January 27, 2009


Kristol’s earlier punditry for The Post was also controversial. In July 2007, he wrote in the paper’s Outlook section that “George W. Bush’s presidency will probably be a successful one.” He also said the Iraq war could be won and that “military progress on the ground in Iraq in the past few months has been greater than even surge proponents like me expected.”

And didn’t that turn out to be, you know, right? Pretty much everybody admits we’ve won in Iraq now. Kristol’s only sin was in timing. You can say the surge worked brilliantly now — you can even say it “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams” — and back in 2003, even John Kerry could say that “the only exit strategy is victory.” So Kristol’s sin was in saying the surge was working when it might affect the Democrats’ chances. As is so often with these things, it’s not the position that matters, but when it was taken. Kristol said it in 2007. Unforgivable!

Some related thoughts on timing, here.

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