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Republican hawks now want a war with Iran America's neocons spy an opportunity in Israel

America's neocons are staging a comeback. GPO/ Handout/Anadolu/Getty Images

America's neocons are staging a comeback. GPO/ Handout/Anadolu/Getty Images


October 19, 2023   5 mins

Over the past decade, Republican hawks have looked on in horror as their party drifted away from the interventionist foreign policy of the Cold War years and the War on Terror. Last Friday, in a conference hall tucked inside the Sheraton Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire, their political operatives attempted to steer the ship back.

About 80 local voters crowded into the room for the latest leg of the “America the Great Tour”, which hopes to elevate national security issues during the Republican presidential race. The forum was held in concert with an official event hosted by the New Hampshire GOP, kicking off the final months before voting gets under way.

Speaking on the panel, Doug Burgum, the billionaire governor of North Dakota and a long-shot Republican presidential candidate, explained that the escalating war in Israel is in fact “a proxy war against America”. “If you’re running for President of the United States of America, you better understand whose side you’re on,” he continued, in a veiled swipe at those cautioning against a broader conflict. The crowd roared.

Sitting next to him was Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, who had warmed up the crowd by emphasising America’s need to improve its military readiness. She warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the withdrawal from Afghanistan were failures of leadership. Such decisions, she said, showed that the Biden administration “seems to fold like a cheap card table every time the pressure is put on”.

The host of the event, Morgan Ortagus, a polished former State Department official, was no less forthright. As she opened the event, she reminded the audience of her plans to hold the forum that day in Israel, until Hamas launched its terror attack. Even this, she claimed, was a reminder of the importance of the panel’s mission: “When Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran chant death to Israel, they also chant death to America. Make no mistake: this was an attack on not only the state of Israel but also on the United States of America”.

Sponsored by Polaris National Security and the Bastion Institute — two stars in a constellation of organisations designed to revive the hawkish tradition within the GOP — Friday’s event was part of a conscious plan to push back against Donald Trump’s “America First” repositioning of the party. During his run for office, Trump openly ​​mocked the Iraq War as “a big mistake” and criticised the use of US money on its allies in Europe and the East Pacific as unfair to American taxpayers. In recent months, he has promised a quick end to the Ukraine war, suggesting he can hammer out a peace treaty with Vladimir Putin “and have the deal done in one day”.

Such rhetoric has clearly struck a chord with Republican voters, 60% of whom now say they favour decreasing US military support for Ukraine. In Washington, meanwhile, Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of the most insurgent pro-Trump voices in the party, recently succeeded in toppling the Speaker of the House in part by rallying opposition to new funding for the war in Ukraine. On the party’s fringes, Vivek Ramaswamy, the upstart presidential candidate, has made opposition to “forever wars” a main plank of his campaign.

Faced with such opposition to their neoconservative worldview, how have the GOP’s most prominent interventionists responded? Some, such as Bill Kristol, have decided to leave the party. But many are fighting back.

In 2021, Elliott Abrams, who led the 1998 “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC) letter demanding the removal of Saddam Hussein as a primary policy goal, founded a new group called the ​​Vandenberg Coalition, named after the Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg, who helped build the foundations for Nato in the post-war era. “The Republican Party,” wrote Abrams on its launch, “needs to adopt a forward-looking foreign policy for today’s unprecedented security environment.” The coalition involves Randy Scheunemann, the former head of the “Committee for the Liberation of Iraq”, Doug Feith, a former Defense Department planner for the Iraq War, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Yet perhaps the most interesting expert in the Vandenberg Coalition roster is Ortagus, a failed former congressional candidate who previously worked with several think tanks focused on national security and, for a period, as a spokesperson at the State Department. Ortagus is a regular conservative media pundit and, it seems, a growing force in the Republican Party.

A self-described “evangelist for national security issues”, Ortagus sits at the nexus of several of the new hawk advocacy groups: she is, for instance, the founder of Polaris National Security and is on the board of the Bastion Institute. As part of these roles, she has spent the past year travelling across early presidential primary states — Iowa and New Hampshire — organising events such as the panel in Nashua to showcase the party’s commitment to a confrontational foreign policy. Though the forums are technically run through a non-profit research institute, they have the air of a campaign-style rally, with jumbo American flags and raised platforms carrying rows of camera equipment.

What is it hoped they will broadcast? “The focus is to go around the country and talk about national security policy, and talk to the average American about why that matters,” Ortagus told me at the Nashua forum. And who backs the group? Where is it getting its money? “Oh, that’s not disclosed,” she said with a smile.

