Two Columns on Iraq: Kinsley and Buckley
Jude Wanniski
October 29, 2002


Memo To: Crossfire fans
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Israeli Elephant in the Room

Mike Kinsley on the Left and Bill Buckley on the Right have easily been the two most important political commentators of my time. Buckley really had no competitors I can think of in the 1950's into the 1970's in trying to fend off the socialist state in America. He was then joined by Bob Bartley at Wall Street Journal and the two provided a double-barreled blast on behalf of democratic capitalism. In the last quarter century, Michael Kinsley has been a national asset, first in his stints at The New Republic and on CNN’s Crossfire, lately as the founding editor of Slate and a periodic columnist at the Washington Post. His most notable achievements were in providing over-arching themes and ideas for liberal Democrats otherwise confused by the success of Reaganaut Republicans. (Kinsley’s strategy of dealing with the GOP House of Representatives in 1995 was adopted by the Democrats and it demolished Newt Gingrich, who still doesn’t know what hit him.)

What you get today are their most recent columns, addressing the topic of the moment, war with Iraq. They are unusual in that both discuss what Kinsley calls "the elephant in the room," Israel and its influence on pushing the Bush administration toward war with Iraq. Kinsley is Jewish and finds himself in agreement with Iraqi’s deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, who is a Catholic. Buckley, who is a Catholic, finds himself in disagreement with the Pope and the Catholic Bishops and on the side of the Israeli Zionists. It is not quite clear whether Buckley wants the United States to forget about the United Nations and invade Iraq forthwith, but it sure sounds like it. As you might expect, I agree with Kinsley’s logic here, as Buckley’s falters when he ignores the fact that Bush only got the Senate support that he did by promising Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle that he would work through the United Nations. Like most conservatives, Bill never has thought much of the U.N.

Here they are, Buckley up first: