Aug 17, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 46 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
It’s more than a quarter-century since the Berlin Wall came down. We now take it for granted that it happened, assume it was inevitable that it would happen, and forget that some people helped bring about victory in the Cold War while others sought to impede their efforts.
As Joseph Bottum explains elsewhere in this issue, the late Robert Conquest was decidedly in the first category. He told the truth about the Soviet Union when doing so wasn’t fashionable. He helped educate and guide two politicians who weren’t afraid of the derision of their supposed intellectual and cultural betters, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. When a second edition of his 1968 classic, The Great Terror, was to be issued in 1990, his publisher asked him to come up with a new title. His friend Kingsley Amis is reputed to have suggested I Told You So, You F—ing Fools.
There were lots of Cold War fools. Some were senators, like Joe Biden and John Kerry. Some were students and community organizers, like Barack Obama. They did not come to power in time to lose the Cold War. They did come to power in time to lose the Iraq war and preside over an extraordinary diminution of U.S. power and stature in the post-9/11 world.
In 1992, Conquest wrote that the lessons of the 20th century “have not yet been learned, or not adequately so.” Nor have they been learned since. Conquest lamented the “massive reality denial” that prevented many from having a clear-eyed view of Soviet communism. But the denial of reality embodied in the Iran deal is the latter-day cousin of the denial of reality with respect to the Soviet Union.
It’s all there, after all—the wishful thinking, the belief that accommodation on the part of the West is all that is needed to make the world safer and that appeasement on the part of the West will produce peace. The resort to the same dishonest rhetoric is also there—the claim that to be tough-minded is to be a warmonger and that to insist on moral clarity and military strength is to beat the drums of war. Having chosen to remember nothing of the Cold War, especially nothing that would dent their amour propre, John Kerry and Barack Obama have learned nothing from the Cold War years. Conquest wouldn’t have expected them to.
But we are not simply putty in the hands of Barack Obama and John Kerry. We have a Congress that can act. In 1979, congressional opposition, led by men educated and inspired by Robert Conquest, doomed a bad arms-control deal with the Soviet Union and laid the groundwork for the election of Ronald Reagan, who reversed America’s course. Congress has an opportunity to follow in their footsteps today. It would be a fitting posthumous tribute to Robert Conquest.
Jul 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 43 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
President Obama had a moment of impressive moral clarity at his Iran press conference Wednesday. It was when he was asked about Bill Cosby.
“I’ll say this: If you give a woman—or a man, for that matter—without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape.” And, Obama continued, “I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”
Jun 29, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 40 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
We are not allowed, needless to say, to disclose our top secret list ranking the GOP presidential candidates from top to bottom. It’s kept in encrypted form on a password-protected, self-destructing hard drive in a safe room at The Weekly Standard, accessible only to a trusted few who are cleared to know all the machinations we are planning to engage in to secure a 2016 Republican nominee to our liking. But we can reveal this: Donald Trump competes for last place on our list with Rand Paul. We don’t think either man should be the next president of the United States.
Clinton 44, Sanders 323:04 PM, Jun 14, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bernie Sanders, the independent Democratic senator from Vermont, is within striking distance of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in a new poll of likely New Hampshire presidential primary voters. A new survey from the Morning Consult finds 44 percent of New Hampshire voters who say they will vote in the Democratic primary support Clinton with 32 percent supporting Sanders.
Feb 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 20 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Otto von Bismarck may never have said what’s often ascribed to him: “There is a special Providence for drunkards, fools, and the United States of America.” But he could have, and it probably sounds even better in German. In any case, one can certainly see, looking back, why the apparently apocryphal quotation became famous. It’s true, after all, that America has seemed providentially fortunate at times. It’s true that we’ve managed to survive some near misses, and to flourish despite a fair amount of folly.
Hosted by Michael Graham.2:05 PM, Nov 28, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on Hillary Clinton, Harvard Football, and Thanksgiving.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:28 PM, Nov 21, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on President Obama's newly announced executive actions on immigration policy and amnesty.
Hosted by Michael Graham.12:45 PM, Nov 5, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the results of the 2014 elections.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:00 PM, Oct 24, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the 2014 elections and the GOP's chances to retake the Senate.
Nov 3, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 08 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Supposing Republicans win a big victory on November 4. What then?
First, celebration. Republicans are sober and conservatives are . . . conservative. Neither group has a reputation as party animals. But The Weekly Standard gives them permission—nay, we urge them with the full authority of our weighty editorial voice—to let themselves go for one night. Pop the champagne corks. Put on the party hats. Go wild with the funny little noisemakers.
But would it be counterproductive?9:29 AM, Oct 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Amid increasing calls for a travel or visa ban on those trying to enter the United States from West African nations ravaged by the Ebola virus, the federal government continues to be steadfastly opposed. But why? Officials continue to argue that the travel ban would make it more difficult to track potentially infectious people who somehow enter the U.S. anyway.
8:01 AM, Aug 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
On Sunday, the boss joined George Stephanopolous, David Plouffe, Peggy Noonan, and Donna Edwards on ABC's This Week to talk about Iraq, Ferguson, Rick Perry's indictment, and a potential 2016 run from former Democratic senator Jim Webb. Stephanopolous referred to a recent WEEKLY STANDARD blog post on President Barack Obama's response to ISIS's brutal murder of American James Foley, titled "Appalling."
8:46 AM, Aug 8, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The boss was on the set of MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday to discuss Iraq, the Tea Party, and the midterm elections. Watch the videos below:
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:40 PM, Aug 1, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with William Kristol on the pro-amnesty, anti-Israel media and why the gap between the liberal media and the American public has never been greater.