So far, most of the events have focused on promoting the message of leading hawks in the party, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, with a particular prominence given to America’s adversaries, including China and Russia. Ortagus, at the panels, has sought to reframe immigration as a national security priority, with warnings that foreign terrorists are slipping over the southern border.

Over the past fortnight, however, this emphasis has shifted. Since Hamas’s attack, the focus has almost entirely been on supporting Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, along with the need to extend the war to Iran, which is one of the primary financial sponsors of Hamas. This is despite the fact that, earlier this week, Biden made clear that there is “no clear evidence” that Iran had any involvement in Hamas’s assault on October 7 — a claim the Iranian government is also at pains to point out.

And yet, despite this lack of evidence, the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party continues to mobilise for a new war. Senator Lindsey Graham, a leading hawk, said he did not need evidence of Iran’s involvement in the Hamas attack to launch a pre-emptive strike. “What I would do is bomb Iran’s oil infrastructure,” he told CNN last week. Elsewhere, Elliott Abrams of the Vandenberg Coalition has said that the US should “contemplate some kind of military reaction” against Iran. “There are plenty of Iranian targets,” he added.

Other members of the new hawk advocacy groups have been similarly vocal. Earlier this week, Ortagus presented the Hamas-Israel war as an American-Iranian conflict, pointing out on Fox News that Americans were killed during the attack and some were taken as hostages. “Take Israel out of this,” she said. “What is the American response to this? How are we avenging our people that are killed? It is time to stand up to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are not ten feet tall and we can take them on.”

Will such inflammatory rhetoric inspire action? It can’t be ruled out. When, in the late Nineties, the PNAC demanded that Clinton wage war on Iraq to remove its president, many dismissed it as far-fetched. But only a few years later, 9/11 rapidly reshaped the political calculus, as the neoconservative movement swept in to galvanise a traumatised nation into new conflicts abroad. The lack of strong intelligence around weapons of mass destruction mattered little in a time of retribution and fear.

Today, the shock and horror of Hamas’s assault has been rightfully called Israel’s 9/11. President Biden has wasted no time in pledging US support for Israel’s forces and travelled to Tel Aviv yesterday to make his commitment clear. But, just as in 2001, the neoconservatives are waiting in the wings, pushing to transform this crisis into a regional war — and dragging America into another Middle Eastern intervention.


Lee Fang is an investigative journalist and Contributing Editor at UnHerd. Read his Substack here.

lhfang

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Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

After Americas last two escapades in the Middle East you’d think these people would be wary of wanting to have another pop at the region. I can’t see the rest of the west blindly following them this time either

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Those two “episodes”as you so charmingly call them, were little more than a ‘reconnaissance in force’.
Time for the real thing now.

mike otter
mike otter
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They may get it right this time… if Russia can raze Grozny why can’t we do the same to Esfahan, Shiraz, Tehran etc. Concentrate on the main Persian areas – the Armenian, Turkic and Baluchi population have little regard for the Mullahs and the Pashto minorities in the south east are Sunnis. No need for boots on the ground – there are enough secular Persians willing to protest the IRGC at risk to their lives they could re-assert civil society after the current regime has been given a dose of the Cologne and Dresden treatment. (Repeat as required) If we do it before they have a functioning nuclear missile it could work, otherwise it may be too late and then it will be boots, aid and willing puppet dictators on the ground – which as the recent adventures prove doesn’t really work – though it does fracture our enemies and distract them in brutal civil wars – so not all bad eh?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

Whaddya mean, ‘we’?
So much for your ‘rules-based world order’, eh?

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
8 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

Great idea. But why stop at Tehran? What about Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang? Or would ‘we’ run out of missiles first given that we’ve sent most of our inventory to Ukraine?

JP Martin
JP Martin
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They will never learn this lesson because they are completely insulated from the consequences for their bad decisions. Worse, many benefit personally from the chaos they unleash. We don’t inhabit the same world as our leaders they expect our loyalty (or should I say obedience) while offering none in return.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Agreed. “War with Iran!” is more about the desire for war than anything else. It’s a shameful idea. There’s no acheiveable goal and no possibility of a clean exit. In other words a quagmire of our own making. It would chew-up too many of our countrymen as well as tens of thousands of completely innocent Iranians.
And, guess what! You Brits have already been volunteered. Be the first one on your block to have your little nephew come home in a box!

