Katrina Vanden Heuvel Attacks Bill Kristol on Iraq War: ‘If You Feel So Strongly...Enlist In The Iraqi Army’

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left The Nation magazine, did her best to attack Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, over his continued support for the Iraq war and the need to take action to stop the increasing violence in the region.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 29, vanden Heuvel tried to verbally assault Kristol by asserting “We don't need armchair warriors. And if you feel so strongly, you should, with all due respect, enlist in the Iraqi army.” 

The Nation editor continued her smearing of Kristol: 

There is no military solution to Iraq. And I have to say, sitting next to Bill Kristol, man, I mean, the architects of catastrophe that have cost this country trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, there should be accountability. We should not, if there are no regrets for the failed assumptions that have so grievously wounded this nation, I don't know what happened to our politics and media accountability. But we need it, Bill because this country should not go back to war. 

As Kristol tried to defend himself, vanden Heuvel continued to interrupt the conservative and argued that “A million Iraqis have been displaced. You read that story. Humanitarian aid. What we have done to that country is a crime.” 

For his part, moderator George Stephanopoulos had to intervene to silence his liberal guest before allowing Kristol a chance to defend himself: 

The President of the United States, President Obama, said at the end of 2011, we have a stable and peaceful Iraq, thanks to the sacrifices, mostly, of American soldiers and Marines. Which we did. President Bush made mistakes. 

He was punished for those mistakes electorally as he should have been in 2006 and perhaps in 2008. He also had the courage to order the surge in 2007 which made up for those mistakes and left things peaceful. The president, this president pulled out of Iraq in 2011. He let the Syrian civil war explode. And now we have a terrible situation. 

See relevant transcript below. 


ABC

This Week with George Stephanopoulos

June 29, 2014

10:32 a.m. Eastern 

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: You do need a legislative branch which asserts its authority. And it’s not to say that one doesn't have problem with executive authority when it comes to drones or NSA surveillance. But the balance is out. The balance is off. For example, the president should go to Congress if he's going to take military action in Iraq. And that was a part of your interview. And I think we're siting here at a moment George where we’re talking about John Boehner. But the central question of war and peace for this country.

There is no military solution to Iraq. And I have to say, sitting next to Bill Kristol, man, I mean, the architects of catastrophe that have cost this country trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, there should be accountability. We should not, if there are no regrets for the failed assumptions that have so grievously wounded this nation, I don't know what happened to our politics and media accountability. But we need it, Bill because this country should not go back to war. We don't need armchair warriors. And if you feel so strongly, you should, with all due respect, enlist in the Iraqi army. 

BILL KRISTOL: That's a very cute line Katrina but people–

VANDEN HEUVEL: No, no but it’s real. Look at the displaced. Millions–

KRISTOL: Thousands of people being killed. Can I just make a point? 

VANDEN HEUVEL: A million Iraqis have been displaced. You read that story. Humanitarian aid. What we have done to that country is a crime. 

KRISTOL: We have done to that country? What we did to that country--

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let him respond. 

KRISTOL: Yeah, let me respond. The President of the United States, President Obama, said at the end of 2011, we have a stable and peaceful Iraq, thanks to the sacrifices, mostly, of American soldiers and Marines. Which we did. President Bush made mistakes. He was punished for those mistakes electorally as he should have been in 2006 and perhaps in 2008. He also had the courage to order the surge in 2007 which made up for those mistakes and left things peaceful. The president, this president pulled out of Iraq in 2011. He let the Syrian civil war explode. And now we have a terrible situation. 

VANDEN HEUVEL: The president signed an agreement in 2008 with the Iraqi government to withdraw. And President Obama tried to negotiate with al-Maliki. Couldn’t get a status of force agreement that would give immunity to our troops. The issue now, and we were talking earlier, this country cannot pour more men, women, money into it. It needs diplomacy. It needs tough political resolution and bringing the region together. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.