Credibility problems

by Henry on August 11, 2006

Matt Yglesias announces the institution of Krauthammer Friday

Charles Krauthammer’s columns are published on Fridays. Thus, I hereby proclaim a new recurring feature—the second Friday of every month, we’ll revisit the man’s January 18, 2006 column, “The Iran Charade, Part II” in which he confidently proclaimed—contrary to the judgment of every relevant intelligence agency—that “Iran is probably just months away” from a nuclear bomb.

But even better, to my mind, was Krauthammer’s confident judgement on Iraq WMDs back in April 2003.

Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.

Indeed.

{ 50 comments }

1

felix 08.12.06 at 1:08 am

Charles Krauthammer believes that “This administration has redefined the world”.

Charles Krauthammer considers the Bush foreign policy team to be “A foreign policy team, national security team, which I believe is the most successful and the most impressive since the Truman-Atchison-Marshall team and the others of the late 1940s”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that “communism was the successor to fascism”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that “terrorism can only live among states”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that terrorism “can only be supported by states”.

Charles Krauthammer, discussing civilian casualties, believes that “Iraq is extremely important because it shows us that we have a new way of warfare in which those problems can be mitigated to an unimaginable degree”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that, “The importance of the war in Iraq is that it has demonstrated for the first time in history the capacity of one country, the United States, to destroy a totalitarian regime without destroying the country”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that, “The idea was that if you went after the head of the snake in a regime like this, the rest of the body will die, and it was precisely correct”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that “The only people in the world who still think that–who question whether or not we won in Iraq are Upper West Side liberals”.

Charles Krauthammer believes that “It’s no accident that we have not heard any saber-rattling out of Pyongyang now for weeks. It is a direct result of their understanding of what we can do and that we might be able to do it to them”.

What a fucktard. You find them everywhere other than the offices of military recruiters.

2

bad Jim 08.12.06 at 1:58 am

If it’s about Krauthammer, there’s also this from M.J. Rosenberg:

About three years ago, I saw Krauthammer flip out in synagogue on Yom Kippur. The rabbi had offered some timid endorsement of peace — peace essentially on Israel’s terms — but peace anyway. Krauthammer went nuts. He actually started bellowing at the rabbi, from his wheel chair in the aisle. People tried to “shush” him. It was, after all, the holiest day of the year. But Krauthammer kept howling until the rabbi apologized.

More generally, the advocates of the invasion of Iraq ought to acknowledge their loss of credibility. Even the few who have admitted they were wrong seem not to understand that the rest of us no longer take them seriously.

3

novakant 08.12.06 at 4:23 am

on a related note: why is Kenneth Pollack still taken seriously as an ‘expert’? why is his opinion and judgement still valued highly? are there no consequences to being wrong in this field?

4

abb1 08.12.06 at 4:44 am

He wrote this amazing sentence in one of his manifestoes: “The choice is ours. To impiously paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: History has given you an empire, if you will keep it.”

He’s a funny guy.

5

raj 08.12.06 at 9:22 am

Charles Krauthammer appears to be an idiot who should be studying to be a moron. And, by saying that, I am being unkind to both idiots and morons.

What does CK have on the brass at WaPo that they keep him on? Does his column really help to sell any dead-tree-newsprint newspapers?

6

Steve LaBonne 08.12.06 at 9:49 am

It’s all very nice for us to chat amongst ourselves. But WHERE THE HELL are the Democrats who should be hammering, 500 times a day so even our brain-dead press has to pick up on it, on the utter lunacy of this Administration and its crazed hangers-on like CK? Apart from Hillary’s day-late-and-dollar-short disparagement of Cheney the other day, you still pretty much have to go to Stewart and Colbert to hear the things that need to be said. Why don’t we have a freaking OPPOSITION party? Sorry to shout, but I keep waiting and waiting, and it’s getting to me. What, are they still afraid of this political powerhouse of a president who’s been in the low 30s in the polls for months??

7

Steve 08.12.06 at 9:56 am

Are you really initiating a post in which you attack a newspaper column from eight months ago (the author has written at least 25 since then), and another one from April 2003 (the author has written about 125 columns since then)? Seriously?
What did he write yesterday?

You are really cutting edge, man.

Steve

8

Steve LaBonne 08.12.06 at 10:00 am

Gee, Steve, maybe it has something to do with the fact that CK has never even begun to acknowledge that he was full of crap back then, and has gone merrily on his way advocating the bombing of Iran from the very same deranged point of view that led him astray in the past.

