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The Appalling Case for an Unnecessary War with Iran

Joshua Muravchik drops [1] any pretense to being interested in a diplomatic solution with Iran:

Does this mean that our only option is war? Yes, although an air campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would entail less need for boots on the ground than the war Obama is waging against the Islamic State, which poses far smaller a threat than Iran does.

Wouldn’t an attack cause ordinary Iranians to rally behind the regime? Perhaps, but military losses have also served to undermine regimes, including the Greek and Argentine juntas, the Russian czar and the Russian communists.

Wouldn’t destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary.

Muravchik’s argument for attacking Iran works very well to support the case against doing something so unnecessary and reckless. On the one hand, he pretends that starting a war against Iran will be less risky than the relatively small air campaign against ISIS, but wants us to believe that Iran is a much greater threat than ISIS. It doesn’t make sense for both of those claims to be true at the same time. Attacking Iran carries with it the risk of retaliation not only against U.S. forces in the Gulf and against Gulf state clients, but would probably expose U.S. forces now in Iraq to Iranian reprisals. A war with Iran has obvious potential to escalate into a larger regional conflict, and the chances of such a conflict increase each time that the U.S. bombs Iran.

He more or less concedes that an attack on Iran will help to shore up the regime, but throws out some examples of regimes that have been brought down by military failure. Muravchik fails to acknowledge that all of the defeated regimes he cites chose the wars that contributed to their downfall. Iranians would not see a war with the U.S. as one that they chose, since the U.S. would be responsible for starting it, and they would act accordingly. If the U.S. attacked Iran, Iranians would respond no differently than any other people when attacked without justification by another state: they would rally to the side of the government against the foreign attacker. Besides the short-term harm that this would do to Iran’s political life, an attack on their country would poison U.S.-Iranian relations for generations. No matter how long the current regime survives, the one that followed it would be no less suspicious of the U.S.

Muravchik dismisses the ineffectiveness of an air campaign by saying that the U.S. can “strike as often as necessary,” but that just underscores how completely unnecessary all of this would be. Even if Iran were engaged in a “drive for nuclear weapons,” as he falsely claims, that would not merit waging a “preventive” and illegal war, not least since a war would ensure that Iran would sooner or later acquire the weapons that the war was meant to “prevent.” Muravchik is treating an attack on Iran’s nuclear program as something comparable to Israel’s periodic bombing of Gaza. He doesn’t use the hideous euphemism “mowing the lawn,” but the attitude is much the same. He assumes that the U.S. will be able to keep launching repeated attacks on Iran more or less indefinitely. That overlooks the extent to which almost all other nations will condemn and reject an attack on Iran as an act of aggression, and it overestimates how patient the public will be with multiple military campaigns with ever-growing costs. The public has been conditioned to think of air wars as low-cost, relatively risk-free efforts, and they have been frequently led to expect that bombing Iran can “stop” Iran’s nuclear program. Public support for such attacks will fade quickly as American casualties and costs increase. He also responds to the objection that the U.S. won’t be able to locate and destroy all of Iran’s nuclear facilities by saying that the U.S. “will hit wherever and whenever necessary to stop Iran’s program,” but that just confirms that he has no idea how long or costly the campaign would have to be.

War is definitely not the “only” option with Iran, and it is by far the most costly and pointless of the available options. Whenever anyone concludes that war is the “only option,” we can safely assume that this was his preference all along and his conclusion should be viewed with extreme skepticism. The U.S. can easily live with a limited Iranian nuclear program, and the best remaining way to get that is for the P5+1 and Iran to conclude an agreement. Muravchik’s “alternative” is appalling and unnecessary, and should be derided as such.

38 Comments (Open | Close)

38 Comments To "The Appalling Case for an Unnecessary War with Iran"

#1 Comment By Neal On March 14, 2015 @ 5:04 am

It’s amazing that such an article gets a spot in what I thought was a reputable new organization.

