The Corner

Michael Hirsh: Bush is taking the Israeli Line

I don’t normally read Time or Newsweek, but I surfed into this attempt to blame the presumably now-inevitable-forthcoming-war-with-Iran on Bush. It’s sort of like Seymour Hersh without such fabulous sources as “former Pentagon consultants” and others around the Star Trek bar. Not a mention of Iran’s war against the United States, now approaching its 29th year. He approvingly quotes General Abizaid’s contention that we “could live with” a nuclear Iran. Hirsh likes “realists” like Abizaid, but he doesn’t like what he thinks he sees in the White House:

…Bush is taking the Israeli line. For the Israelis, angered by Ahmadinejad’s lunatic rhetoric about wiping them off the map, an Iranian bomb would seem to portend World War III. And indeed, an Iranian bomb, followed perhaps by several Arab bombs, would put Israel in mortal danger. But the same isn’t true of the United States.

If you parse it, you’d conclude that Hirsh doesn’t even think that an Iranian bomb would, by itself, be a mortal threat to Israel, which seems nuts to me. But the “realists” don’t much care about such details, since the question of Israel’s survival is a matter of indifference to them. Like Neville Chamberlain, who wasn’t going to let minor matters such as Czechoslovakia’s survival get in the way of Peace in Our Time, guys like Hirsh act as if we shouldn’t bother with Iran unless the mullahs attack us directly.

Lots of people believe that, and I might even welcome an honest debate with them if only they were willing to look reality in the face. But they don’t. The facts–that our kids are being killed by Iranians, by Iranian supported terrorists, by Iranian weapons, by non-Iranian terrorists trained in Iran, by Iranian weapons–are either ignored or denied. I’d love to see an exchange between Messrs Hirsh and Hersh, on the one side, and American soldiers who have seen their buddies killed by Iranian IEDs, on the other.

To say that Bush is “taking the Israeli line” is false, ignorant and disgraceful, and it reeks of the same stench as the recent writings of senior professors at prestigious American universities, who have also “blamed” American foreign policy on Israel and pro-Israeli American Jews.

It only confirms the wisdom of my policy of generally ignoring such rags as Newsweek.

Michael Ledeen — Michael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

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