(photo credit: The Online Newshour)
In the latest issue of Foreign Policy, Joshua Muravchik — a neoconservative fellow traveler — has published a remarkable article, “Operation Comeback” that combines an offering of a mea culpa for much of the neocon-generated foreign policy mess America is in and then stunning bravado with encouragement that the President initiate a third war against a Muslim nation.
Muravchik’s article is written as a memo to his “fellow neoconservatives.”
There are a lot of disturbing zingers in the piece, but here is the part that every voter should be made aware of:
Prepare to Bomb Iran.
Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office. It is all but inconceivable that Iran will accept any peaceful inducements to abandon its drive for the bomb. Its rulers are religio-ideological fanatics who will not trade what they believe is their birthright to great power status for a mess of pottage. Even if things in Iraq get better, a nuclear-armed Iran will negate any progress there. Nothing will embolden terrorists and jihadists more than a nuclear-armed Iran.
The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home. It will be an injection of steroids for organizations such as MoveOn.org. We need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes. In particular, we need to help people envision what the world would look like with a nuclear-armed Iran. Apart from the dangers of a direct attack on Israel or a suitcase bomb in Washington, it would mean the end of the global nonproliferation regime and the beginning of Iranian dominance in the Middle East.
This defense should be global in scope. There is a crying need in today’s ideological wars for something akin to the Congress for Cultural Freedom of the Cold War, a global circle of intellectuals and public figures who share a devotion to democracy. The leaders of this movement might include Tony Blair, Vaclav Havel, and Anwar Ibrahim.
I don’t want to appease Iran’s appetite for nukes, and I do believe that a substantial portion of Iraq’s governing elite want nuclear weapons despite overwhelming reasons for them to avoid that path — but this kind of talk about bombing Iran further undermines American credibility and our ability to influence Iran’s choices.
Kudos though to Josh Muravchik for truth in advertising.
Voters really should consider his views when they ask what may come next in the Bush administration’s roster of crusades.
Before closing, let me offer one visual image of what bombing Iran will yield — whether or not one believes that such an action is justified by circumstances or not.
Bombing Iran would create a “Terrorist Superhighway” with agitated networks of terrorists and insurgents angry at the U.S. linking Iran, Iraq and Syria — right up to the border of Israel.
As much as Iran is blamed (with reason) for fueling Hezbollah and the militant wing of Hamas, the kind of terror activity that might rush out of Iran in this Superhighway of Terrorists would overwhelm anything we have yet seen.
— Steve Clemons