Iran Rapproachment: Giving Futility a Chance

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Podhoretz: The Little Demon on Bush’s Shoulder
by Kurt Nimmo
On the Think Progress website, in the “Radical Right-Wing Agenda” column, a post by Satyam informs us that Norman Podhoretz has Bush’s ear.

First and foremost, it is no secret Podhoretz, one of the most dangerous neocons on the planet, has Bush’s attention, and second the neocon agenda is not “radical right-wing,” as the old broken down left-right political paradigm no longer works.
Podhoretz’s sermon on the White House mount is simply another chapter in the neocon-neolib plan to domesticate the Middle East by way of cruise missile and bunker busters.

“The Politico reports today that President Bush has been listening to Podhoretz’s radical agenda, recently enlisting Podhoretz to discuss his views on Iran,” Satyam writes.
“In a meeting that ‘was not on the president’s public schedule,’ Bush and Karl Rove ’sat listening to Norman Podhoretz for roughly 45 minutes at the White House.’” and; "Rove was silent throughout, though he took notes. The president listened diligently, Podhoretz said as he recounted the conversation months later, but he “didn’t tip his hand.”

“I did say to [the president], that people ask: Why are you spending all this time negotiating sanctions? Time is passing. I said, my friend [Robert] Kagan wrote a column which he said you were giving ‘futility its chance.’ And both he and Karl Rove burst out laughing.

“It struck me,” Podhoretz added, “that if they really believed that there was a chance for these negotiations and sanctions to work, they would not have laughed. They would have got their backs up and said, ‘No, no, it’s not futile, there’s a very good chance.’”

Naturally, the neocons have opposed “negotiations and sanctions” from the start, preferring instead a concerted mass murder campaign, as Podhoretz “has argued that ‘if we were to bomb the Iranians as I hope and pray we will… we’ll unleash a wave of anti-Americanism all over the world that will make the anti-Americanism we’ve experienced so far look like a lovefest.’ By enlisting Podhoretz’s advice, President Bush is demonstrating that there isn’t any idea too radical for him to consider.”

Podhoretz welcomes this “anti-Americanism” as well. It is part and parcel of the neocon philosophy to isolate the United States—even invite retaliatory terrorism—and thus inculcate the American public with more strident and irrational anti-Arab and Muslim sentiment that will be translated into sustained—the neocons tell us the GWOT will last a hundred years or more—violence against targeted nations and peoples. As the Brothers Grimm story of cave dwelling terrorists who attack because they “hate our freedom” demonstrates, it is relatively easy to brainwash the American public.

As the International Relations Center notes, Podhoretz is obsessed with all things centered on the Holocaust and Israel. “Podhoretz gained a reputation while at Commentary for overusing Holocaust imagery to describe contemporary events….”

This preoccupation also found expression in neoconservatives’ views on Israel. As [neocon Midge Decter] once wrote while criticizing politicians whom she felt were not sufficiently supportive of Israel: “In a world full of ambiguities and puzzlements, one thing is absolutely easy both to define and locate: that is the Jewish interest. The continued security—and in those happy places where the term applies, well-being—of the Jews, worldwide, rests with a strong, vital, prosperous, self-confident United States.”

Of course, it is, to say the least, presumptive to declare all Jews support the “continued security” of Israel, that is to say Israel’s hegemonic ambition—to be attained by an ever increasing rate of serial murder, plunder, and engineered misery endlessly inflicted upon millions of people, all of it facilitated and bankrolled by the United States—as threats against Israel’s “security,” as Livia Rokach has noted, are entirely mythical.
Israel’s “Arab policy” in “its most intimate particulars, is one of deliberate … acts of provocation, intended to generate Arab hostility and thus to create pretexts for armed action and territorial expansion,” explains Naseer H. Aruri.

Norman Podhoretz is one of several primary abettors of this policy, a sort of traveling salesman shuttling between Tel Aviv and Washington, a fact made apparent by the ease of Podhoretz’s appearance on both U.S. and Israeli television, insisting the United States bomb Iranian kindergarten classrooms and hospitals.

However, as Christopher Willcox writes in a review of Podhoretz’s murder fantasy, World War IV, the American people are the sticking point of the neocon agenda to unleash a century of war and untold carnage. “For Mr. Podhoretz, political will is again the crucial question. Will the American people have the strength and staying power for the current conflict? The leading indicators—from the president’s cratering poll numbers to public doubts about the war in Iraq—provide ample grounds for pessimism.
Mr. Podhoretz says that he remains hopeful but adds: ‘The jury is still out and it will not return a final verdict for some time to come.’” Verdicts, however, have a funny way of waffling after manufactured terrorist events, designed to outrage the witless who believe Arabs are capable of violating the laws of science, sort of like Baba Yaga providing Ivan the Fool with a magic carpet.

If you’d like a taste of what Podhoretz’s war will look like, read former CIA officer Philip Giraldi’s latest post over at the Antiwar site. “Podhoretz undoubtedly sees the current global conflict as something that is good and necessary, both containable and winnable, but as his judgment on Iraq was fallible, his prediction of Iran’s rapid destruction is also unreliable. It might be useful to imagine just how war with Iran could play out if the Iranians don’t roll over and surrender at the first whiff of grapeshot.”

Giraldi’s speculation—a minor incident leading to a full-blown regional nuclear war—is entirely plausible. Indeed, it may become a horrific reality now that the little neocon demon Norman Podhoretz—deemed the “Unrepentant Neocon” by the War Street, er Wall Street Journal—has taken roost on Bush’s shoulder.


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