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 The Neocons’ World War 

March 25, 2003

Just as World War II began with the invasion of Poland, World War IV may have begun with the invasion of Iraq. Apparently Iran will be the next target among President’s Bush’s “Axis of Evil.”

World War IV? This isn’t hyperbole or idle speculation.

Pro-Israel “neoconservatives” like Norman Podhoretz are openly calling for “World War IV” to topple governments throughout the Middle East — with the exception, of course, of the Likud government of Israel. (In case you’re wondering, the Cold War was World War III.)

This is in keeping with President Bush’s policy of “regime change” and his ambitious plan to bless the whole region with “democracy.”

There is nothing conservative about the “neoconservatives.” They care nothing for such classic conservative principles as Natural Law, limited government, tradition, prudence, and constitutional order. But just as the Communists used to borrow liberal rhetoric for their own purposes, while convincing many innocent liberals that they were merely fellow “progressives,” the neocons have used conservative rhetoric, in the service of a foreign power, for their own purposes.

And their chief purpose is war. Preferably a big one. It’s to be fought not by Israel, but by the United States. They have already dubbed it World War IV. For once we should take them at their word.

[Breaker quote:  It already has a name.]Richard Perle, one of the top neocon Bush war planners, says he is “rather optimistic that we will see regime change in Iran without any use of military power by the United States.” This implies, however, that military power may be needed to effect “regime change.” Perle’s colleague Michael Ledeen, yet another neocon, is more explicit. Iraq, he says, is “just one battle in a broader war,” and Iran is “the mother of modern terrorism.”

Got that? The invasion of Iraq is not really a war, but “just one battle in a broader war,” which must be expanded to other countries, starting with Iran. The War Party is already telling us the agenda, on the assumption that Bush has a blank check for limitless war. It will be stipulated that all opposition to U.S. conquest — excuse me, “liberation” — is “terrorism.” If this is what they say in public, heaven knows what they are saying in private.

So all the propaganda about the evil Saddam Hussein was just a distraction, a device to set larger events in motion. The goal is for the United States to rule the world, to exercise what William Kristol of The Weekly Standard (neocon, need one add) calls “benevolent universal hegemony.”

Because so many of the hawks are in effect Israeli apparatchiks, those who oppose the war are often accused of being “anti-Israel” and worse. This is nonsense.

Suppose the situation were reversed. Imagine an administration full of pro-Arab advisors constantly pushing for war with Israel, in concert with Arab-owned mass media and Arab governments. Imagine that we were always hearing that Israel was a threat to world peace, while Arab states were extolled as reliable allies of the United States in the cause of peace and freedom.

In that case, an American patriot would have to say, “Wait a minute here. Can we have a little sense of proportion? There is no reason or justification for an American war on Israel. Israel has done nothing to us and poses no threat to us, even if it has weapons of mass destruction; it has actually been pretty friendly to America. And its government, whatever its faults, compares very well to most of the Arab states; at least it permits political opposition and criticism. Are we expected to think that Ariel Sharon, brutal as he is, is worse than, say, Saddam Hussein?

“An unprovoked U.S. war on Israel would be sheer aggression, and contrary to our own best interests. If the Arabs want to make war, they can do it without our help. We should avoid entanglement with either side.”

Would that be “anti-Arab”? By today’s logic, I suppose so. But it would really be nothing but an attempt to restore calm perspective — the very thing propaganda tries to destroy. Of course if the Arabs were that powerful in the United States, they might be able to smear their critics and silence dissent.

Not that the neocons would ever do such a thing, of course.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2003 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
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