Katrina vanden Heuvel to "Armchair Warrior" Bill Kristol: "You Should Enlist In The Iraqi Army"


KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree with Matt. You do need a legislative branch which asserts its authority. And it's not to say one doesn't have problem with executive authority when it comes to drones, or a questionable kill list of Americans, 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 sitting 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...


KRISTOL: A million Iraqis...

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... because look at the displaced million...

KRISTOL: Thousands of people are being killed...


KRISTOL: Can I just make a point?

VANDEN HEUVEL: A million Iraqis have been displaced. You gave that...



VANDEN HEUVEL: ... humanitarian aid for what we have done to that country is a crime.

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



STEPHANOPOULOS: Katrina, let him respond.

KRISTOL: Yes, 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 Maliki, couldn't get a Status of Forces 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.

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