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Norquist: Bush’s Advisers Telling Him ‘Invade Iran. Then Everyone Will See How Smart We Are’

In this month’s issue of Vanity Fair, Craig Unger writes that the same neoconservative advisers who advocated for the Iraq war are now recycling the same tactics to push for the bombing of Iran. Unger reports that not all of Bush’s key conservative allies are pleased with the administration’s course on Iran:

“Everything the advocates of war said would happen hasn’t happened,” says the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, an influential conservative who backed the Iraq invasion. “And all the things the critics said would happen have happened. [The president’s neoconservative advisers] are effectively saying, ‘Invade Iran. Then everyone will see how smart we are.’ But after you’ve lost x number of times at the roulette wheel, do you double-down?”

For example, Richard Perle, a former Bush administration official, has said, “I have very little doubt” that Bush would order “necessary military action” against Iran. “Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office,” wrote American Enterprise Institute analyst Joshua Muravchik.

Two other important points from the Unger article:

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1) Retired Defense Intelligence official Patrick Lang told Unger that Bush has ordered StratCom — the military command responsible for “nuclear weapons, missile defense and protection against weapons of mass destruction” — to draw up plans for a “massive strike against Iran.” Lang noted that the shift away from Central Command “to StratCom indicates they are talking about a really punishing air-force and naval air attack [on Iran].”

2) Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi said, “I’ve heard from sources at the Pentagon that their impression is that the White House has made a decision that war is going to happen.”

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Ryan Powers