Anyone following the Larry Franklin Pentagon spy
story is keenly aware of the solidarity binding neoconservatives, AIPAC, Israel's
right-wing Likud Party, the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the war drums neocons
are beating against Iran.
By this time, only the willfully ignorant could be unaware that top neocon
policymakers in the George W. Bush administration wrote a policy
paper for right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 that
called for "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq an important
Israeli strategic objective in its own right." The Sept. 11 terror attacks
gave the neocons the opportunity to put their removal strategy in motion.
Among the willfully ignorant is neoconservative godfather Norman Podhoretz.
He has just published a 30,000-word
delusional screed in the September issue of Commentary, "World
War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win." (In the
neocon lexicon, World War III was the Cold War.)
Podhoretz begins by alleging that "the malignant force of radical Islamism"
has as its objective "to conquer our land" and to destroy "everything
good for which America stands."
If Muslims intend to conquer America, then they are every bit as delusional
as Podhoretz, who intends for America to conquer the Middle East.
But, of course, Muslims have no such objective. The objective of Muslim terrorists
is to drive America out of Muslim homelands, not to conquer ours. Podhoretz's
intention to conquer the Middle East, however, is real. He has declared it before,
as has Douglas Feith, currently undersecretary of Defense in the Bush administration,
who wrote in his "Strategy for Israel" in 1997 that the U.S. and Israel
should conquer Iraq, Syria, and Iran and that Israel should reoccupy "the
areas under Palestinian Authority control."
Podhoretz wants you to believe that "the road we have taken since 9/11
is the only safe course for us to follow." Safe? This bloody and inhuman
road leads on to American invasions of Iran, Syria, Lebanon and, if Podhoretz
has his way, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Demurely, Podhoretz has kept Pakistan off
his list, perhaps because Pakistan, like Israel, has nuclear weapons.
Podhoretz is worried that mounting U.S. casualties in Iraq and growing public
doubt about the wisdom of the failed Iraq invasion will derail the scheme to
conquer the Muslim Middle East and to deracinate Islam. Podhoretz gives his
assurances that "the obstacles to a benevolent transformation of the Middle
East whether military, political, or religious are not insuperable."
He writes that "there can be no question that we possess the power and
the means." The only question is whether we have "the stomach to do
what will be required."
To make sure that we have the stomach, Podhoretz blames the 9/11 terrorist
attack on American cowardice. He argues that four U.S. presidents (Carter, Reagan,
Bush I, and Clinton) spent 24 years convincing Muslims that America is a wimp.
Podhoretz lays out his history of White House wimpery. First, Carter wimped
out on Iran. Then Reagan let Islamic terrorists blow us out of Lebanon. Bush
I followed in Reagan's wimp footsteps and refused to finish the job in
Iraq. Clinton continued the wimp tradition for two more terms.
Podhoretz states Clinton would not even meet with his own CIA director, neocon
James Woolsey, because Clinton was too much of a wimp to want to hear from Woolsey
that Muslims had declared WWIV on the U.S.
Podhoretz concludes that the "sheer audacity" of 9/11 "was unquestionably
a product of his [bin Laden's] contempt for American power." American
wimpery caused 9/11, because "bin Laden wrote off the Americans as cowards."
We will suffer more devastating attacks, Podhoretz says, unless we find the
stomach to fight WWIV.
Podhoretz overlooks the fact that al-Qaeda is a nongovernmental organization,
not a state with a standing army. Podhoretz doesn't examine the morality
of devastating five or six Muslim countries in retribution for the actions of
a few terrorists. He evades the issue of whether attacking hundreds of millions
of Muslims in an effort to chase down a small number of terrorists is likely
to increase the ranks of terrorists.
Podhoretz writes that any American restraint is foolish because it signals
weakness. America was saved from weakness by President George W. Bush (Bush
II), who like Harry Truman unexpectedly turned up with a vision. Bush II's
vision is you guessed it the same as that of the Likud Party and the neocons
who mold Bush's mind and write Bush's speeches.
The "vision" is to knock off Iraq, Iran and Syria, the countries
that could get in the way of Israel expelling the Palestinians to Jordan and
grabbing Lebanon as well. This is what World War IV is all about.
Unlike Undersecretary Feith, David Wurmser (VP Cheney's staff) and Richard
Perle (Defense Review Board), Podhoretz doesn't describe the overthrow of countries
that might be obstacles to Israeli ambition as "an important Israeli strategic
objective." Podhoretz dresses up his policy of naked aggression as America's
duty to bring truth, light, democracy and American virtue to the Middle East.
Trouble is, there are distinguished thinkers who cannot be smeared as anti-Semites
for disagreeing with Podhoretz, such as Prof. Samuel
Huntington and Brent Scowcroft, who was National Security Adviser to Bush
Podhoretz deals with Scowcroft by accusing him of giving aid and comfort to
anti-Semites by mentioning "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," asserting
that only anti-Semites think that Israel's treatment of Palestinians has anything
to do with 9/11. Podhoretz assures us that bin Laden himself couldn't care less
about the Palestinians and attacked America simply because wimpy U.S. presidents
convinced him that we are cowards.
Really, I am not making this up.
Next Podhoretz goes after "realists." Realists are almost as bad
as anti-Semites But, then, so is anyone who doesn't buy the neocon's ideology
of imposing America's virtue on the world especially the Muslim part by
force of arms.
Did you know that the American left wing is also anti-Semitic? Podhoretz is
outraged that Susan Sontag
actually said that 9/11 was an attack "undertaken as a consequence of specific
American alliances and actions." Podhoretz tries to tar Mickey
Kaus for agreeing with Pat Buchanan that mistreatment of the Palestinians
is part of the problem. He is aghast that Michael
Kinsley agrees with Buchanan that it is an affront to the Constitution to
fight undeclared wars.
The weakness of Podhoretz's case for turning the Middle East into an American-Israeli
colony causes him to resort to the anti-Semite smear. However, the publication
last year of The
Politics of Anti-Semitism, a powerful collection of essays, many written
by Jews, has taken the sting from the charge by showing that it is a tactic
used to prevent debate. Many "anti-Semites" are Israel's friends who
are concerned that Israel's colonization of Palestine will unify Muslims in
war against Israel.
Perhaps sensing that "anti-Semite" is a worn-out ploy, Podhoretz
invents another name "blame-America-firsters" for anyone
who questions Bush's policy of "bringing democracy to the Middle East."
We should be scared more by Podhoretz than by terrorists. In Podhoretz's
"vision," America is totally good. Muslims are totally evil, because
they use terrorism to resist the high-minded intentions of America's virtuous
Podhoretz's vision has no room for diplomacy, compromise, and agreements.
These are the tools of wimps and will cause "a relapse into appeasement
and diplomatic evasion." There is only room for war.
To pursue the insane agenda of conquering and occupying the Middle East not
only requires the stomach for inhumane acts, but also demands millions of Americans
taking up arms. Here come the draft and a generation of casualties.
Podhoretz does not understand the difference between defeating standing armies
and successfully occupying hostile populations that conduct fourth
generation warfare against us.
Instead, he sees an America armed with a "new patriotic mood," which
is "a sign of greater intellectual sanity and moral health." Only
skeptics can prevent our triumph in the Middle East by undermining our confidence
like they did in Vietnam. Thus, winning WWIV requires silencing those who disagree
with Podhoretz's case for war.
Podhoretz required 30,000 words, but he has made it crystal clear that the
case for American aggression in the Middle East is shabby and sinister.