The Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol leads a discussion at the National Press Club on Oct. 3, 2011 in Washington, DC.
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Kristol: ‘What’s the harm of bombing’?

Updated
Last week, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was, as he put it, “appalled.” Following the release of the ISIS video on James Foley’s murder, the Republican pundit said the Obama administration was doing “nothing” to target the terrorist group.
 
It was an odd thing to say – President Obama had already ordered dozens of U.S. airstrikes against ISIS targets by the time Kristol made the remarks, suggesting he either wasn’t keeping up on current events or has a curious definition of “nothing.”
 
Yesterday, while talking to Laura Ingraham, Kristol did it again.
Kristol was talking about the Islamic State, the militant group which is also commonly called ISIS. He scoffed at people who worried that bombing ISIS might cause new problems in the Middle East.
 
“Someone said, ‘we can’t just bomb,’” he said, speaking about an ABC panel he was on. “You know, why don’t we just [bomb?] We know where ISIS is. What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don’t think there’s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that are going to be bad there. We could kill a lot of very bad guys!”
It honestly seems as if the conservative commentator has no idea the U.S. military has completed 93 separate airstrikes against ISIS targets, most of them in and around Mosul. What’s more, the Pentagon has completed more than 1,000 aerial sorties over Iraq in this mission to target ISIS. Most of them are surveillance flights, but nearly 100 of them have been airstrikes thus far.
 
All of this has unfolded just since Aug. 8. In other words, the Obama administration has been “bombing them, at least for a few weeks.” Why doesn’t Kristol know that?
 
As for the possible consequences and the Republican pundit’s “What’s the harm?” question, Rachel noted last night that to see airstrikes as safe and consequence-free for those launching them is to be confused about the nature of the tactic.
 
“One sure way to know you’re in chicken hawk territory when it comes to debating these things is when you hear politicians, or talking heads, talk about airstrikes against some enemy or some other country as if airstrikes are some kind of magic, right?” Rachel noted. “They’re a risk-free military solution. They’re easy-peasy. You go in safely, you drop a couple of bombs, you’re out. No American boots on the ground. No American lives at risk.
 
“You hear people talk about airstrikes like that all the time, like they’re a free play somehow. Very recent history tells us that that is not the case.”
 

Bill Kristol, Foreign Policy, Iraq, ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Syria

Kristol: 'What's the harm of bombing'?

Updated