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago

I think this article is naive. Iran would like to wipe Israel off the map. Iran is an enemy of the United States (The Great Satan). Iran would like access to a nuclear weapon. Iran supports Russia, who works closely with China. Russia would like to recreate the USSR. China would like to conquer Taiwan. All of these nations make this quite explicit. All of these nations would to see an end to US and western hegemony in order to fulfill their territorial and economic or religious (Iran) goals. These nations are happy to work together when aims are mutual.
Iran-backed Hamas is currently holding 13 US hostages in Gaza. Iran-backed Hezbollah is threatening to open up another front in the north. Jihadis in Syria are happy to get involved.
Iranian backed actors have attacked US troops 83 times since Biden took office.
This year, 160 people on the terrorist watchlist have been apprehended crossing the southern border into the US. That’s the ones that have been identified. Who knows how many more have gotten through given the porous nature of the border under Biden.
I don’t think it is a case of a group of Republicans are itching for a war in the ME as much it is a realization that the current leaderships of these nations are fostering an environment whereby war is desirable for THEM.
We need a strong military. “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, but also need to have leaders in the west who are prepared to actually use that stick to keep these rogue nations in check if need be.
The Biden-Obama policy of throwing money at places like Iran (but they won’t use it for terrorism!!) and threatening ‘red lines’ which are not enforced, encourages terrorism, encourages war and encourages the slaughter the innocents in the name of all kinds aforementioned goals.
If you want peace, prepare for war.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

And
This is despite the fact that, earlier this week, Biden made clear that there is “no clear evidence” that Iran had any involvement in Hamas’s assault on October 7 
This speaks to the naivety of Biden since he and the author are looking for a smoking gun, which Hamas is smart enough to hide. Just like they hid their preparations for the most recent atrocities conducted by their terrorist army.
Recall how Trump handled Soleimani. THAT is why Iran feared getting involved while Trump was in office but feels safe with the crooked, demented moron in the WH.

Last edited 8 months ago by Terry M
James H Johnson
James H Johnson
8 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

An excellent summary of the facts and sentiments. Thank you.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago

Getting involved militarily with Iran would be a disaster, but Biden’s approach to appeasing Iran clearly hasn’t worked either. Stop rewarding them for bad behaviour.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

So just how far must Iran go before getting involved militarily?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

To lapse into an old vernacular expression Iran “couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding “

WHO seriously disputes this?

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

IDK. If they send troops in or launch missiles we’ve got a problem. If they fight a proxy war, we should do whet we can to cripple them economically. Under no circumstances should we give them the green light to develop nuclear weapons.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Iran is an independent sovereign nation (which is more than I can say for the modern UK). Whether it develops an independent nuclear deterrent – a wise move, given the USSA’s track record of rabid aggression – is no one’s business but its own. It would at least be a balancing deterrent against Israel’s, France’s and the Yookay’s own WMD.

rob clark
rob clark
8 months ago

So many of the same foreign policy “experts” who pushed us into the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles are asking us to follow their lead once again as they “evangelize” for peace and security. Just say no to these ivory tower neocons!

Last edited 8 months ago by rob clark
Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
8 months ago

”And who backs the group? Where is it getting its money? “Oh, that’s not disclosed,” she said with a smile.”

I’d guess defence contractors

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
8 months ago

I’d guess very rich Jews who want America to do what Israel can’t

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

‘Kosher Nostra’?

John Solomon
John Solomon
8 months ago

I don’t often laugh out loud at a comment, but that did it. Very droll!!

jlhaggerty
jlhaggerty
8 months ago

I don’t want war with Iran as an American but to take Biden’s statement of no clear evidence as hard fact is ridiculous. He had just released $6 billion of frozen Iranian assets in exchange for Americans held by Iran. Of course, he is going to say that those monies and others did not help Hamas. It’s beyond question that Iran funds Hamas as well provides weapons, and I would suggest access to the their satellite network. Let alone the sponsorship of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Placating them was a mistake for both Obama & Biden. Trump was too erratic to do much better..

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  jlhaggerty

The naïveté of this author is nauseating. Of course no one wants war with anyone. Sort of like saying no one wants cancer. But when it invades your body you fight like hell to survive.

Dominic A
Dominic A
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Did the Iraqis, Vietnamese, Palestinians or Iranians invade the USA body? If & when the US invaded those countries, would they not fight like hell, did they not fight like hell? Did those wars not end up thoroughly weakening USA’s standing?

