"Let's make no mistake: Bush wasn't wrong on Iraq"
So read the headline of a September 5, 2004 column by none other than the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick McIlheran. Written more than 2,000 American dead ago, the column sneered at people who claimed the war was based on lies.
Some of the more outlandish lines:
What matters is the cause, and this cause is just: to turn aside the long assault on our nation that climaxed with 3,000 Americans dead on that Sept. 11 and to do it by liberating 25 million people from a warmongering fascist regime.
(Hussein) may or may not have helped al-Qaida - - unanswerable before his overthrow -- but didn't disavow the group and said, three days after 9-11, that we had it coming.
Now, more than three bloody years later -- three bloody years that have not made America safer, nor, as violence in Pakistan have demonstrated, have curbed violent Sunni radicalism -- McIlheran is subtly pimping the war with Iran that Dick Cheney wants. He doesn't come right out and say "bomb Iran!" Instead, he's used recent blog posts to tout the work of people who do say it.
One of them is the crazy Norman Podhoretz, who scarily enough, is an advisor to Rudy Giuliani.
Talking Points Memo has been examining Podhoretz's wrongheadedness for some time and distilled it nicely in a recent post describing a debate on Iran between Podhoretz and Fareed Zakaria (Zakaria reasonably argues that even a nuclear Iran could be deterred from doing anything crazy just as Mao, Stalin and Kim Il Jung were deterred. Podhoretz, meanwhile, argues that the Iranians are different, they don't mind getting blowed up in the name of Allah.)
Tonight on The Newshour, Rudy Giuliani's foreign policy advisor and godfather of neoconservatism, Norman Podhoretz debated Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria on the question of whether or not to go to war with Iran. It's perhaps an apt commentary on the rightward, lunatic turn of this country's foreign policy that Fareed is taking what I guess must be called the left (?) in this debate. In any case, I really urge you to give this a look. And note a few things: one is the denigrating tone Podhoretz takes toward Zakaria. It's curdled and bitter. It jumped out at me and I wonder if it does for you as well. Second are the constant references to Hitler and the Munich agreement. Hitler has become such a throwaway reference or comparison for whatever penny-ante dictator we're up in arms about at the moment that the reference has been drained of much of its meaning and horror. But with the Munich agreement and how 'time is not on our side' and so forth, this is beyond nonsense.
It's almost an insult to what the world faced in the late 1930s. Germany, industrial powerhouse, with arguably the most powerful army in the world, at the forefront of technology, overawing and invading neighboring countries. Iran, minor economic power, second or third-rate military power, which may get a couple of small nuclear-weapons compared to the couple hundred high-end nuclear warheads in Israel's arsenal (plus, a robust second strike capacity, as Fareed notes) and the many thousands we have -- and our blue water navy, satellites, air force. Please. Time's running out for us? We're going to look back on this fifty years from now and see the non-podhoretz-loons as the Chamberlains of the day? I don't know what to say. Just watch ...
There's a video of the link.
No, Paddy: Bush was clearly wrong on Iraq. And the hawks today clearly are wrong on Iran.
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