End of War: Bill Kristol and Amb. Nancy Soderberg

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The End of War series continues with Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and regular commentator for Fox News. Then, we'll be joined by Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, president of the Connect U.S. Fund and a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. They'll each discuss the political and moral considerations of going to war--and the role of international law in ending war.


Bill Kristol and Nancy Soderberg

Comments [57]

I agree with the caller Wednesday morning who said that war or peace is a matter of consciousness. The fact that this discussion is even being held shows to me that the collective consciousness actually has risen to a higher level.

When the collective stress builds up, then war and other violent actions most likely will happen, but when the collective stress level is reduced, then it IS possible to have peace.

Through the use of a powerful, scientifically tested technology of consciousness it would be possible to create world peace on earth virtually overnight.

Large groups of peace-creating experts, practicing proven technologies together in a group, "dive deep within themselves to the most fundamental level of mind and matter, which physics calls the unified field. From that level of life they create a tidal wave of harmony and coherence that can permanently alter society for the better, as the research confirms. And this consciousness-based approach is holistic, easy to implement, non-invasive, and cost effective". (See for more about this idea.)

Mar. 15 2012 12:10 PM


Always happy to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your pedantic psychosis!

...any time!

Mar. 14 2012 05:37 PM

Welcome back to the stage...

King of the KOOKOOS!!

Mar. 14 2012 05:21 PM

I can't believe i side with a neo con but i do side with kristol regarding syria[yes we should intervene to stop the slaughter].Ms. Sodderberg has taken a fuzzy headed position regarding syria. To say that because it is sunni arabs that are being murdered by assad we should not intervene is part of the whole problem of why there are wars. She never believed that because rwuanda is in africa -only africans should have stopped it or because bosnia is in europe only europeans should have stopped those massacres. If christian arabs were being killed or jewsish arabs were being killed by assad she likewise would not find it relevant to equivocate about which ethnic/religious group is morally obliged to act and which arn't.Though it is fine to berate other arab countries for not intervening-to say we should not stop the torture and murder of men women and children because, well because they're sunni arabs-is morally reprehensible.We can berate the neigboring arab countries AND act to end ethnic mass slaughter of civilians. Her reluctance to do anything because the victims are well sunni arabs is to be complicit with ethnic cleansing.The first thing that's got to go if we want to end war is this very mindset that she has; "we should not intervene because they're sunni arabs".kristol at least gets this right-mass murder and torture of men women and children by a dictator calls for intervention now -even if they're well" sunni arabs."We're responsible for our stance; if sunni arab countries do nothing that's on them but does not get us off the hook because well the men women and children are" sunni arabs." When she says perhaps a nato air cover is acceptable if the arab countries act shows that she knows at some level that these atrocitices should be stopped.The fact that the victims are sunni arabs and that other arabs states do nothing is a side issue to the fact that thousands of people have been tortured and killed over the course of a year now by a brutal dictator regime rising up to topple it and we are obliged as ethical beings to stop it.

Mar. 14 2012 02:37 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

End of war??......Bill Kristol played a major role along with his fellow neo-cons, in pushing the U.S. in attacking the nation of Iraq, which didn't have involvement with 911, and took the lives of maybe a million people. The fact that Kristol isn't standing as a defendant at the Hague, clearly shows the hypocrisy of so-called international law.

Mar. 14 2012 12:35 PM
Ed from Larchmont

The lack of resources isn't the only source or the main source of war. To say it's only from lack of resources is a materialist view. Generally, it's a response to injustice.

In Revelations it says the the evil one 'deceived the nations and gathered them for war' (ch.19 or 20), which indicates that the motive force behind war is the evil one. The way around it is to be holy.

We remember Jesus' words 'Love your enemies', 'Do good to those that hate you'.

Mar. 14 2012 12:12 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


The correct usage is "fewer men".
LOL....nobody here has ever mistaken you for being all that smart or well-educated.
Please work on that ..... I don't want illiterate stalkers.

