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Norman Podhoretz On Iran

Friday, January 18, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I interviewed Norman Podhoretz on Iran on today’s program. (Transcript here.) The opening exchange:

HH: I read with great interest your new article in Commentary, Stopping Iran: Why the Case For Military Action Still Stands. And I linked it on the Hugh Hewitt website. But I wanted to talk with you in depth about it, because it’s vitally important. Let’s cut to the chase at the beginning.

NP: Sure.

HH: Do you think President Bush needs to authorize air strikes against Iran now?

NP: Yes, I do. The question is whether he will, although I thought, I was pretty confident that he would before the National Intelligence Estimate came out in early December. I still think in the end, he will order air strikes before he leaves office. But I am, as the NIE would say, I offer that prediction now with only low to moderate confidence.

Read the whole thing. I will soon interview Douglas Frantz, co-author with Catherine Collins of Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World’s Most Dangerous Secrets…And How We Could Have Stopped Him. No one who reads this book or studies the record doubts that Iran is perilously close to possessing a nuke, and maybe many. Podhoretz understands this, as well as the awful consequences of such a development. Read his article. Read the Frantz/Collins book. And hope that a Republican wins in November for there are very difficult and extremely serious years ahead.

One more exchange from the Podhoretz interview:

HH: Let me agree with you, and set the table a bit closer. You’re a Rudy guy, I’m a Romney guy. And you quote John McCain, and I approve of this, the only thing worse than bombing Iran is letting Iran get the bomb. I’m not a big fan of John McCain’s, but he’s right about this. Do you expect that the top five Republicans, if George Bush were to act in March or April, and that means Huckabee, Thompson and the other three we’ve mentioned, would all come out and stand shoulder to shoulder with the President, and declare that it was a necessary and important thing to do? Because that might be the moment of greatest political defense for the President to act, and I’m hopeful that’s what we’re headed towards.

NP: Well, that’s a great question. I would certainly hope that they would stand behind them, and it would, by the way, be in their political interest to do so, because they would, Democrats would stick them with the responsibility for it anyway. And so I would hope that they would have the simple moral and political courage to back him. I mean, I think that the five minutes after the first bomb were to fall on the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, there would be a motion to impeach the President. And it would probably go forward. But…our only hope of avoiding a really horrible domestic political situation would be for the Republicans to stand firm.

The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World's Most Dangerous Secrets...And How We Could Have Stopped Him

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