9

loren 08.12.06 at 10:01 am

novakant: “why is Kenneth Pollack still taken seriously as an ‘expert’?”

Probably because, unlike Krauthammer, Pollack actually is an area studies expert. That doesn’t mean we should believe him outright (good bayesians should discount based on past performance), but I’d certainly take him more seriously than Krauthammer.

10

DonBoy 08.12.06 at 10:01 am

If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.

That’s the kind of “we” that becomes “they”, in the event. (Much as Jerry Seinfeld pointed out sports fan who will say, as appropriate, “we won” or “they lost”.)

11

bi 08.12.06 at 11:24 am

Steve’s Law: As an online discussion on Bush grows longer, the probability that Steven (sans LaBonne) will say something along the lines of
“Why do you hate [insert name of Bush supporter] so much?”
approaches one.

12

Steve 08.12.06 at 12:37 pm

“Gee, Steve, maybe it has something to do with the fact that CK has never even begun to acknowledge that he was full of crap back then, and has gone merrily on his way advocating the bombing of Iran from the very same deranged point of view that led him astray in the past.”

Has he? How do you know? Perhaps a quote from the guy that’s less than 8 months old would be useful…

Steve

13

pedro 08.12.06 at 12:56 pm

Just to educate Steve: Krauthammer’s old columns are relevant today *precisely* because they make predictions about the short-term future. The one Henry has rescued is interesting, because rather than being a cautionary reminder, silly Krauthammer uttered it as an indictment of Hans Blix.

14

engels 08.12.06 at 1:12 pm

Steve Labonne: Krauthammer has never acknowledged XXX.
Steve the Cretin: Can you support that assertion with a direct quote from Krauthammer?

15

bi 08.12.06 at 1:33 pm

engels: About CK’s apology for his nonsense predictions, the onus is on us to prove that CK never apologized, not on Steve to prove that CK apologized. Just like for WMD.

Should we give 5 months to Steve to see if he finds anything from CK remotely resembling an acknowledgement of his crappiness? Wait, maybe not — because if he finds nothing, he’ll criticize us for digging up something about him that’s 5 months old. Goo goo g’joob!

16

French Swede the Rootless Vegetable 08.12.06 at 1:39 pm

Yay!!! Krauthammer Friday Nightz!! Party!!!

Krauthammer’s Iran fridays: 850!!

Krauthammer’s Iraq fridays: 204!!

Someone check the number of days for me? I’m getting out now & I’ve already’ve had a couple of drinks.

Cheer to all timberites; hammer teh kraut til the litez go out 2nite!!!

17

French Swede the Rootless Vegetable 08.12.06 at 1:45 pm

Iran was Iraq… Irak, Iram, whatever. They all got nukes anyway, nuke’em all!!! What, they don’t?
Fool me, shame on once… aah, fuggedaboutit!!

18

engels 08.12.06 at 1:52 pm

I didn’t say anything about the burden of proof. You don’t disprove a negative existential claim by providing an example.

19

engels 08.12.06 at 2:00 pm

Whoops, you were joking anyway: sorry.

20

john henry 08.12.06 at 4:01 pm

Skill testing question.
From CK piece “The Kurd Card” on Mar 10, 2006: “The main objective of U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who worked miracles in Afghanistan, is to make sure that the Interior Ministry is purged of sectarianism by giving it to some neutral figure, perhaps a secular Sunni with no ties to the Baath Party.”
Can anyone name one of the miracles delivered by the US Ambassador?

21

sglover 08.12.06 at 5:11 pm

Can anyone name one of the miracles delivered by the US Ambassador?

Well, you need to allow for the debased and deranged standards of the day. A month or two ago, Khalilzad (or one of his staff) produced a memo that described Iraq as something less than a utopia. In fact, it painted a pretty bleak picture. Maybe not a miracle, but at least it interrsected with events in this dimension. I mean, you gotta remember what Medal o’ Freedom winner Bremer described as his greatest accomplishment — imposing a flat tax structure.

Can the Iraqi “government” even collect taxes?

22

nick s 08.12.06 at 5:33 pm

Seriously? What did he write yesterday?

I presume he’s predicted something horrific six months’ hence that no-one will ever call him on. I diagnose a delusional personality. A hint to Chuck: the internets have archives.

23

abb1 08.13.06 at 3:52 am

I diagnose a delusional personality.

Yes, and ironically he is also a psychiatrist. Worked at Mass General.

