Remember when Michael Ledeen was running wild in the lead-up and early days of the Iraq War? He was really in his element, calling for creative destruction in the Middle East and Iran. In The War Against the Terror Masters he wrote:

Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.

Too bad the Bush administration listened to him. In a 2002 article that the National Review appears to have archived, Michael Ledeen responded to Brent Scowcroft’s warning that “to attack Iraq while the Middle East is in the terror that it is right now and America appears not to be dealing with something which to every Muslim is a real problem [the Israel/Palestine conflict] but instead go over here I think could turn the whole region into a cauldron…”

Scowcroft has managed to get one thing half right, even though he misdescribes it. He fears that if we attack Iraq “I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a [sic] caldron and destroy the War on Terror.”One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.

That’s our mission in the war against terror.

So, basically, things may not have gone exactly as planned, with the Syrian, Iranian, and Saudi regimes still more or less intact. But the region has definitely been cauldronized. So, congratulations. Mission accomplished.”


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