Commentary magazine, “widely regarded as the leading outlet for neoconservative writing,” held its first annual dinner this week in honor of its former editor-in-chief Norman Podhoretz. The evening got started with rousing cheers for Scooter Libby. The crowd of 300 delivered “a standing ovation” for Libby, “who was in attendance while awaiting sentencing on his felony convictions.”
Participants then proceeded to more substantive issues at hand — namely, consideration of post-Iraq regime change targets. The Christian Science Monitor writes that “Commentary advocates passionate support for Israel, and regime change in at least half a dozen countries deemed hostile to US and Israeli security and interests.” Along those lines, in the most current issue of the magazine, Norman Podhoretz argues “The Case for Bombing Iran.”
One of the evening’s keynote speakers, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, took Podhoretz’s claims even further. The New York Sun’s Ira Stoll writes that Bolton delivered what appeared to be his regime change hit list, with a country-by-country breakdown:
Ambassador John Bolton’s speech on why regime change, notwithstanding the problems in Iraq, “has to be something that’s in our toolbox as we go forward.” … He also supported regime change in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the first Persian Gulf War, and in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.
Then, moving briskly to present-day examples, Mr. Bolton backed regime change in North Korea and Iran. As for Cuba, he said that “actuarial tables will take care” of it, referring to the aging Castro. Sudan, he said, was not a sufficient threat to American interests to justify a policy of regime change. Burma, he noted, recently was reported to be entering a contract with Russia for a research nuclear reactor, but “I don’t think that’s a regime that warrants regime change.” Venezuela, he said last year purchased 100,000 AK-47s. “Not yet but maybe” was Mr. Bolton’s position on regime change in Venezuela. Syria is the “hardest” case, Mr. Bolton said, seeming to think that what came after Assad there might be worse.
The failed neoconservative designs on Iraq do not appear to have quenched their desire to continue their global regime change campaign.