Kristol falsely claimed Dems "renounce[] the use of force" against "jihadist Islamic threat"

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

On the February 4 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor and Time magazine part-time columnist William Kristol falsely claimed that, in contrast with the Democratic presidential hopefuls, the Republican potential candidates "are all against renouncing the use of force in dealing with the jihadist Islamic threat." Discussing the 2008 presidential election, Kristol asked: "Do you want a party that renounces the use of force or do you want a party that's willing to use force?" However, no major Democratic presidential candidate has renounced "the use of force" in dealing with "the jihadist Islamic threat."

In fact, the top three 2008 Democratic potential presidential candidates -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) and Barack Obama (IL), and former Sen. John Edwards (NC) -- have all stated that they favor an increase in the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is reportedly resurgent.

In a letter co-authored with Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Clinton declared the need to send more troops to Afghanistan upon returning from a trip to the region. The Hill reported:

According to Clinton and Bayh, military commanders in Afghanistan need about 2,300 more troops.

"The Taliban - and its al Qaeda partner - remains a pernicious enemy, and a failure to defeat it decisively in the spring risks undermining public confidence in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai," Bayh and Clinton wrote in a letter to [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates. "It would be tragic if we fail in Afghanistan because of an unwillingness to deploy a manageable size of additional troops to aid an important and willing ally during a time of true need."

Similarly, on the February 4 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, when asked by host Tim Russert about his proposal to withdraw 40,000 troops from Iraq, Edwards stated: "Some American men and women should come home, some should go into Kuwait, some should go into Afghanistan," where he described the war effort as "moving south, unfortunately." Edwards added that, as president, he would "keep an able [troop] presence in the Persian Gulf."

Additionally, Obama has made clear his intentions to pursue victory in Afghanistan through increased military presence in that country. In a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in November 2006 titled "A Way Forward in Iraq," Obama said that by "redeploying from Iraq to Afghanistan, we will answer NATO's call for more troops and provide a much-needed boost to this critical fight against terrorism."

From the February 4 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

CHRIS WALLACE (host): Yesterday, down in South Carolina, he talked to an AP reporter and said, quote, "There's a real good chance," end quote, that he will. Two questions: One, do you think that Rudy Giuliani will actually get into this race? And secondly, can he overcome his stands on, you know, social issues -- pro-gun control, pro-choice, pro-gay rights -- particularly with the Republican conservative base?

KRISTOL: Yes, he will run, I believe. I mean, I've talked to people close to him just this last week. They're doing a lot of briefings. The fundraising is moving ahead. I think he intends to run and most likely will run.

Two, he may be able to overcome enough of these problems. Well, he certainly is a competitive candidate for the nomination. He and McCain are clearly the two leading candidates.

And I think -- and the conventional wisdom is well, once he gets in the race and everyone learns that he's pro-choice, and has a different view on gay rights and has been pro-gun control, that his support will collapse. I'm not so sure. This is a war election, as we were just talking about the Democrats. The Democrats are going to be the anti-war party. McCain, Giuliani, Romney are all for -- are all against renouncing the use of force in dealing with the jihadist Islamic threat.

I mean, that's what this election's going to come down to. Do you want a party that renounces the use of force or do you want a party that's willing to use force?

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