In the June 2007 issue of Commentary, neoconservative icon Norman Podhoretz laid out “The Case for Bombing Iran,” in which he argued that “the only prudent–indeed, the only responsible–course” is to “strike” Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible.” Though the recent NIE has slowed down hawkish belligerence towards Iran a bit, Podhoretz is still arguing that President Bush should take “military action” against Iran “soon.”
In a new article for Commentary, titled “Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands,” he argues that Bush should commence with a “bombing campaign”:
Iran can still be stopped from getting the bomb and even more millions of lives can be saved–but only provided that we summon up the courage to see what is staring us in the face and then act on what we see.
Podhoretz isn’t alone in his desire to keep pushing for an attack on Iran. Ever since Podhoretz’s recent article was released online, right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt has been promoting it, encouraging his audience to “read the whole thing. Twice.” Hewitt has also been asking his guests, including New York Times columnist William Kristol, if they agree with Podhoretz’s assessment. Scarily, they do.
HEWITT: Bill Kristol, do you think it is possible, not even likely, but just possible that the Bush administration will take military action against Iran in their last year?
KRISTOL: I think it’s possible. I think people were a little too quick after that National Intelligence Estimate came out, which was, I think, an attempt by the intelligence agencies to prevent the Bush administration from sort of seriously considering taking action. And I think people were too quick to say ooh, that rules it out, you know, they’re just paralyzed for the next year.
If we had a CIA that actually did anything, as opposed to sitting around Langley reading e-mail all day, we would be able to do that. But because we haven’t done that, the bombing option is becoming the only one that will be left, if not for this president, then for somebody.
Hewitt brought Podhoretz on his show yesterday, where he explicitly endorsed bombing Iran “now”:
HEWITT: Do you think President Bush needs to authorize air strikes against Iran now?
PODHORETZ: Yes, I do. The question is whether he will, although I thought, I was pretty confident that he would before the National Intelligence Estimate came out in early December. I still think in the end, he will order air strikes before he leaves office. But I am, as the NIE would say, I offer that prediction now with only low to moderate confidence.
HH: Well, I agree with your assessment of what has to happen.
With their desire to bomb Iran undeterred by the NIE, Hewitt and company are presumably pleased with President Bush’s repeated efforts to distance himself from the report.