Usually, politics is a murky business — gray upon gray, one set of mixed motives jostling with another. But sometimes there is a time for choosing — between courage and cynicism, between honor and disgrace.
John McCain's speech to the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute is the best single analysis by any political figure of where we stand in the war in Iraq. It is a serious and sober attempt to persuade the American people that the war is winnable, that we should give Gen. Petraeus a chance to win it, and that accepting defeat would be both ignoble and disastrous to American interests. With this morally and intellectually impressive speech, John McCain took leadership of the fight for victory in Iraq
April 2003, Kristol speaking to Terry Gross on NPR:
"And on this issue of the Shia in Iraq, I think there's been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America that, you know, somehow the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."
Oddly enough, Kristol was able to talk about the "Sunni insurgency" and the "Shia militia" without even batting an eye. It is this soulless lack of self-reflection that allows him to continually equate "leadership" with sending other people off to die as if they were merely pieces on a Risk board. And if he is wrong, fuck it, it's not like he's gonna lose any sleep over it. He shouldn't even be allowed to use the words "courage" or "honor". As for "disgrace" and "cynicism"; he's soaking in it.