Mar. 14 2012 11:56 AM
Joel Simpson from Union, NJ

To address this subject we must ask, who wants wars? Who profits from wars? It's clear that the US has initiated all our wars since WWII on flimsy if not deceptive grounds, which later proved to be illusory, getting ourselves into terribly costly, very difficult situations. The Iraq war was started at the behest of the oil companies and to shore up Bush's popularity. It was a disaster. Since the Vietnam war killed the draft, they had to bribe kids to become soldiers, and those kids paid heavily. Afghanistan should have been a police action, but too many powerful people profit from a real war—and they don't suffer when the war goes bad for us. The Vietnam war was started on pure hubris and cost us terribly. There are plenty of US and world citizens who see this and protest these wars vociferously, but the powerful who benefit (oil companies, contractors & their investors), the politicians who serve them and the media who enable them just roll over these protests—to the detriment of the entire country. It doesn't look like it's getting better. This war drumming towards Iran is preposterous and terribly dangerous—but Netanyahu needs it to shore up his political support at home, and our politicos seem to be disposed to give this right-wing colonialist anything he wants.

Mar. 14 2012 11:53 AM

"Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace." Simone Weil

War is the result of the lawful collective interactions of human "being" as it is. Without the awakening effects of grace on human "being," cyclical wars will continue as a normal expression of human "being" as it is regardless of the finest platitudes. As long as secular influences dominate, grace is denied, and wars remain an inevitable cyclical result of what we collectively ARE.

Mar. 14 2012 11:49 AM
henry from NJ

We must not forget hatreds seeded by fundamentalist religious traditions. Hitler may not have been elected were it not for his contagious anti-Jewish preachings, perhaps the major plank in Nazi propaganda. WWII was the inevitable result of his rise to power. As a holocaust survivor, this was my experience.

Mar. 14 2012 11:48 AM
Diane from Teaneck, NJ

I agree that we have a moral imperative to intervene against regimes that abuse their citizens. That being said we also have a responsibility not to abuse or neglect our own citizens. The amount of money we allocate to fund the wars we are in leaves us without enough resources to make a significant impact on the needs of children, the poor, education, infrastructure, etc... A stronger national populace can only increase our ability to intervene in other countries.

Mar. 14 2012 11:46 AM
Non-Violence from NYC

Really recommend the film "The Interrupters," which features a team of volunteers dedicated to ending street violence in Chicago by, as the title implies, interrupting it before or as conflicts start. Its core philosophy includes looking at violence as not much different than a contagious disease against which communities need to become inoculated.

Mar. 14 2012 11:44 AM
Roberta Sutton from New York

Steven Pinker and Robert Jay Lifton will be discussing whether violence has been on the rise or the decline in a free, public event, March 23 at the New School. Space is filling up fast, so do RSVP.

Mar. 14 2012 11:42 AM
The Truth from Becky

End of War? Never...Greed & Envy are two reasons, testosterone is a third.

Mar. 14 2012 11:41 AM
aaron from harlem

If overwhelming US force were what is needed to resolve conflict, then Vietnam would have worked out entirely differently. instead, the bombing had no effect on the wars outcome, despite the massive casualties - up to 2 million Vietnamese, and 50,000 americans dead. as usual mr crystal only recalls history when it appears to be in his favor...

Mar. 14 2012 11:40 AM
Natalie from ma

At the very least creating a canon by which all nation agree it's a beginning. On another point United Nations must somehow asserts itself as the institution capable of enforcing this "contract" with all nations. As simplistic as it may be this bench mark from where to begin.

Mar. 14 2012 11:38 AM

Less men!!

Mar. 14 2012 11:38 AM
Rick from Connecticut

End of war? we are at permanent war, so constant that we forget that we are even at war

Mar. 14 2012 11:38 AM
Lex from NYC

I don't think neither law nor policy will end war. It'll take the threat of wr or violence to preserve those laws and policy. Also, scarcity isn't the only cause of war. How do we deal with religious beliefs and fears?

Mar. 14 2012 11:37 AM
Deron from Manhattan

War is an outward manifestation of an inward problem, when mankind deals with its inner demons, there will be no need for war. War is an organized assault on a common enemy, peace on the inner me releases the need for an enemy.

