Podhoretz, like Bush, is staying the course.

By Ted Belman

Ever since being introduced to Commentary Magazine in the sixties I have been an avid reader of Commentary and fan of Norman Podhoretz. Tonight I attended a lecture given by him.

You may recall he was responsible for preparing the intellectual groundwork that enabled Ronald Reagan to win the Whitehouse. He led the battle against Oslo. Unfortunately he also supported the disengagement from Gaza.

So where is he at now aside from being appointed by Giuliani as policy advisor?

1. He believes that history will vindicate Bush much as it did Harry Truman. Truman had to fight Communism and developed the doctrine of containment. He had many detractors from such policy and lost the elections to Eisenhower who was vocally against containment but once in office, made no changes to the policy. Similarly, Podhoretz believes that the Bush Doctrine, which he identified as pre-emption militarily and democratization politically, will be continued by the next administration be it Democrat or Republican.

2. He had great praise for the American soldiers and their patriotism. He suggests that these young people are reflective of the American heartland from which they came. They and the heartland have the right stuff. He reminded us that a NY Times writer remarked, after Nixon won office much to the consternation of pundits, “I don’t know anyone who voted for him”. Hopefully the Democrats today are similarly out of touch.

3. He is very hard on Condi. He says she used to be a realist in foreign policy having been mentored by Scowcroft. Then, when she came over to the Whitehouse, she abandonned such thinking. During Bush’s first year in office, he had to endure a State Department and CIA which were openly hostile to his policies that it was their duty to uphold. He sent Condi there to whip it into line. Unfortunately it whipped her into line. Bush has absolutely no confidence that anything will come of Condi’s efforts. Now is just not the time to expect progress. He is letting her run with it expecting her and her policies to crash and burn taking the realists down with them. For him that would be a good thing. It would restore the Bush Doctrine.

4. Olmert, he says is, partly to blame because he is too eager for for a settlement. Its not just American pressure.

5. He recently wrote an article that the only thing worse than bombing Iran is not bombing Iran. He expects Bush to order an air assault before he leaves office.

5. Everyone believed that Hussein was developing WMD’s. While this was one of the reason’s for invading Iran, the main reason was to start the process of democratization as a means of transforming the ME. Podhoretz and Bush both believe in the Bush doctrine.

6. He did not get a chance to comment on Bush’s relationship with the Saudis but he did comment that neither Saudi Arabia or China would bring the US down, economically, because they too would suffer.

November 10, 2007 | 16 Comments »

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