From the December 8, 2003 issue: You can understand why the media might ignore the Saddam-Osama memo, but what about the Bush administration?Dec 8, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 13 • By THE EDITORS
ON THE SURFACE, it might seem like a simple case of media bias. In the November 24, 2003, WEEKLY STANDARD, Stephen F. Hayes summarized and quoted at length a recent, secret Pentagon memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The memo laid out--in 50 bullet points, over 16 pages--the relationship between Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Much of the intelligence in the memo was detailed and appeared to be well-sourced and well-corroborated.
From the December 1, 2003 issue: Bush has made it clear that the only exit strategy from Iraq is a victory strategy, with victory defined as "democracy."Dec 1, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 12 • By ROBERT KAGAN and WILLIAM KRISTOL
WHEN GEORGE W. BUSH first entered the White House, the conventional wisdom was that his inexperience and lack of vision in foreign policy would be compensated for by his wise and experienced cabinet. This may or may not have been a reasonable view at the time. Right now, however, it is clear that the most visionary and, yes, the wisest and most capable foreign policy-maker in the Bush administration is the president himself.
From the November 17, 2003 issue: Following through on the president's promise for Iraq.Nov 17, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 10 • By ROBERT KAGAN and WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE FRONT PAGE of the November 7 Washington Post says it all. The first headline, in large type: "Bush Urges Commitment to Transform Mideast." Below, in slightly smaller type: "Pentagon to Shrink Iraq Force." And below that: "Iraqi Security Crews Getting Less Training." It's a jarring juxtaposition. The president eloquently makes the case for a necessarily and admirably ambitious foreign policy.
Oct 27, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 07 • By J. BOTTUM, FOR THE EDITORS
YOU KNOW THE STORY. The frog in a saucepan on the stove will die--because the temperature creeps up so smoothly and stealthily that he's never given the clue that now is the time to hop out. And so he boils to death, for if the rise from 70 degrees to 71 degrees didn't make him jump, why should the rise from 150 to 151?
We've never entirely believed the story--or its allegorical applications. Surely the frog will jump, and people, too, before the water gets too hot.
From the October 20, 2003 issue: The case for the war in Iraq, with testimony from Bill Clinton.Oct 20, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 06 • By ROBERT KAGAN and WILLIAM KRISTOL
"When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn't know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N.
From the October 13, 2003 issue: There is disarray in George W. Bush's administration.Oct 13, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 05 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
REALITIES are sometimes unpleasant. Presidents are elected to confront such realities, and to deal with them. Evading them doesn't work. Pundits can afford to indulge in wishful thinking. Partisans can choose to preoccupy themselves with rock-throwing and blame-casting. But presidents have to govern. They have to deal with difficult realities--even if disingenuous liberals are capitalizing on them, and Democrats are distorting them.
Perhaps the biggest such reality for President Bush is the disarray within his administration.
From the October 6, 2003 issue: Some stipulations to the president's foreign aid request for Iraq.Oct 6, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 04 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION is asking Congress for an $87 billion appropriation to cover near-term troop deployment and reconstruction costs in Iraq.
From the September 22, 2003 issue: What removing Yasser Arafat would mean.Sep 22, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 02 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
"We think it would not be helpful to expel him because it would just give him another stage to play on."
--State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, after the Israeli government threatened to exile Yasser Arafat, Sept. 11, 2003
ALL THE WORLD'S NOT A STAGE, the melancholy Jacques of "As You Like It" to the contrary notwithstanding.
From the September 15, 2003 issue: Should the administration place all its bets on being able to find tens of thousands of foreign forces to fill the dangerous gap in Iraq?Sep 15, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 01 • By ROBERT KAGAN and WILLIAM KRISTOL
DESPERATION BREEDS ILLUSIONS. The latest illusion, embraced reluctantly by the Bush administration and enthusiastically by its critics, is that the burden of establishing and maintaining security in Iraq can be substantially shifted off American shoulders and onto someone else's--whether it be the United Nations, Turkey, India, or the poor Iraqi people themselves. In principle, there is nothing wrong with trying to shift control back to the Iraqis. That should be our goal. Nor would any reasonable person deny that international assistance is essential to rebuilding Iraq.
From the September 1 / September 8, 2003 issue: Everything's up for grabs.Sep 1, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 48 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE 2004 presidential election will be the biggest in at least a generation. Perhaps more. The choice between Bush and Dean/Kerry/Hillary (to list Democrats in the order of their chance to become the nominee) will be the starkest since Reagan-Mondale in 1984. More will be at stake in terms of the direction of the country than in any election since 1980, or perhaps since 1964. After the last decade's noticeably smaller elections, in terms both of starkness of choice and magnitude of consequence, 2004 will be the real thing.
Let's start with foreign policy.
Decoding Gephardt, doubting Blair, doing drugs, and more.12:00 AM, Aug 4, 2003 • By
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
William Kristol is a smart guy, but he appears to be making a silly mistake in Gephardt's 16 Words. Like other conservatives he is missing important nuances in the speech of a sophisticated thinker.
The Bush administration is handling the peace well in Iraq, but stumbling with the U.S.-Saudi relationship.12:10 PM, Jul 28, 2003 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE GOOD NEWS is that we may turning the corner in the debate on post-war Iraq. The phony Niger/uranium scandal has run out of steam: There never really was enough oxygen there to sustain a firestorm in the first place, and the release of excerpts from October's National Intelligence Estimate has made the notion of systematic deceit and deception incredible. More important, and despite the continued killings of American soldiers, the situation on the ground in Iraq may well be turning.
From the August 4 / August 11, 2003 issue: What the Democrats are saying changes everything.Aug 4, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 45 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
"George Bush has left us less safe and less secure than we were four years ago."
From the July 28, 2003 issue: Anatomy of a scandal that wasn't.Jul 28, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 44 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
KARL ROVE is a genius. No--Rove probably gets more credit than he deserves for political smarts, and the president gets too little, so let's rephrase that: George W. Bush is a genius.
Almost two weeks ago, the president ordered his White House staff to bollix up its explanation of that now-infamous 16-word "uranium from Africa" sentence in his State of the Union address.
George W. Bush's meeting with China's Hu Jintao makes one wonder if the bureaucracy has seized control of China policy from a preoccupied president.12:00 AM, Jun 5, 2003 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
PRESIDENT BUSH has had an impressive and successful trip to Europe and the Middle East. But the president's June 1 meeting with President Hu Jintao of China, as described in an unnamed senior administration official's "background" briefing, makes one wonder if the bureaucracy has seized control of China policy from a preoccupied president, vice president and national security adviser. (The entire briefing is available at the White House website).