News & Politics

NeverTrumper Bill Kristol Pretends to Be Insulted by Trump's Decision to Pardon Three for War Crimes

Bill Kristol, NeverTrumper. Source: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The former editor of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, has yet another reason — he believes — to hate President Trump: the president’s decision to pardon three servicemembers accused of committing war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Kristol especially has a problem with this part of the president’s official statement on the issue:

“When our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.”

In other words, he doesn’t want to give them the feeling that if they simply defend themselves, the civilian population, or their fellow servicemembers (against terrorists), they may end up in jail. They need to know that the president has their back so they can go out and fight to protect America, her interests, and her allies.

To Kristol, however, that sentence is extremely insulting to other members of the military:

I’m not going to come out in favor or against this pardon. Honestly, I don’t know enough about these cases. I’m betting, however, that Kristol doesn’t know more about it than me, which means that he may have read some articles about it in the New York Times and that’s it. President Trump should be in a much better position to make this call, whether to pardon these servicemembers or not.

That is why it’s so striking that Kristol immediately jumps on this news to attack Trump again.

Oh, something else: Bill Kristol has a long history of supporting endless wars. He has called this doctrine “benevolent hegemony.” That sounds really, well, benevolent and all, but it basically means that the U.S. should use any means necessary to make sure that it is and remains the most powerful country on earth. This includes using unilateral force if need be. That’s rather interesting because going to war for any other reason than out of self-defense (and/or without backing of the UN Security Council) may actually constitute… a war crime.

Oh, and Kristol has also described himself as being “squishy” on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Or, what many in the legal profession actually call torture.

In other words, if there’s one person in the entire world who probably shouldn’t criticize these servicesmembers and President Trump on this issue, it’s Bill Kristol.