News Release

Kristol Attacks Hagel for Saying Iraq War about Oil, with Amusing Results

Politico reports: “In the weeks since Election Day — as Mitt Romney faded into obscurity, John Boehner lost control of the House GOP and tea partiers turned on one another — Bill Kristol has been busy charting the future of the Republican Party. …

“And Kristol is just getting started. One Kristol-linked group, the Emergency Committee for Israel, has already aired ads targeting former Sen. Chuck Hagel, who is Obama’s nominee for defense secretary and is planning a ‘substantial’ paid-media campaign opposing the nomination.”

Kristol recently wrote about Hagel: “Michael Moore called attention to a statement of Hagel that I don’t believe had been previously much noted.” Hagel had said in 2007: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. … They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.”

Kristol wrote that this comment “could be the straw that breaks the back of Hagel’s chances … this vulgar and disgusting charge has always been out of even the anti-war mainstream.”

JON SCHWARZ [email], @tinyrevolution
Schwarz is editor of MichaelMoore.com and a producer with Dog Eat Dog films. Moore responded to Kristol in a piece titled “Dear Bill Kristol: More People Than You Thought Are Vulgar, Disgusting and Far-Left,” which notes:

• “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” — Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, in his 2007 memoir

• “Of course we should go to war for oil. It’s like saying, you’re going to war just for oxygen, just for food. We need oil. That’s a good reason to go to war.” — Ann Coulter, author, April 11, 2011

• “Of course it’s about oil, it’s very much about oil, and we can’t really deny that. From the standpoint of a solider who’s now fought in the Middle East for six years — my son-in-law’s fought there for four years, my daughter’s been over there, my son has served the nation — my family has been fighting for a long time.” — Gen. John Abizaid, former commander of CENTCOM, October 13, 2007

• “We’re not in the Midddle East to bring sweetness and light to the whole world. That’s nonsense. We’re in the Middle East because we and our European friends and our European non-friends depend on something that comes from the Middle East, namely oil.” — Midge Decter, author, May 21, 2004

Moore then offered to donate $1000 to the charity of Kristol’s choice if he would simply share these quotes with his readers.

Schwarz wrote the piece “The Lost Kristol Tapes: What the New York Times Bought.”