In normal, non-Bushzarro times, a man calling for mass murder would be held in contempt, not held up as an example of the political mainstream and heralded as a “distinguished author.” However, as we are well astride of the Bushzarro era, Norman Podhoretz is provided with a venue—for the proper audience, of course—to advocate the destruction of Iran and the murder of possibly thousands of its citizens. “I believe,” Podhoretz told the Israel Broadcast Authority on May 24 (see video below), “contrary to what many people assume, that [Bush] will [attack Iran] before he leaves office, possibly shortly before he leaves office,” thus leaving the political fallout to the incoming president, more than likely a Democrat. “I think he agrees with the analysis that I offer that there is no alternative to military action.”
Of course, in order to sell this invasion of a sovereign nation, based on illusory claims the mullahs of Iran are in the process of building a nuclear bomb to use against Israel—a crackpot theory but one that remarkably has gained a degree of credence in the United States—Podhoretz and the neocons have erected an elaborate if preposterous edifice to support their Brothers Grimm fable about Iran.
“As the currently main center of the Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11, and as (according to the State Department's latest annual report on the subject) the main sponsor of the terrorism that is Islamofascism's weapon of choice, Iran too is a front in World War IV. Moreover, its effort to build a nuclear arsenal makes it the potentially most dangerous one of all,” Podhoretz writes for the June issue of Commentary Magazine . “I call this new war World War IV, because I also believe that what is generally known as the cold war was actually World War III, and that this one bears a closer resemblance to that great conflict than it does to World War II. Like the cold war, as the military historian Eliot Cohen was the first to recognize, the one we are now in has ideological roots, pitting us against Islamofascism, yet another mutation of the totalitarian disease we defeated first in the shape of Nazism and fascism and then in the shape of Communism; it is global in scope; it is being fought with a variety of weapons, not all of them military; and it is likely to go on for decades.”
In March, Eliot Cohen was appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to serve as Counselor of the State Department, thus the very contagion of the neocon disease now resides at the highest office. It was Cohen, shortly after the new Pearl Harbor event of September 11, 2001, who characterized the long anticipated neocon plan to destroy Muslim society and culture as World War IV. At the time, Cohen claimed “regime change” in Iran could be accomplished with a focus on “pro-Western and anticlerical forces” in the Middle East, a plan now obviously chucked by the wayside, as indicated by Norman Podhoretz.
In order to telegraphic the notion that the Iranians are implacable Muslim fanatics and the only way the United States (at the behest of Israel) can deal with them is by preemptively attacking the country, Podhoretz drags out the neocon doyen, Bernard Lewis. “MAD, mutual assured destruction, [was effective] right through the cold war,” Podhoretz quotes Lewis.
Both sides had nuclear weapons. Neither side used them, because both sides knew the other would retaliate in kind. This will not work with a religious fanatic [like Ahmadinejad]. For him, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already that [Iran's leaders] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. In the final scenario, and this applies all the more strongly if they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.
In short, according to Podhoretz and Lewis, there really is no alternative short of bombing the dickens out of the country and killing untold numbers—especially if nuclear weapons are used, as the neocons suggest. Naturally, this unspeakable task will be much easier and less burdensome on the conscience of the average American—who is not a psychopath like Podhoretz and his neocon ilk—if all the old moth-eaten artifices and stratagems are employed, even if they are less than effective for people who go beyond the programmed talking heads and crawling lower third ticker on Fox News.
“Like Hitler, [Ahmadinejad] is a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism. Like Hitler, too, he is entirely open about his intentions, although—again like Hitler—he sometimes pretends that he wants nothing more than his country's just due. In the case of Hitler in 1938, this pretense took the form of claiming that no further demands would be made if sovereignty over the Sudetenland were transferred from Czechoslovakia to Germany. In the case of Ahmadinejad, the pretense takes the form of claiming that Iran is building nuclear facilities only for peaceful purposes and not for the production of bombs.”
But here we come upon an interesting difference between then and now. Whereas in the late 1930's almost everyone believed, or talked himself into believing, that Hitler was telling the truth when he said he had no further demands to make after Munich, no one believes that Ahmadinejad is telling the truth when he says that Iran has no wish to develop a nuclear arsenal. In addition, virtually everyone agrees that it would be best if he were stopped, only not, God forbid, with military force—not now, and not ever.
It is of course very convenient for Mr. Podhoretz to leave out the International Atomic Energy Agency. Last March, the IAEA “revealed that it has not found any evidence that Teheran had diverted material towards making atomic weapons…. In its report which has been circulated to its 35 board members, the IAEA said that its three years of investigations had not shown ‘any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices', the Associated Press reported.”
“A recent U.S. intelligence estimate found that Iran is further away from making bomb-grade uranium than previously thought, according to U.S. officials,” the Washington Post reported in August, 2005. “The IAEA, in its third year of an investigation in Iran, has not found proof of a weapons program.”
None of this matters—or does the fact Ahmadinejad did not call for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” a calculated mistranslation now accepted fact, thanks to the unscrupulous folks over at the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Mossad front. For Podhoretz and the neocons, the attack against Iran is a crown jewel of the larger agenda, even if they must wait until the very end of the Bush decidership to realize their goal.
Finally, the Podhoretz appearance on Israeli television and his avowed declaration Bush will certainly invade Iran arrives less than two weeks after out-going United Nations ambassador John Bolton told the Daily Telegraph “Iran would be as dangerous as ‘Hitler marching into the Rhineland' in 1936 and should be prevented by Western military strikes if necessary…. The Pentagon has drawn up contingency plans for military action and some senior White House officials share Mr Bolton's thinking.”
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