Thursday, May 31, 2007

If You Enjoy Iraq, You'll Love World War IV

Norman Podhoretz is a contemporary of mine, a gifted editor, a brilliant man and a political horse’s ass.

He reinforced his credentials on that score yesterday with a Wall Street Journal Commentary, “The Case for Bombing Iran,” subtitled “I hope and pray that President Bush will do it.”

The neocon logic behind this loopy entreaty is “that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force--any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938.”

To buttress his analogy, Podhoretz pumps Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into a powerful figure bent on world domination like, say, Saddam Hussein. He might have some trouble convincing Thomas Friedman who, in his New York Times column the same day, writes, “This Iranian regime is afraid of its shadow. How do I know? It recently arrested a 67-year-old grandmother, whom it accused of trying to bring down the regime by organizing academic conferences!”

Podhoretz insists the Cold War was World War III and that we are now in World War IV with the “Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11.”

Rational people might think a war against an ideology could be fought with ideas, diplomacy and political pressure, but Podhoretz has no patience for such liberal lollygagging.

His worldview would have brought us into nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union if anybody in power had taken it seriously, and after 9/11, his moronic intellectual heirs propelled us into Iraq, which worked out so well that an Iranian replay is now on their must-do list.

In 1967, when he was editor of Commentary, Podhoretz wrote a book, “Making It,” confessing that he was motivated by what D. H. Lawrence called “the dirty little secret” of lusting for “money, power and especially fame.” Esquire summed up the general reaction that “it’s not much of a secret, not very dirty but it certainly is little.”

If he is still chasing fame, this latest saber-rattling may help, but wouldn’t it be easier to go for it on “American Idol?”


Lynne said...

Where do we go to vote Podhoretz off the island?

bencharif said...

I have to commend you for having the stomach to read the WSJ editorial page, which is where I assume Podhoretz's drivel appeared.

I know, I know, we have to read the words of our ('enemies' seems overly strong, but it's certainly how I feel) adversaries, the better to be able to counter their positions and lessen their influence.

Thanks for sharing some of what you find out there, including what I hope, in this case, is widely considered the lunatic fringe.