Last edited 8 months ago by Dominic A
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

And finances. These nutters seem to forget the deficit the USSA is running, which is now turning parabolic. The USSA is already spending more on debt interest than on its colossal war-machine, and it’s getting worse, fast. They’re going to end up bankrupted, like the Soviet Union c. 1988.

Dominic A
Dominic A
8 months ago
Reply to  jlhaggerty

“Of course, he is going to say that those monies and others did not help Hamas”
Probably fair to say as Qatar & the US have frozen the payment, so Iran does not have the money.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

According to the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, Bibi’s envoys flew to Doha last year to urge Qatar not to cease its own funding of Hamas. His plan was always to play off Hamas against Fatah. That worked out well, eh?

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Joy
Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago

Rather than attack Iran, a potentially great country with a tremendous history, we’d be better off supporting those Iranians who want to get rid of their leadership. Iran should really be a western ally rather than an antagonist.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Not the maddest post here – but why is Iran any of the UK or any other non-Middle East state’s business? Does Iran concern itself with who governs Mexico or Japan?

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

“And who backs the group? Where is it getting its money? “Oh, that’s not disclosed,” she said with a smile.”

I’d imagine arms manufacturers are the ones pushing these stale neo-cons and their outdated End of History era bellicosity forward. We can only hope Trump can succeed and push these fossils out.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
8 months ago

Neocons are, almost to a man, traitors to America. They are the agents of a foreign power

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Exactly so, and which one is as plain as the nose on your face: Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Daniel Perle, Vicky Nuland, Morgan Ortagus et al….
So much for George Washington’s admonition to avoid foreign entanglements.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Indeed, they started out as Trots in the Soviet Union. They butchered millions, then Stalin pushed them out, so they end up in the US also killing millions

Their lust for blood is unquenchable

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

There is NO place in the modern world for ‘political’ ISLAM.
It is a pernicious cult, predicated on violence, and thus must be destroyed by fair means or foul.

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

What has been truly disgusting about Islam for at least the last 50 years is the barbarism, an outright cowardice of their all too frequent attacks on the innocent. In fact, we might very well call it the “slaughter of the innocent”.

If only these useless cretins knew their own history, they would cast their minds back to the Order of the Assassins*founded in 1090.
This organisation believed in extremely high-profile targeted attacks. It didn’t really matter if the attack was unsuccessful. The very fact that you had tried was enough. On one occasion they very nearly killed the man who would become our own beloved King Edward I, ‘Hammer of the Scotch’ and Conqueror of Wales.

Today this would translate into near constant assaults on the White House, Camp David, 10 Downing St, Chequers, the Elyse Palace and so forth. All very regrettable, but FAR FAR preferable to the completely senseless ‘slaughter of the innocent’.

(* The name is possibly pejorative and derived from their alleged use of hashish to bolster their courage.)

Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
8 months ago

At the risk of being pejorative, and slipping from irony into sarcasm; I don’t buy the hashish point.

Hashish is usually composed of indica strains—especially black afghani; which probably would have been all that was available at the time. So, if the good order of assassins were smoking hash, they more likely would have been knocked back on their saddles and put on “dark side of the moon” for the umpteenth time.

No, in this instance, a sativa strain is called for.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Ralph Hanke

I agree, it is rather like that other pejorative expression “Dutch Courage “.
However I only mentioned it as a POSSIBILITY did I not?

Perhaps their enemies/targets could find no better explanation for the near suicidal courage of the aforementioned Assassins?

mike otter
mike otter
8 months ago
Reply to  Ralph Hanke

Probably Lebanese land-race – 100% sativa, grows across the “fertile crescent” and is hardier than Indus valley indica plants. Either way “Hashashin” means pot head in Arab and its likely the Old Man of the Mountain was happy to see his warriors feared as drugged up maniacs as opposed to drippy hippies lol

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
8 months ago

It’s not just the neocons who want a war with Iran. Netanyahu wants US support in neutralising the threat to Israel from Iran. Hamas wants it too, because they think (erroneously) that Iran would win.
The hospital incident has inflated tensions across the Middle East, where few accept the IDF account. The Eli Cohen announcement yesterday (“At the end of this war, not only will Hamas no longer be in Gaza, but the territory of Gaza will also decrease.”) confirming the second Nakba fears will raise tensions further.
Dangerous times.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
8 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

The Israel account appears to be true. That few in the ME accept it is a given. The whole region runs on rumour and conspiracy theory.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago

Seems to be a given these days that many in the West accept it as a given.
US also confirmed independently that the hospital blast was by Palestinian Islamic Jihad misfiring a rocket which hit the parking lot outside a hospital rather than the building itself.
But it doesn’t matter, because Jooz!