The radical GOP isn’t going to stop. The American public continues, with every election, to give them more and more political power. This is going to end badly.

#2 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On March 14, 2015 @ 9:28 am

I found this appalling. Didn’t they hang people for this sort of thing at Nuremberg?

At least the man is honest.

#3 Comment By JLF On March 14, 2015 @ 9:29 am

How old is this Muravchik character anyway. He seems to think like some of the sixteen year old boys I teach. You know the type: impulsive, irrationale, feeling invincable, and showing off to impress some girl who really thinks he’s just weird.

#4 Comment By a spencer On March 14, 2015 @ 10:30 am

What do you mean by “our”, Muravchik?

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 14, 2015 @ 11:24 am

What concers me are the examples. In retrospect they examples were undermined for but a brief period.

They remained power while in many cases becoming less democratic – more inhumane. In the end boing capaigns have very limited effect. Eventually, one must occupy the territory to accomplish the goals one ha establshed.

The Czarist Rusia was not defeated by air campaigns, but a brutal and sustained war campaign and most importantly, the betrayal of key military assets.

I have not heard any evidence that the Iranian military has any inclination to anything of the kind. And if they did they would welcome US presence or assitance.

The greatest threat to the US remains, our unsecured borders and those who would coddle thos ho break the law by rewarding and or cotinue to push easing our immigration regulations.

#6 Comment By Charlieford On March 14, 2015 @ 11:47 am

Thank you Daniel, for pushing back against this idiocy. Unfortunately, stuff like this makes the idiocy now more thinkable, but if it can get shouted down from enough corners . . .

Btw, this guy is no spring chicken. He was born in 1947, and is the author of lovely sounding books such as Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America’s Destiny (1991).

“In 1986, a Wall Street Journal editor wrote: “Joshua Muravchik may be the most cogent and careful of the neoconservative writers on foreign policy.”

Wow.

#7 Comment By Matt On March 14, 2015 @ 11:50 am

In a weird way it is refreshing to see one of them come out and simply admit they want war with Iran. Like JLF says their vision of the war is closer to fantasy than reality, but they’re finally admitting it. For years we’ve had this situation where they undermine diplomacy and say sanctions can’t work but for some reason would always stop short of saying they wanted war.

#8 Comment By K. W. Jeter On March 14, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

Muravchik apparently was born in 1947. So yeah, he’s old enough to know better. Maybe it’s a case of trying to revive flagging testosterone with dreams of martial glory.

#9 Comment By Our Country On March 14, 2015 @ 1:20 pm

They already got away with dragging us into multiple wars either ‘for’ or ‘because of’ Israel. Because there was no consequence for that, they grow more brazen about trying to drag us into another one.

#10 Comment By sglover On March 14, 2015 @ 1:42 pm

It’s amazing that such an article gets a spot in what I thought was a reputable new organization.

That’s an understandable mistake, but honestly, 20 years ago the WaPo was mediocre at best, and it’s been in steep and continuous decline since. It’s a kind of gossip rag for Beltway courtiers. For a paper named Washington Post, it doesn’t even cover the city very well.

A lot of people seemed to think that the WaPo was going to change when Bezos scooped it out of the remainder bin. A lot of people seem to think that our all-knowing, benevolent billionaires are going to fix things. The WaPo’s a good example of how misplaced that faith is.

#11 Comment By Kurt Gayle On March 14, 2015 @ 2:27 pm

Muravchik is a piece of work! Prior to August, 2002, the Israeli government lobbied for the US to attack Iran and Muravchik lent his support to the 2002 creation of the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, a group spearheaded by Michael Ledeen and Morris Amitay that advocated for regime change in Iran.