Mar. 14 2012 11:36 AM
Dan from CUNY

NO! Human beings are primates; it's in our DNA to try to kill other competing groups of primates. When a group of chimpanzees encounters another group of chimpanzees in the wild, they don't exchange hugs and kisses -- they try to slaughter each other

Mar. 14 2012 11:35 AM

The United States has participated in more illegal wars than any other country. Latin America, from Panama to Chile alone is testament to this.

Mar. 14 2012 11:34 AM
Sam from Montclair NJ

What are the criteria for "the end of war"? One of the comparisons that has been made several time is if war can be removed as a legitimate institution as slavery has been. The first line in the Wikipedia page for slavery is "There are more slaves today than at any point in history, remaining as high as 12 million to 27 million, even though slavery is now outlawed in all countries"

Mar. 14 2012 11:32 AM

Robert from NYC-

...B grade??? Naw, he was behind Palin!!!

Mar. 14 2012 11:32 AM
Ayn Marx 666 from Frankfurt, BRD

"Ed" is so darned CUTE! Anyone who quotes Natural Law theology in its recent incarnation and name-checks "Our Lady of Fatima" around reasoning adults is certainly trying to SOUND as if she actually knew something and deserved to sit at the Big People's table....

Now give me some time whilst I prepare an argument based on the internally-consistent reasoning of Daniel Paul Schreber and the incidents reported by a random set of UFO-contactees.

Mar. 14 2012 11:32 AM
Jocelyn from Brooklyn, NY

....sounds like she's talking about Gene Roddenberry's world ca. the 24th century. ;-)

Mar. 14 2012 11:32 AM

@JR from NYC

This is why the philosophy majors are relegated to invisible 'crappy' service jobs. Can you imagine what might happen if people who actively study human culture and governance were allowed to set policy? Heaven forbid...

Mar. 14 2012 11:31 AM

jaggerbuttz -

It's called, APARTHEID!!

Mar. 14 2012 11:29 AM

wow... we've got the kookoo zionists, too!

they're all comin' out!!

Mar. 14 2012 11:27 AM
JR from NYC

Brian - as long as there are megalomaniacal, psychotic individuals who accede to power, there will be war.
I'd like to believe otherwise, but history proves it.

Mar. 14 2012 11:26 AM

The united states has participated in more illegal wars in accord to the international agreements, more than any other country.

Mar. 14 2012 11:23 AM
Robert from NYC

Now he's talking Geneva Conventions? Wasn't he in favor of ignoring them under Bush when Atty Gen Gonzales said they were irrelevant (not his word but I can't think of what his exact word was) in these times?

Mar. 14 2012 11:23 AM
Stuart from NYC

jgarbuz -

ain't THAT the truth!!!

Mar. 14 2012 11:23 AM
Stuart from NYC

You mention the UN as an example of an international body that would theoretically help to end war, but we'll have to do much better than that!

The UN consistently demonizes Israel and panders to the Arab countries that call for its destruction.

Not to mention other morally bankrupt decisions like electing Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women!

In order for war to end, humanity must either restore or acquire a moral compass. And we're a LONG WAY from that.

Mar. 14 2012 11:21 AM
Edward from NJ

@msp, while there are more people living in slavery today than at any point in history, on a per capita basis slavery has greatly declined since it became illegal -- not that that's any comfort if you're one of the slaves.

Mar. 14 2012 11:21 AM

@Edward from NJ

That is exactly where we are today. We kill countless people daily via 'kinetic activity'. We are not 'at war'. Human capacity for self-deception and cognitive dissonance is astounding.

Mar. 14 2012 11:21 AM

Kristol is going to learn a lot about war in the next 15 years as he helps lead the rear-guard action of the Republicans as they resist the onslaught of reason and demographic change.

Mar. 14 2012 11:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Zaggae

Israel is the MOST legally founded nation on earth! The Council of the League of Nations in 1922 gave Palestine to the Jews, and the UN voted in 1947 to allow the Jews to establish a Jewish state, but in both instances, the Arabs attacked the Jews refusing to accept international law, and the war continues to this day.