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

It more than likely was a Hamas mis-launch. But the ‘US has confirmed independently’? ‘Independently’? The US? On the subject of Israel v Hamas? Puh-lease!

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
8 months ago

I think it is true, but as I said, few in the Middle East will accept it. This battle was a victory for Hamas in the information war.

John Solomon
John Solomon
8 months ago

The problem is essentially one of culture and semantics. We in the West have a concept of ‘true’ which presumes an element of objectivity. Other cultures have a concept ot ‘truth’ which is both variable and subjective.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Anyone with half a brain accepts the IDF account of the hospital ‘incident’ now. The only people still holding to the Hamas theory are antisemites and cranks. Not sure which category you fall into.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

I accept the IDF account. Did I say otherwise?

Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

I think we have seriously under-estimated the scale of anti-semitism in the UK

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 months ago

Neoconservatism is one of the great evils of the world but Cheney was right in 2005 that the US and her allies had a once-in-a-lifetime to force regime change in Iran by invading through Iraq.
That moment has likely passed, and now Republicans should focus on detente with Russia and keeping the western Ukraine as a peaceful buffer between two blocs-

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
8 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

They should have armed and backed Suddam more than they did then, rather than invade over Kuwait and it’s oil?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

SUDDAM?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Originally they did. The UK, France and US armed, funded and supplied his Ba’athist regime for years in its unprovoked war on Iran in 1980-88 in the hope of toppling the revolutionary government that had dared to overthrow the west’s puppet Shah. That war killed millions.
And people think the Iranians are evil for referring to the USSA and its UKanian flunkey as the Great and Little Satans….

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Well said for mentioning that deplorable piece of realpolitik!
Poor old Saddam we, and to lapse into the vernacular, ‘WE’ certainly ‘shafted’ him.

John Solomon
John Solomon
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

“It’s” ?????

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Now it’s been successfully depopulated, it’ll be getting a whole new population a few years down the line…

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Joy
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago

Are they mad?

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

It’s kinda annoying when people characterize themselves as ‘peace lovers’ over and against those baddies, the ‘war lovers.’ I think there are very few ‘war lovers’ in the world. Everyone wants peace… the question is how to achieve it.
When as a child you confront a bully on the street, you have to cycle through a number of potential responses… meekly turning tail, cowed by his anger?… buy him off with your candy and favorite toy?… pop him in the nose and hope his bravado is shattered by the surprise?… or get stuck in a nasty wrestling match that takes 20 min and leaves only one of you standing victorious, the other so crushed and humiliated he leaves the neighborhood for good?…
Everyone wants peace, but we have different opinions about how to achieve it. I don’t really understand how one can think Iran’s going to just leave us alone if we just leave them alone. The regime has made it very clear, for many years, that America is the Great Satan and that Israel must be eliminated. What’s the “rational argument” you have with that?
Everyone saying we should try running away and/or giving Iran our candy, has forgotten that we’ve already tried those strategies and they failed to appease. In light of that, the only questions are: (1) Have they finally made a sufficient nuisance of themselves to justify spilling our own blood to stop them? (maybe, maybe not) and (2) How can we ‘wrestle them to the ground’ at the lowest cost to our own blood? What does that look like, exactly?

Last edited 8 months ago by Kirk Susong
Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
8 months ago

Does anyone think it is a good idea to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons

William Hickey
William Hickey
8 months ago

If you want to get the full dose, Bill Kristol’s son-in-law provides it right here:

https://www.aei.org/op-eds/from-jerusalem-to-kyiv-its-all-one-war%EF%BF%BC/

Count how many regal “musts” appear in this defender of democracy’s rant.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
8 months ago

Well, somebody’s going to have to do something about Iran, or Iran will just keep on doing what it’s doing. Unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s a Western-oriented, democracy-minded popular opposition movement ready to take over from the mullahs, without the need for the US or anyone else to put boots on the ground.
The mistake, btw, in those countries, was not the initial action, it was the lingering for years in a futile attempt to introduce a western-style democracy that wasn’t culturally appropriate nor wanted.
In the case of Ukraine, spending around 6% of the US defense budget on wrecking the Russian armed forces and revealing their ineptitude to the world is an absolute bargain.

James H Johnson
James H Johnson
8 months ago

While true that right-wing Americans have no love for the Iranian theocrats suggesting they want war with Iran is total nonsense.