But in August, 2002, and for the next 6 months before the US Iraq invasion, Israel shifted its emphasis and lobbied fiercely for the US to attack Iraq “as soon as possible.” Thus, in August, 2002 US neoconservatives (including Muravchik) — Israeli lap-dogs that they are — all turned on a dime and began pushing for the US to invade Iraq. Muravchik served as an advisory board member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

The Iraq War did not go well (an understatement!) and in November 7, 2006, the US Midterm elections resulted in the Republican Party losing control of both chambers of Congress. The failings in the Iraq War were widely cited as one of the main causes of the Republicans’ defeat.

Twelve days after the Republicans lost both houses of Congress, on Nov. 19, 2006, Joshua Muravchik turned on a new dime and wrote in the Los Angeles Times an article entitled “Bomb Iran” (a typical piece of neocon dreck that mentioned Israel 6 times and Hitler, fascism, Nazism, and Churchill 1 time each, although Russia got 3 mentions, Lenin 2, and Communism 1. Among a series of absurd, totally unfounded Muravchik claims was that “Iran is trying to take over Al Qaeda…how could we possibly trust Iran not to slip nuclear material to terrorists?”).

Muravchik is a piece of work – a neocon Israeli lap-dog to the core!

#12 Comment By jk On March 14, 2015 @ 2:30 pm

Yes, because pre-emptive wars on shaky justifications have an amazing track record of success! Forget about all that liberal-wussy-effeminate-European unanticipated consequences stuff, it’s too boring, action speak louder than words.

If a wise Neocon was in charge of the US during 1941 and pre-emptively struck Hitler, Hirohito, Tito, Mao, and Stalin at the same time everything would have worked out perfectly and the world would have been a safer place for Israel.

#13 Comment By jk On March 14, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

Funny thing is that in the same WaPo is an article on S. Africa having highly enriched Uranium stockpiles and being uncooperative with the US. Come one neocons, where’s the logical consistency, why aren’t you yelling to bomb S. Africa back to the apartheid??

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#14 Comment By SmoothieX12 (aka Andrew) On March 14, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

Muravchik dismisses the ineffectiveness of an air campaign by saying that the U.S. can “strike as often as necessary,” but that just underscores how completely unnecessary all of this would be.

Muravchik’s bio speaks volumes about him, in the same time Muravchik continues on the n-cons delusional path where no serious military argument matters. It doesn’t matter for them for a simple reason–they simply don’t get it because most of them are simply dumb and live in parallel reality. And then comes the other thing, Iran is not Iraq. This is totally different weight category. This, plus Azerbaijan may somehow “lose” one of its S-300PMU2 (the railway between Baku and Tehran works just fine), while Iran will receive a tracking data from Russia’s Early warning systems. As for consequences of this bombing campaign, no one can predict it now but they could be massive.

#15 Comment By Avenue Foch On March 14, 2015 @ 3:07 pm

” Come one neocons, where’s the logical consistency, why aren’t you yelling to bomb S. Africa back to the apartheid??”

Probably because it would inconveniently remind the world that Israel offered to sell nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa, something that seems never to have occurred to David Duke:

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#16 Comment By Jay C On March 14, 2015 @ 3:24 pm

And….. just to join the pile-on…:

In addition to the rest of its fantasy-based misconceptions, Muravchik’s bellicose “prescription” for war on Iran blithely (wildly? deliberately?) misstates his historical analogies:

“Wouldn’t an attack cause ordinary Iranians to rally behind the regime? Perhaps, but military losses have also served to undermine regimes, including the Greek and Argentine juntas, the Russian czar and the Russian communists.”

He’s either forgotten (or more likely, assumes that his readership will be ignorant of) the general historical analysis that the first two examples were juntas overthrown only after overt defeats in conflicts they had started; the Czarist system only collapsed after 2-1/2 years of grinding WWI warfare with millions of casualties; and if Muravchik is referring to the Soviet Union’s ultimate withdrawal from Afghanistan as his final example of “defeat”, that thesis is debatable at the least. Though one supposes, as with most neocon war-flogging, there’s always an exception (American Exceptionalism!) “this time”…

#17 Comment By Neal On March 14, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

It’s nice to see some push-back against that article. James Fallows was similarly appalled.