Mar. 14 2012 11:19 AM
Max from UES

Bill Kristol, champion if the Iraq war (and Sarah Palin, to boot)... How can you give him a forum on this topic and not question the recent total failure of his policies (as he calls for more of the same).

Mar. 14 2012 11:18 AM


...ain't that the truth!

Mar. 14 2012 11:17 AM
Robert from NYC

Ah Bill Kristol, I should have stayed in the shower. I think the man is intellectually B grade, why do we see him on tv and hear him on the radio so often! He's usually wrong and doesn't seem to "know" anything but rather "assume" alot. I do that and I"m not on air!!

Mar. 14 2012 11:17 AM

Why is it that I Haven't heard a SINGLE case where a journalist has applied directly to Asad's government to be embedded with government forces? All the stories are about journalist with opposition forces, but a story is a story, even if you are with the 'enemy' to get it..

Mar. 14 2012 11:16 AM
Fred from Bloomfield, NJ

After his history with the Iraq war, there is only one thing to say, "Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

Mar. 14 2012 11:16 AM
Edward from NJ

Brian keeps using slavery as an example of an institutional practice that has become unacceptable. De facto slavery continues to exist under many different names. So if war "ceased to exist" would we still have armed conflict and just call it something different? Peacekeeping? Police action?

Mar. 14 2012 11:16 AM

..not the kookoo katholics, again!!


Mar. 14 2012 11:15 AM

The occupation of the Palestinians is illegal as per international law
It is the biggest source of wars in the world.
So to awnser the question international law will not stop wars. Especially
When peole are so selective on thier moral outrage
As Kristol is now spouting.

Mar. 14 2012 11:15 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

We've had numerous attempts to create international organizations to end war, most recently the League of Nations in 1919 and its successor the United Nations in 1945, both have which have failed. Without a major central power to keep order, just like when there is no cop on the beat, crime and chaos is inevitable. The development of nuclear weapons have made large scale war less probable because of their massive destructiveness, nonetheless human beings have not fundamentally evolved to the point that all conflict can and will be resolved through peaceful compromises.

Mar. 14 2012 11:14 AM

Go, Kill Bristol!

Mar. 14 2012 11:12 AM

brian, why do you keep saying slavery? Slavery isn't over, in fact it's increased. It's just illegal, but it exists everywhere, even the US!

Mar. 14 2012 11:11 AM
Eli from astoria NY

this is like a comedy sketch.
asking a warmonger about the prospect of the end of war is a pointless activity.

Mar. 14 2012 11:11 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It reminds me of Pope Paul at the United Nations in 1967 or so: "Never more war!" That is a goal.

Mar. 14 2012 11:11 AM
The Truth from Becky

Why slavery? Use the jew/muslim conflict in your "example" Brian.

Mar. 14 2012 11:10 AM
Ed from Larchmont

"War is a punishment for sin." Mary.

Until we end abortion, which is war, war will continue. And right now there are wars on the edge of breaking out all over the world. A bad time.

Mar. 14 2012 11:09 AM
The Truth from Becky

Why that song?

Mar. 14 2012 11:09 AM
David from West Hempstead

Bill Kristol on a segment about the end of war? Now I've seen everything.

What would the Weekly Standard prattle about if war came to an end?

Mar. 14 2012 11:03 AM

How about at least one guest on this topic who isn't right-wing lunatic (Kristol) or center-right (Soderberg)?

They'll be no end of war via enforcement of international law as long as the United States and Israel claim -- ad receive -- blanket immunity from any and all international laws, standards, morality.

The International Criminal Court has just delivered its first ruling (against Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga). The US and Israel - and China - all refuse to participate. No surprise - all three are among the worst abusers of human rights in the world today (yes, Iran is also, but nobody in the US disputes that).

Mar. 14 2012 10:19 AM
David Dartley from Manhattan

I have a serious proposal that I wish your guests would consider seriously: If you think your country should invade another, you must keep your mouth shut about that support UNLESS you and/or your child are actively preparing to enter that fight. Look at the Iraq war: that was entirely the result of people calling for OTHER people to go fight a war.

Mar. 14 2012 07:29 AM

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