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Brown War Watch asks: Why is Bill Kristol always wrong?



Bill Kristol, former editor of the neoconservative journal The Weekly Standard and chairman of the right-wing think tank Project for a New American Century, was, say organizers of a protest against him at Brown University on Thursday, “an unrepentant proponent of the Iraq War.”

Kristol was at Brown to discuss “The Future of Conservatism in America” at the invitation of the Political Theory Project and the Brown Political Review. His appearance was peacefully protested by members of Brown War Watch, a graduate student group at Brown University dedicated to the critique of American military policy. Many held signs bearing Kristol quotes, all of which proved to be not only wrong, but disastrous, such as “We can remove Saddam because that can start a chain reaction that would be very healthy” and the one pictured below:

“We welcome Bill Kristol to Brown to give us ideas,” said Brown War Watch member Les Robinson. “But Bill Kristol has an infamous record of advocating for wars that America has lost great blood and great treasure partaking in.”

“We are here to say that his record is horrible and that there are alternatives for America,” continued Robinson. “He was one of the chief cheerleaders for the Iraq invasion and that’s cost the country literally trillions.”

That’s money that conservatives could have put towards tax cuts, or progressives towards things like education and universal healthcare.

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Necons like Kristol, said Robinson, are “quick to forget the Founding Fathers’ warnings about foreign entanglements. We’re here to remind people of the costs of that.”

The Brown Daily Herald ran an oped from Brown War Watch member Matthew Ricci explaining more of why Bill Kristol’s views and history are problematic. Ricci points out that though Kristol has positioned himself as a conservative in opposition to President Donald Trump, “on issues of war and peace, of American domination and oppression across the globe, one struggles to find a serious difference between Kristol and Trump.”

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Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.