Physician, heal thyself, as they say.

24

Rob St. Amant 08.13.06 at 11:48 am

In his most recent column, Krauthammer writes about Democratic anti-war sentiment as inevitably leading to disaster for the party, without once acknowledging that the party’s views reflect those of the majority of the American public. To bolster his attack on Lamont in particular, he quotes. . .Martin Peretz. Krauthammer’s obviously not shooting for credibility.

25

Doug 08.13.06 at 4:53 pm

In re Pollack, it’s also relevant to note that, as Bill Galston put it, we did not get Ken Pollack’s war, we got George Bush’s war.

26

tofubo 08.14.06 at 12:18 pm

while trying to find a different quote, found this gem (called it a bit early) :

In Iraq, America demonstrated the capacity, extraordinary and historically unique, to destroy a regime while leaving the country intact. Assad needs to learn the lesson of Iraq: Change regime behavior — or suffer regime change.

- April 18, 2003

http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/342

27

rkrider 08.14.06 at 12:26 pm

“if the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it’s clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again.” - Bill O’Reilly, March 2003

28

Mr.Murder 08.14.06 at 12:40 pm

Let him face Nuremberg like the rest of Bush’s enablers in the press.

29

Mike G 08.14.06 at 12:40 pm

If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.

“Who’s ‘we’, white man?” – Tonto

30

CaptainVideo 08.14.06 at 12:40 pm

“Are you really initiating a post in which you attack a newspaper column from eight months ago (the author has written at least 25 since then), and another one from April 2003 (the author has written about 125 columns since then)?”

Showing that a commentator has repeatedly made predictions and statements that have turned out to be wrong is a very powerful argument for not taking his current preditions and statements seriously because he is a proven incompetent.

31

blogenfreude 08.14.06 at 1:09 pm

Krauthammer and some others get their due here … I can’t wait for this Friday!

32

Matt 08.14.06 at 1:17 pm

“That astrologer’s predictions were made over a year ago! Why are you complaining about their inaccuracy when he’s made so many more predictions since then?”

Is there really someone so dim as cannot understand how this works?

33

jcasey 08.14.06 at 2:04 pm

We are specialists in the logical follies of Charles Krauthammer. For more, see:

http://thenonsequitur.com/?cat=8

That’s our Krauthammer archive. See also the Brooks and the Will and the Safire archives.

34

lower tiberius 08.14.06 at 2:30 pm

gotta remember this is the administration who flew saudi and pakistan citizens (no doubt without a baggage check … but they made sure THEIR guests had a “ginger ale and cold cut sandwich”) acrossed and out of the country when there was a “no flight” restriction nationwide immediately following the devastation of the world trade center’s twin towers (which by the way, look an awful lot like they were subject to a controlled demolition in the existing documented films of that day’s events). The very same administration who would specify in a ad-libbed talking point during a “speech” about a completely separate and important matter, that they were intent on championing global civil liberties for children and women who were victimized by economic slavery and forced prostitution while not a word was ever mentioned about the culture of corruption administered by several REPUBLICAN lawmakers and department heads and their K-STREET and facilitating phoney storefront non-profit organizations money laundering co-conspirators regarding the obvious supression of any immigration oversight and semblence of human dignity regarding wages and conditions in the MEAT MARKET which IS what the Marianas Islands have become under United States protectorate’s style of PROTECTION! (Bush Sr’s damaged child legacy)

35

lower tiberius 08.14.06 at 2:35 pm

accountablitiy … they are whistling on the way to the bank

36

derek 08.14.06 at 2:44 pm

Steve and Krauthammer work like a well-trained team together…

Krauthammer: In the future, my predictions will be proved correct!

CT: No they won’t, that’s nonsense.

Krauthammer: You can’t criticize me now! You have to wait until the future, to see whether I’m right.

[time passes…]

CT: Okay, you were full of crap, just like we said.

Up pops Steve: You can’t criticize now, after all this time! If you had something to say, you should have said it when he made his prediction.