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Mr. Joshua Muravchik has, I believe, advocated the murder of other human beings. If I had done such a thing in my comment, I dare say no reputable company / website would publish it. Since it is apparently acceptable to argue for such things now, would anyone object if someone argues that the US military bomb Mr. Muravchik? We would all be rightly appalled by such a suggestion and yet Mr. Muravchik seems to think it quite acceptable.

It’s all quite curious.

#18 Comment By Ron Goodman On March 14, 2015 @ 4:39 pm

If it’s any consolation, he’s getting trashed pretty badly in the comments on the article. There’s another article on the American Spectator this morning advocating war with Iran too.

#19 Comment By Chad Zimmerman On March 14, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

So refreshing to see a Conservative website looking at the Iran situation rationally. The Fox News crowd tries to make it appear that only Liberals don’t want to bomb Iran. But as we see on this site, nothing could be further than the truth.

It’s obvious Muravchik puts Israeli hegemony ahead of American lives and treasure. He doesn’t care how many of our troops die in the Middle East serving Israel’s goals.

That’s not surprising; it’s a pillar of the Neocon foreign policy. What is most disturbing, however, is how the Neocon’s have been able to infiltrate the GOP and get them to put the interests of Israel above that of the United States.

And the tragedy is that so many willfully ignorant Republican voters blindly support it.

#20 Comment By HonusWagnerian On March 14, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

It’s an old familiar tune from Muravchik. He’s been babbling about bombing Iran for at least six years.

This recrudescence is part of the price we pay for not firing the incompetents and deceivers who got us into Iraq and other Middle Eastern hellholes under G. W. Bush.

They suffered no consequence and think themselves invulnerable, and are emboldened, and return to public view with more pernicious advice. In this case it isn’t even new pernicious advice.

#21 Comment By Quiddity On March 14, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

Muravchik had an [5] in the Los Angeles times in 2006. First sentence:

WE MUST bomb Iran.

Where he asserts that tough sanctions wouldn’t work (echoed in this week’s op-ed with “Nor would the stiffer sanctions that Netanyahu advocates [be effective]”). He wrote back then that Iran would retaliate, but “That is the price we would pay”. In the current op-ed he says that “we might absorb some strikes”, which doesn’t sound all that bad. (Absorbing is a ‘soft’ word; think of absorbent paper towels.)

Back then Muravchik posited a scary “clash of civilizations” led by Iran. Now the concern is that “Iran aims to carry its Islamic revolution across the Middle East and beyond”. And “beyond” has no limits, so watch out!!!

I’m glad this op-ed got printed. It’s time for the public to know the true intentions from the hawks who frequently hide behind imprecise terminology like “muscular”, “robust”, or “kinetic”.

James Fallows tweeted a related thought:

Maybe there’s a benefit in Muravchik/WaPo explicitly endorsing war w/Iran, and Netanyahu / Cotton implicitly doing so. It’s clarifying.

#22 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On March 14, 2015 @ 10:56 pm

This is so vacuous and so wicked.

Where is there an anti war movement, right or left? We can’t led these orcs run rampant.

#23 Comment By Darth Thulhu On March 14, 2015 @ 11:09 pm

This gentleman has been in favor of launching an unprovoked Iranian bloodbath for decades.

Thanks for nailing this latest iteration of the same immoral horror directly to the wall.

#24 Comment By Alan Lidstone On March 14, 2015 @ 11:37 pm

We have Joshua Muravchik, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, telling us “Yes, although an air campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would entail less need for boots on the ground than the war Obama is waging against the Islamic State, which poses far smaller a threat than Iran does.”

So once again, we have an unabashed Bush-era neocon who never volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces in harm’s way telling us that active all-out U.S. military intervention across the board in Iran is imperative. He is very thoughtful in telling us that this is necessary to prevent a Middle East meltdown and bloodshed in the many various Sunni populations and nations.

