistan (remember that sidelight? the most notable thing to come out of that war has been the ongoing revelations of the government's cover-up of the Pat Tillman death.) as going "reasonably well." What the hell? In Afghanistan we have a pro-US government that nearly everyone sees as a puppet government with a head of state who can't venture outside a small section of Kabul without risking death from one of several tribal or religious factions around the country. I suppose if you compare it to Iraq, it is going "reasonably well." But I forgot: Kristol's trying to leave Iraq to the side...
Except he doesn't. He comes around in the end to argue that Bush's policies are finally leading the way to victory in Iraq (oooo...and what if we hadn't gone in....well Saddam would still be in charge...and then it becomes a playground of speculative bullshit that even Kristol has to admit is, well, speculative bullshit), yet he makes assertions that are so far removed from reality that you almost think you're reading The Onion. Except The Onion is funny. Just read these choice paragraphs to get a sense of how he's lost his:
With the new counterinsurgency strategy announced on Jan. 10, backed up by the troop "surge," I think the odds are finally better than 50-50 that we will prevail. We are routing al-Qaeda in Iraq, we are beginning to curb the Iranian-backed sectarian Shiite militias and we are increasingly able to protect more of the Iraqi population.
If we sustain the surge for a year and continue to train Iraqi troops effectively, we can probably begin to draw down in mid- to late 2008. The fact is that military progress on the ground in Iraq in the past few months has been greater than even surge proponents like me expected, and political progress is beginning to follow.
Where do you even begin with this lunacy? Outside the Kool-Aid drinking Bush administration lackeys, no one believes the surge has made any sort of impact on the situation in Iraq. Does he think the same people who read his column are somehow turning blind eyes to the news coming out of Iraq (another 80+ killed in car bombings today...despite Kristol's smug assertions). But I hope you also noticed his little hedge about beginning a drawdown in 2008, which just happens to be the time period that opponents of the Bush strategy are talking about drawdown. Kristol's strategy, now as always, is to tell the Big Lie but leave yourself an out.
Remember that it's bitter, blinder-addled, malicious old men like Kristol who are making the noises that this administration hears.