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
8 months ago

I SO hope it is naivete. Obama intentionally left the ME in the hands of Russia, Syria and Iran and his proxy pres has continued his policy. Add an open border, and the western inclination to revert to antisemitism, and it’s a very scary scenario. Forgot the shibboleth of the neocon “thirst for war” and focus on this reality in real time and real events. This is Holocaust 2.0. We either repeat our first rejection of that truth or we get it, this time. Take your pick. Any non-talking point ideas out there?

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
8 months ago

Would that be such a bad thing? It appears to me that the world is alight with wars everywhere, basically pushing racist, extreme religious agendas and trying to eradicate entire countries or certain ethnic or religious groups. Iran and North Korea are nothing but totalitarian brutal regimes that really don’t care who gets wasted, even their own folks as long as they ply their hate worldwide.
I would say let’s start with those two wanna-be’s and take it from there. The U.S. really doesn’t need any help, it would be a sign of clarity if other nations joined in to eradicate the political pychopaths running these countries. It would be a great start.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

In 146 BC, the Roman Republic, completely destroyed, the cities of Carthage and Corinth. Both would remain uninhabited for 100 years. Today’s equivalent would be the total destruction of New York and Paris.
Perhaps it is time to destroy Iran, and send a clear signal to the Islamic world that they have “missed the bus” and can never catch up. Given the potency of Israel’s nuclear deterrent, it shouldn’t be too difficult, particularly if backed up by the USN’s Ohio class submarines.
The only question we have to ask is would we really miss Iran? Obviously there would be some cultural loss in terms of historic architecture, but little of that remains in the first place, so perhaps is it an acceptable price?

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

So the Iranian people are purely collateral damage? Fine moral highground.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Precisely, and as to ‘moral high ground’, what absurd cant, as you very well know.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
8 months ago

You are an’absurd c*nt Charles!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

You seem to have a very limited vocabulary Carl old chap. Why is that may I ask?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

Interesting. So what are your views on Israel?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Palestine* is Israel’s by Right of Conquest, albeit a somewhat unusual conquest it must be said.

The Palestinians’ are Dediticci, ‘conquered people’. The sooner they get used to that the better for all concerned.

(*Or whatever you want to call it.)

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

In another comment you moralise about the “killing of innocents” by the Muslims. Seems a tad hippocritical?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I deplore the fact that Islam deliberately targets ‘the innocent’ because it is too cowardly and ludicrously incompetent to do anything else.

Israel by total contrast does its level best to avoid such indiscriminate slaughter, although sometimes it doesn’t succeed, which is rather the nature of war.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

But earlier you called for the indiscriminate destruction of Iran and all it’s people, there’s many “innocents” in that massive amount of people you’ve called for wiping out.

Last edited 8 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Do pay attention! I did NOT use the word “indiscriminate”, nor did I mention “wiping out”.
I said “Perhaps it is time to destroy Iran”, from which I would’ve thought it was fairly obvious that I meant its military capability, nuclear or otherwise. Only a male hysteric such as your good self could interpret it any differently.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

No, I reread your comment, it was not obvious at all. On the contrary, you said “the Roman Republic, completely destroyed the cities of Carthage and Corinth….Perhaps it is time to destroy Iran….Given the potency of Israel’s nuclear deterrent, it shouldn’t be too difficult…would we really miss Iran?…” . That doesn’t sound like just taking out their military capabilities old chap. “Destroy” seems to mean the same thing as “wiping out”.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Is English your first language may I ask?

John Solomon
John Solomon
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

‘Hippocritical’?? Critical of horses??

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Thanks, I thought the spelling looked weird when I wrote it.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
8 months ago

You are plumbing new depths in your depravity CS or is this you just stirring for attention, you would welcome a war with the total destruction of a country? Get back to Nazi Germany, your comment is disgraceful!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Tut tut Carl, temper, temper.
By the way is Karl normally spelt with a K, and not with a C? Or are you hiding something?

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
8 months ago

No its a C I am afraid, but your comment amused me so I’ve upticked you, hope you don’t mind dear chap?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

He is painting himself as fascinatingly deranged. And obviously likes to stir outrage. Not a good idea to feed him.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You old hypocrite UHR!
This pseudo social justice warrior stuff is obviously a charade.
Have you ever been to Palestine/Israel or even Iran for that matter?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

Surely everyone on here spouting our views are pseudo something – pseudo historians/pseudo intellectuals/ pseudo social justice warriors etc.
Have you ever been to Palestine/Israel or Iran?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Follow you own advice and STOP ‘rising to the bait’. It makes you look very foolish.