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NY Times Reviews N. Podhoretz and M. Ledeen


Some excerpts from the Peter Beinart review for the Times:

The most astonishing part of “World War IV” is Podhoretz’s incessant use of violent imagery to describe American politics. Critics of the Iraq war represent a “domestic insurgency” with a “life-and-death stake” in America’s defeat. And their dispute with the president’s supporters represents “a war of ideas on the home front.” “In its own way,” Podhoretz declares, “this war of ideas is no less bloody than the one being fought by our troops in the Middle East.”

No less bloody? That’s good to know. Next time I talk to my sister-in-law, an emergency medicine doctor serving at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, I’ll tell her we have it just as rough here at home. Norman Podhoretz is practically dodging I.E.D.’s on his way to Zabar’s.


In some ways, Ledeen’s aim is similar. The mullahs in Tehran, he maintains, are global revolutionaries, indifferent to the self-preservation that restrains normal states. If they get a nuclear weapon, they will use it, quickly. Where Ledeen differs is in his proposed solution. Somewhat surprisingly (and unlike Podhoretz) he doesn’t counsel military action against Iran. Rather, he proposes an aggressive but nonviolent American campaign for regime change. And then his book falls apart.

I trust NRO readers will have a slightly different opinion of these two books…


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