Trending Topics:

Bill Kristol celebrates ‘normal’ foreign policy — with Russia replacing Iraq in the new ‘axis of evil’

on 17 Comments

I used to think the Bush administration was the heyday of Bill Kristol, but recent days have been very good for the neoconservative, as Donald Trump bombs Syria and Afghanistan and threatens North Korea too. Kristol was on Andrea Mitchell’s broadcast Friday afternoon celebrating the return of a “normal” foreign policy– military engagement in the Middle East.

The former leader of the Never Trump movement among Republicans was thrilled by Trump’s black-and-white characterization of Russia and Syria on Fox. “Putin is backing a person that is truly an evil person. I think it’s very bad for Russia, I think it’s very bad for mankind.” Kristol tried out a new/old phrase:

You could almost say that Russia, Iran & Syria constitute an axis of evil persecuting their own citizens & threatening the civilized world.

Two days later he dispensed with that almost:

So Russia has now replaced Iraq in the axis of evil. They sure took care of Iraq!

And to that triumvirate of states ripe for “regime change”, Kristol added North Korea too:

It would be ironic if Trump, who campaigned against regime change, ends up pursuing it in both Syria and North Korea.

Kristol revels in the ironies. Responding to a White House statement five days ago, “if you gas a baby, if you use a barrel bomb, you’ll see a reaction from this President,” Kristol said: 

Hey, great news–George W. Bush is apparently back in the White House.

He has turned to taunting Trump’s “populist” (his quotes) base, telling them their man is an elitist. Kristol doesn’t worry much about Steve Bannon, rubbing in Trump’s real values: 

The Trump administration: The voice is the voice of Andrew Jackson, yet the hands are the hands of Goldman Sachs.

Two months ago, Bill Kristol was pushing for the Deep State over the Trump coup.

Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.

Now it seems he’s got his wish. This is why I say that the deep state in Washington is the Israel lobby with all its militancy. One of Bill Kristol’s earlier brags was purging the “old fashioned Arabists” from the Republican Party in the ’90s; more recently his Emergency Committee for Israel helped make Tom Cotton the senator from Arkansas, but failed to stop the Iran deal. Today Israel lobbyists are in thinktanks, and policy positions, they survive elections in the anti-terror job at Treasury. They had Hillary Clinton’s unquestioning support, and were threatened by Trump for a while, but now it’s business as usual. “Trump with his attack on Syria has revealed his true colors so consequently, he’s been welcomed back into ‘respectable company’: by Deep Statists, McCain, Graham, etc.,” says Todd Pierce. That’s Lindsey Graham, who joked that his Cabinet would be all Jewish because of all the pro-Israel funding. Both the Washington Post and New York Times editorial columnists include fervent Zionists. No anti-Zionists.

Cotton and Kristol

Kristol is supporting David Abroms in his run for a Georgia congressional seat vacated by Tom Price, now Secretary of HHS. Abroms is a former AIPAC intern who visited Israel on his “Birthright” tour and says the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The leading Democrat in that race, Jon Ossoff, studied at the knee of Michael Oren, according to his official campaign biography, and has distanced himself from the Iran Deal.





Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

17 Responses

  1. Citizen on April 16, 2017, 12:38 pm

    That guy’s a disaster for USA.

    • gamal on April 16, 2017, 9:08 pm

      “a disaster for USA”

      disaster is the one thing that unites us all,
      look here 3 white American men 1 opinion,
      their disaster awareness is refreshing

      • Citizen on April 17, 2017, 6:04 am

        Yes it is; of course RT is dismissed by US mainstream media as a Russian house organ. Too, Alternet voices never appear on CableTV news/infotainment shows, which can’t get enough of Ziocon-Neocons, e.g., John Bolton and Bill Kristol is now again being trotted out too.

  2. amigo on April 16, 2017, 1:41 pm

    Bill (the new century) Kristol is now showing up on CNN after a 10 + year hiatus.

    Who said the neo cons are defeated.

  3. John O on April 16, 2017, 1:59 pm

    At least the replies to Kristol’s Twitterage you link to in your second paragraph are amusing.

