In the wake of charges against two people in an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudia Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington, several neoconservative think-tankers both implicitly and explicitly called for the U.S. to engage in a war with Iran. Now, they’re being joined by neoconservative don Bill Kristol, the well-connected Weekly Standard editor behind innumerable hawkish neocon projects of the past 15 years.
In the October 24, 2011, issue of the Weekly Standard, Kristol writes:
It’s long since been time for the United States to speak to this regime in the language it understands—force.
And now we have an engraved invitation to do so. The plot to kill the Saudi ambassador was a lemon. Statesmanship involves turning lemons into lemonade.
So we can stop talking. Instead, we can follow the rat lines in Iraq and Afghanistan back to their sources, and destroy them. We can strike at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and weaken them. And we can hit the regime’s nuclear weapons program, and set it back. Lest the administration hesitate to act out of fear of lack of support at home, Congress should consider authorizing the use of force against Iranian entities that facilitate attacks on our troops, against IRGC and other regime elements that sponsor terror, and against the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
What Kristol is talking about here is an all out war with Iran: attacking the Islamic Republic’s military, regime elements, and of course Iran’s nuclear program (which is alleged to be aimed at nuclear weapons, but has yet to be proven so — though don’t look for Kristol to make the distinction).
Sometime Kristol ally and fellow Standard writer Reuel Marc Gerecht, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, made a similar call in the Wall Street Journal last week: “The White House needs to respond militarily to this outrage. If we don’t, we are asking for it.”
Gerecht called for attacking Iran in 2010 and Kristol, for his part, indicates that the latest alleged Iranian plot is little more than a pretext to start a war he’s had on his mind for a while: He writes that “it’s long since been time” to start a war with Iran.
Kristol was a central node in the long-running campaign for war with Iraq. He founded the Project For a New American Century, which advocated for war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1998 and said, less than two weeks after 9/11, that “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power.” Kristol was also an advisory board member to the short-lived pressure group the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a hawkish outfit that worked in 2002 and 2003 to push Congress and the public for war.