A Call for World War IV
September 12, 2002
wasnt enough for some people. A
well-known opinion leader has found the formula for many more, for many
years to come.
Not content with
making war on Iraq, Norman Podhoretz of Commentary
magazine, the highbrow Zionist monthly, calls on the United States to
launch World War IV. Yes, World War IV. Lest you think hes running
a little ahead of history, we should explain that he counts the Cold War as
World War III. But this time he has a very hot war in mind what he
describes as the war against militant Islam.
Podhoretz thinks we
have just the right leader to conduct a world war: George W. Bush. And
what qualifies Bush for this tremendous role? He has restored
moral clarity and rejected moral relativism.
Moral clarity means the concept that some nations [are] evil and
commentators, Podhoretz finds Bush a singularly eloquent man.
Bushs speeches inveighing against the axis of evil
(Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) are, Podhoretz says, enormously
impressive: one of them the one announcing war on
terrorism and the so-called Bush Doctrine scaled
heights of sublimity and deserves to live
forever. Every president receives fulsome sycophancy, but this
must set some sort of record. (Podhoretz admits that these speeches were
probably the work of speechwriters, but it hardly matters.)
How did Bush achieve
this moral clarity? After the 9/11 attacks, a kind of revelation ...
lit up the recesses of Bushs mind and heart and soul. He
suddenly knew, says Podhoretz, that the God to whom, as a
born-again Christian, he had earlier committed himself had put him in the
Oval Office for a purpose. He had put him there to lead a war against the
evil of terrorism.
Yes, God had given
George W. Bush a personal revelation! World War IV will be,
as it were, a faith-based initiative.
Meanwhile, in Israel
which Podhoretz ranks supreme among the good
nations Ariel Sharon has been fighting terrorism with the same
moral clarity as Bush, albeit without a personal revelation from the
Almighty. Podhoretz laments that it took Bush a while to grasp his moral
consanguinity with the Israeli prime minister; at first he sank into a
bog of confusion, courting and coddling evil
(Arab) regimes. Then he realized that Israel, under Sharon, was up against
the same enemy he was. Bush had regained his moral clarity!
If were going
to have a genuine world war, Podhoretz sensibly argues, we cant
stop with victory and regime change in Iraq. We have to
clean up the whole evil Middle East and change all its regimes.
Lest the reader suspect that Podhoretzs views
are being caricatured here, let us quote his own words:
that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced are not confined to the
three singled-out members of the axis of evil. At a minimum, this axis
should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as
friends of America like the Saudi royal family and
Egypts Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority,
whether headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen.
minimum! If making war on Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority (not to mention North Korea) would be
the minimum, what would the maximum be?
Overthrowing and replacing every regime on earth?
Apart from Iran, none
of these regimes represents militant Islam, the alleged
target of Podhoretzs World War IV. The only thing they actually
have in common, obviously, is that they are Israels enemies. World
War IV would be a war to destroy Israels enemies fought,
of course, by the United States.
unconsciously exposed the Manichaean fantasy world of so many of those
who are now calling for war with Iraq. The United States and Israel are
good; the Arab-Muslim states are evil; and
those opposed to this war represent moral relativism,
ostensibly neutral but virtually on the side of evil.
This is simply
deranged. The ability to see evil only in ones enemies isnt
moral clarity. Its the essence of fanaticism. We are
now being counseled to fight one kind of fanaticism with another.
And a man who
actually clamors for a world war, with all the millions of violent deaths
it would entail, is himself evil.