  4. Maghlawatan on April 16, 2017, 3:06 pm

    The US has been bombing Afghanistan for 16 years with no sign of success. The Foreign policy establishment is a part of the swamp Trump promised to drain. And the GOP is hopelessly split between Koch suckers, Breitbarters, Tea Party freaks and normal people.
    The US is a complete mess. Long term this is not good for Zionism.

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.[4]

  5. Maghlawatan on April 16, 2017, 4:39 pm

    I would love to see a pistol duel between Kristol and Ann Coulter.

    Trump was effectively an insurgent so he didn’t have the time to build up a coherent team with coherent policies. Someone said he is most likely to listen to the last person he spoke to. The GOP is all over the place over Syria. 47000 comments on this Breitbart piece

  6. jd65 on April 16, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Kristol was on Andrea Mitchell’s broadcast Friday afternoon celebrating the return of a “normal” foreign policy– military engagement in the Middle East.

    Yup. Normal… SNAFU.

    Relative Normal | John Dworkin

    Normal – that’s the watchword. During our 2015, July/August Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation’s first meeting here in Palestine, the phrase “a normal life,” and the general idea of “normalcy” was repeated by those speaking to us at the Youth Center in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan. Our guide for the day spoke of just wanting a normal life. His village of Silwan suffers regular home demolitions which systematically displace Palestinians as part of this ongoing Israeli public policy. It’s also known for its high rate minors (children) being illegally apprehended by heavily armed soldiers, often in the dead of night, and taken into administrative detention.

    Muslim, a 15 year old boy from Silwan, spoke to us about being arrested 15 times – presumably for throwing stones – since he was 9 years old. For Muslim and hundreds of other minors subject to administrative detention, being arrested often means being beaten, deported out of your hometown or village, being separated for extended periods from your family, being afforded no legal representation, having no formal charge lodged against you, etc… One of Muslim’s arrests had him jailed for 8 days, forcing him to miss a good amount of school while he was confined to a prison cell. When asked by a member of our delegation what the jail was like, he replied, “4 walls. No sun. No air.” This is the current state of “normal” in Silwan and many other Palestinian villages and refugee camps.

    Our delegation’s next meeting, via Skype, was with an American Friends Service Committee youth group in Gaza. Throughout the discussion with these young adults from Gaza (which is quite literally the world’s largest open air prison), the desire for a “normal life” was specifically mentioned again. Despite being periodically assaulted over the last 6-7 years (2008-09 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, 2014 Operation Protective Edge, etc…), leveling their infrastructure, killing thousands, including hundreds of children, creating mass unemployment, etc., these kids keep moving forward. This is their “normal” since the illegal blockade of collective punishment was imposed on Gaza by Israel in 2007. These youth somehow remain vital and actually retain a sense of humor in their talk with our delegation. It is near miraculous.

    In solidarity circles, the term “normalization” is oft used and is a big term in the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions movement. Our meeting with one of the main leaders of this movement, Omar Barghouti, touched on this normalization concept. There are many interpretations and shades of what this concept means, but in a general way, it means if one tries to simply make the occupation more comfortable to live under, as opposed to resisting it, one “normalizes” the occupation. Situation normal… SNAFU.

    When we met with Nomika Zion (Other Voices) in Sderot, she told us that in most all of Israeli society, “[T]he occupation is second nature… [This] means you don’t see it anymore.” This is another way of saying that it has become normalized. And she meant this in the most negative sense. She also directly referred to the situation between Sderot and Gaza as “abnormal.” Since the illegal blockade of Gaza, Sderot is one of the Israeli towns close enough to the Gaza border to consistently receive their retaliatory rocket fire. Nomika’s two references to normality were extremely tame compared to other criticisms she had for Israeli action, policy and society. For someone who has lived under the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza to still be so honestly self-critical of her own society’s behavior and policy is brave and illuminating. She is a living lesson.

    When Benjamin Netanyahu and countless other politicians and pundits refer to Israel as “the only Democracy in the Middle East,” they are trying to convince the West that we share a similar standard of democratic “normalcy.” And when seen through the prism of other colonial enterprises historically, Israel’s illegal occupation and systematic abuse of International Law can appear, in away, normal. But in another much more profound way, when seen up close and in detail, it’s gruesomely abnormal. They’ve transformed a perverse abnormality into their own, relatively unique, normalcy.

