Coulter vs. Kristol

You’d have to be barking mad not to realize the Empire is going to lose in Afghanistan. Either that, or you’re so blinded by an other-worldly ideology that defeat in the global democratic revolution is beyond your range of comprehension.

Enter Bill Kristol. He published a demand for Michael Steele to resign for his comments on the hopelessness of a military win in Afghanistan. And here’s how he ended the demand:

There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case. But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican party.

Which prompted Ann Coulter to respond with this backhand to Kristol’s face:

But now I hear it is the official policy of the Republican Party to be for all wars, irrespective of our national interest.

What if Obama decides to invade England because he’s still ticked off about that Churchill bust? Can Michael Steele and I object to that? Or would that demoralize the troops?

Chalk up another defector from the Legion of Super War Supporters.

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20 thoughts on “Coulter vs. Kristol

  1. RonL

    This is not a isolationist vs neoconservative thing. Many who believe in actively dealing with Islamists see Iraq and much of Afghanistan as a waste.
    You may be interested in two pieces by jihad expert Hugh Fitzgerald
    How the Failure to Understand Jihad is Costing Americans Trillions

    ISLAM: What Is To Be Done?

  2. HarrisonBergeron2 Post author


    Islam cannot affect us if we don’t allow them to colonize us here at home.

  3. Red Phillips

    I don’t think Coulter is slipping into Ron Paul non-interventionism territory yet, but I think she may be becoming more “Jacksonian.” Get in, get it done and get out.

    I think Coulter, by conservative pundit standards, has good instincts. She may yet find herself drifting more and more toward non-interventionism, but for people like her, who have invested intellectually and emotionally so heavily in interventionism, the transition is not an easy one, especially a public transition.

  4. Kirt Higdon

    Partisanship, as Justin Raimondo has recently pointed out, has its uses, but let’s not confuse it with principle. There’s no doubt in my mind as to which way Ann Coulter will be “slipping” and “drifting” once the Republicans are back in power and it will definitely not be toward non-interventionism.

  5. Red Phillips

    Kirt, it is difficult to go from “If the US doesn’t intervene all over the world we are all going to die!!!” to “Our interventionism is actually causing us problems and is unsustainable.” Especially for public figures like Coulter whose identity as a conservative has been wrapped up in the need to militarily combat Islamic terrorists. (Again, I think Coulter’s identity as a conservative is sounder than some. She has paleo sympathies, but is all wrapped around the axel on the WoT.)

    So how do we get there from here? Do we demand every interventionist denounce their interventionism and immediately become Paul style non-interventionists? That would be nice, but it ain’t going to happen. There has to be some sort of way station on the journey to non-interventionism. Scolding any movement our way for being insufficiently non-interventionist and waxing pessimistic about how the conservative movement and GOP will never change seems to me extremely self-defeating. (This is one problem I have with Larison.) It may be right and it may be justified, but it is no strategy for making positive progress our way. Why not encourage Coulter for making some movement our way? There was much in what she said that could indicate she is coming around.

  6. Red Phillips

    Ron, what is the editorial slant of the New English Review? I haven’t read the whole article yet because it is long, but it makes some good points so far.

  7. HarrisonBergeron2 Post author

    Red Phillips,

    I agree with your approach. Just hearing one war supporter admit “THIS particular war is wrong” is a welcome ray of sanity. Compare AC to Bill Kristol, who won’t admit to any errors and still thinks war is always the answer.

    These Neocon knuckleheads dismiss reality and realists, convinced their airy ideology constitutes the “real” truth. In fact, itt ain’t even truthiness!

  8. Red Phillips

    HB2, I have become increasingly convinced that some of the “conservative” movement leadership are actually just shills for the defense industry and the make work jobs program that is our current military (active duty and civilian) enterprise. Those folks will never come our way. They will always be Chicken Little hysterics who ominously warn that any decrease in our military spending and footprint will surely mean the death of us all. But the conservative masses and the unbought conservative movement leaders could come our way. My hope is that over time the hysterics will become more and more isolated and speaking for fewer and fewer people, bitter-enders that time has left behind.

  9. James

    Coulter is as schizophrenic and confused with regard to genuine Conservative principles as Glenn Beck, even if she is right about this one. I believe it has been correctly stated here above, Islam and Islamic extremists can’t hurt us if it and they are not here. If we keep it and them out of our country (and if we stay out of their lands) we won’t have a problem.

  10. Augustinian

    Red & Harrison,

    Yes, any move ‘our’ way, albeit small, can be a good first step. Although she often makes me wince, I’ve long had a similar opinion that Ann Coulter has something ‘right’ about her, and not simply her looks. Often she has appeared to come near the edge, only to draw back into the Neo-Connish fold.

    Hey, I was there once too: a ‘rah-rah, go kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out’ type. Over time, and with plenty of reading and thinking, I came to reject the militaristic and idolatrous–yes, IDOLATROUS–blather about America’s being so great and wonderful that we simply have to dictate how the rest of the world must live.

  11. Red Phillips

    The actual Coulter column is a mess. She is right about Steele and Afghanistan, but takes half the column defending our war in Iraq.

    Again, I think folks like Coulter are too invested in all the pro-war arguments they’ve made for the last 9 years that they can’t let them go. So how to get them right is the question.

  12. Pingback: Matt Lewis On Coulter vs. Kristol | Conservative Heritage Times

  13. Kirt Higdon

    The acid test – what’s Coulter’s position on a war against Iran? Is she with McCain, Lieberman, Graham and Netanyahu or against them?

  14. RedPhillips

    “The acid test – what’s Coulter’s position on a war against Iran? Is she with McCain, Lieberman, Graham and Netanyahu or against them?”

    Agreed. That would tell us a lot. Although she might favor a strategic strike vs. invasion and nation building.

    The fact that an interventionist conservative would see neoconservatives as something different is progress however.

  15. Captainchaos

    “I have become increasingly convinced that some of the “conservative” movement leadership are actually just shills for the defense industry”

    LOL! I take it you meant to say “the Jews” and not “the defense industry.”

  16. ShockG

    There is nothing “non-interventionist” about Coulter’s position. It is clear that nearly all of the commenters on the subject had not read her piece.

    She deride’s Kristol because Obama refocused the conflict from ground that can be won to ground that cannot be; that Afghanistan is “Obama’s war” as he is the one who lectured the country on the “war of choice” as opposed to a so-called war of necessity.

    Kristol’s position that as conservatives we cannot criticize critical decisions on how we deploy our military is ludicrous.

    Coulter’s position is that yes, we chose, Bush chose, to fight a war that can be won while Obama chooses to go through the motions in Afghanistan so that he cannot be called soft. All the while our children die.

    Coulter is not non-interventionist in any way. Her column was brilliant.

  17. RedPhillips

    ShockG, I don’t think anyone said she was now a non-interventionist. The point is she is moving away from reflexive bellicosity and support for war, any war.

    Let’s not engage in historical revisionism. Originally Afghanistan was the “necessary” war following 9/11 and Iraq was the “war of choice.” To now say that Iraq was the good war and Afghanistan was not seems especially perverse.

  18. ShockG

    She is not moving away from anything – that is in fact her point. There was a reason to “choose” Iraq as the battlefield as opposed to Afghanistan. Revisionism is not needed. All wars in which the US has partaken have been wars of choice.

    Coulter’s point is that we “chose” a battle that we could win and one in which our national interest was promoted. She is not very ambiguous.

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