37

lower tiberius 08.14.06 at 2:46 pm

same administration who never murmured a minor guttural utterance about a convicted felon working in the Greece embassy who’d made a living out of manufacturing and distributing phoney AMERCAN passports who was allowed to hawk contracts with New York Public Schools system and was also arrested afterwards for alledged “racketeering” and fraud for those very same public school contracts. One of Jack Abrahamoffs buddies

38

lower tiberius 08.14.06 at 2:59 pm

same administration who called home and reappointed the leading diplomat in the (Balklands- Herzgonia area)m that was found to be a participating pedophile and procurer of passports and new identities for women that were later to be found living and working for wealthy clients in the Miami area

39

lower tiberius 08.14.06 at 3:01 pm

accountability? … no wonder they want to shut people like Sibel Edmonds and Cindy Sheehan up. if everyone would mind their own business we wouldnt have any national security issues at all. (or so they say

40

bi 08.14.06 at 4:01 pm

Duh… What do you do with people who have no sense of shame?

41

Steve 08.14.06 at 4:28 pm

“…the man’s January 18, 2006 column, “The Iran Charade, Part II” in which he confidently proclaimed—contrary to the judgment of every relevant intelligence agency—that “Iran is probably just months away” from a nuclear bomb.”

Note 1) its still months from January 18, 2006. CK could be right. Furthermore, 2) its nice to see you all trusting ‘relevant intelligence agencies’-an unexpected change.

“Iraq WMDs back in April 2003.

Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.”

Five months after April 2003 is September 2003. BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS, this argument is two years and eleven months out of date.

I’ve never even claimed to like, agree with, or even read Krauthammer. I’ve only made one claim; this post is out of date.

I’ve read that the blogosphere has compressed the news cycle to 36 hours. I guess you all are just resisting a trend?

Steve

42

Walt 08.14.06 at 7:58 pm

Jesus, Steve, at least you used to make some sort of sense. I’m sure you’re really sure you’ve made some kind of cutting point there, but it’ll just have to live on in the solitude of your own mind.

43

bi 08.14.06 at 10:53 pm

And contrary to what CK said, “we” couldn’t find weapons 5 months after April 2003, so 2 years after that, CK’s words in April 2003 suddenly become right? What? What?

Oh wait, Steve… you said something about “news cycle”. So you mean you get your daily news from freaking blogs? That’s cutting-edge, man. That’s really cutting-edge.

44

humbucker 08.14.06 at 11:29 pm

Steve:

Shut the fück up — your boy was wrong about Iraq, and has ZERO credibility. Back in ’03, everyone agreed that Saddam must be disarmed, so why didn’t Bush simply let Hans Blix’s team of weapons inspectors FINISH THEIR GODDAMN JOBS before rushing to invade a country that DID NOT ATTACK US?

Are you at all familiar with the concept of ‘opportunity cost’? Personally, I can think of at least 2600 reasons why Dubya’s ‘war of choice’ in Iraq was a really sh!tty idea. How many more people have to die in an unnecessary war before you demand that the architects of said war are hung by their testicles?

45

Chris 08.15.06 at 8:52 am

Punditry 101 “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

46

Steve 08.15.06 at 9:06 am

“What a fucktard.”

“Charles Krauthammer appears to be an idiot who should be studying to be a moron. And, by saying that, I am being unkind to both idiots and morons.”

“immediately following the devastation of the world trade center’s twin towers (which by the way, look an awful lot like they were subject to a controlled demolition in the existing documented films of that day’s events).”

“Shut the fück up—”

What’s sad is that you really are the best the Left has to offer…

Steve

47

bi 08.15.06 at 11:11 am

Steve: [lots of nonsensical arguments]

Other people: Shut up, Steve.

Steve: Argh! Look, the Left(tm) is telling me to shut up!

48

Steve 08.15.06 at 12:02 pm

“What a fucktard.”

“Charles Krauthammer appears to be an idiot who should be studying to be a moron. And, by saying that, I am being unkind to both idiots and morons.”

“immediately following the devastation of the world trade center’s twin towers (which by the way, look an awful lot like they were subject to a controlled demolition in the existing documented films of that day’s events).”

“Shut the fück up—”

49

Kip 08.15.06 at 12:35 pm

Krauthammer has one good article on record – the one he wrote about the raucous speed chess parties at his house.

Steve – cursing at people doesn’t make one a bad thinker. Hell, it doesn’t even make you a bad theologian – look at Stanley Hauerwas.

50

humbucker 08.15.06 at 11:07 pm

Steve, if you are the best the Wrong has to offer, then I’m crying tears of fuçkin’ joy.

Hey, how ’bout addressing my question about the ‘opportunity cost’ of Dubya’s ‘war of choice’ in Iraq? And then maybe you could contact the families of the over 2600 U.S. troops who died in this completely unnecessary war, and explain to them why you’re such a dumbåss schmuck.

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