    Israel’s normalization of the abnormal is mirrored in the U.S. by the alarming rate of our cops killing our own innocent, unarmed black civilians. The situation in the states is not as bad as in Israel, but the parallels are clear. And this is not to minimize what is happening to black men and women in the U.S. It feels like it’s getting noticeably worse by the week. Reading about another U.S. police officer killing another unarmed black civilian in our newspapers back home is becoming way too normal.

    Last March in Haaretz, Anshel Pfeffer wrote this of Israelis’ relationship to their own country: “Deep down, they know normalcy is an illusion.” But it’s not an illusion. It’s a choice. They’re choosing supremacy over normalcy.

    So what’s the “normal” bottom line? I see both Israel and the U.S. espousing a desire for creating a normal situation for the Palestinians and Israelis, while actively working against one. Their conception of “normal” for the Palestinians seems unfortunately, and thoroughly, linked to their own control and repression of another people. On the other hand, everything I’ve heard and seen here from the Palestinians themselves during our delegation points to their conception of “normal” as containing true universal and equal human rights. Something much closer to what true democratic (and hopefully still, American) ideals represent. It’s about freedom, equality and justice. Got Normal?

    P.S. – I searched but couldn’t find the Kristol/Mitchell exchange Weiss referred to/quoted in the above article. Can anyone direct me to it? Maybe it’s not uploaded yet?

  7. Maghlawatan on April 16, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Congenital birth defects in Fallujah

    Is Zionism worth it?

  8. JLewisDickerson on April 16, 2017, 5:24 pm

    RE: Bill Kristol celebrates ‘normal’ foreign policy — with Russia replacing Iraq in the new ‘axis of evil’

    Wilkerson: Trump Attack on Syria Driven by Domestic Politics
    Paul Craig Roberts: ‘It’s OVER For Trump; Anti-Russian Neocons Are In Charge; Business As Usual’

    • JWalters on April 17, 2017, 5:44 am

      Thanks for this excellent pair of interviews.

      Banning Col. Wilkerson from the Israeli-controlled MSM is outright sabotage of America’s “free press”. Israeli control of the MSM should be a criminal violation of anti-trust laws. This monopoly is enabling fraud on the American people. It’s clear from this interview why the Israelis would ban Wilkerson.

      Paul Craig Roberts’ suggestion for a realistic US ambassador to Israel is excellent – Norm Finkelstein.

      Side note: Former MSNBZ host Ed Schultz now has an evening news show where he’s allowed to discuss the actual factual evidence on things like Trump’s missile strike and MSM conspiracy theories about Russian election-hacking.

      Rachel, Lawrence, and the rest of the gang over at MSNBZ must be SO jealous.

  9. Keith on April 16, 2017, 6:39 pm

    PHIL- “This is why I say that the deep state in Washington is the Israel lobby with all its militancy.”

    The Saker has an interesting analysis on this very topic. I mostly agree with some significant reservations. It is somewhat long with considerable food for thought, always a good idea. I provide a quote and link.

    “The reason why I decided to tackle this issue today is that the forces who broke Trump in less than a month are also the very same forces who have forced him into a political 180: the Neocons and the US deep state. However, I think that these two concepts can be fused into on I would call the “Ziocons”: basically Zionists plus some rabid Anglo imperialists à la Cheney or McCain. These are the folks who control the US corporate media, Hollywood, Congress, most of academia, etc. These are the folks who organized a ferocious assault on the “nationalist” or “patriotic” wing of Trump supporters and ousted Flynn and Bannon and these are the folks who basically staged a color revolution against Trump.” (The Saker)

  10. talknic on April 17, 2017, 3:49 am

    PNAC Bill Kristol

  11. Citizen on April 17, 2017, 7:06 am

    Syria: Cui Bono? by @NatCounterPunch
    Who Benefits (Other Than #Israel)?

  12. HarryLaw on April 17, 2017, 2:58 pm

    Here is a brilliant discussion chaired by Chris Hedges with two Journalists Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton, who really know their stuff on Syria.

  13. James Canning on April 17, 2017, 6:21 pm

    Foolish pursuit of “regime change” has led to disaster after disaster.

Leave a Reply