I would propose that it is not the sole responsibility of the U.S. to resolve the waging war that has been ongoing between the Sunni and Shiite factions of the Muslim world over the last 1400 years. It is also not the sole responsibility of the U.S. to resolve the ongoing waging war of violent Sunni and Shiite Muslims against the western world and infidels. Perhaps Mr. Muravchik might consider asking himself why he never saw any reason to volunteer to serve in Vietnam at age 18, or oppose the Iranian forces of evil via service in either the U.S. Armed Forces or the Israeli Armed Forces.

The U.S. Congress and most Americans have serious reservations about numerous calls for the U.S. to be the world policeman and arbiter of all the world’s numerous forces of intolerance, hatred, and bloodshed while everyone sits home and shops. The primary purpose of the U.S. Armed Forces is to protect the national security of the U.S., not the Middle East. While Iran is a major destabilizing factor in the longstanding chaos of the Middle East, it is not an destabilizing factor in the national security of the United States (The U.S. response to a single nuclear based device against the U.S. anywhere in the world would be a massive nuclear response essentially eliminating Iran as a nation (and they know it)).

#25 Comment By Alan Lidstone On March 14, 2015 @ 11:39 pm

March 14, 2015

Subject: U.S. Military Intervention in Iran

We have Joshua Muravchik, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, telling us “Yes, although an air campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would entail less need for boots on the ground than the war Obama is waging against the Islamic State, which poses far smaller a threat than Iran does.”

So once again, we have unabashed Bush-era neocon who never volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces in harm’s way telling us that active all-out U.S. military intervention across the board in Iran is imperative. He is very thoughtful in telling us that this is necessary to prevent a Middle East meltdown and bloodshed in the many various Sunni populations and nations.

I would propose that it is not the sole responsibility of the U.S. to resolve the waging war that has been ongoing between the Sunni and Shiite factions of the Muslim world over the last 1400 years. It is also not the sole responsibility of the U.S. to resolve the ongoing waging war of violent Sunni and Shiite Muslims against the western world and infidels. Perhaps Mr. Muravchik might consider asking himself why he never saw any reason to volunteer to serve in Vietnam at age 18, or oppose the Iranian forces of evil via service in either the U.S. Armed Forces or the Israeli Armed Forces.

The U.S. Congress and most Americans have serious reservations about numerous calls for the U.S. to be the world policeman and arbiter of all the world’s numerous forces of intolerance, hatred, and bloodshed while everyone sits home and shops. The primary purpose of the U.S. Armed Forces is to protect the national security of the U.S., not the Middle East. While Iran is a major destabilizing factor in the longstanding chaos of the Middle East, it is not an destabilizing factor in the national security of the United States (The U.S. response to a single nuclear based device against the U.S. anywhere in the world would be a massive nuclear response essentially eliminating Iran as a nation (and they know it)).

#26 Comment By Navy Days On March 15, 2015 @ 3:19 am

I’ve been reading these stories about Obama possibly bankrolling one of Netanyahu’s opponents. We don’t seem to have spent the kind of money on him that Israel spent on Senator Cotton, but there seems to be enough smoke to have attracted the attention of a congressional committee.

Nonetheless, it’s an intriguing idea, and, if true, one of the most refreshing to emerge from our foreign policy establishment in some time.

If, as so many hawks assure us, the president may on his own authority invade, occupy, and order air strikes on other countries in the region, including many that have done us no harm, surely there can be no objection to a good old fashioned ’50s style destabilization campaign against this egregious pain in the ass who has damaged us so badly?

He came and openly interfered in our domestic politics, didn’t he? Perhaps it’s time for a lesson in power politics, as practiced by a superpower upon its dependent.

#27 Comment By Evil Scandinavian Coup Plotter On March 15, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

@Navy Days – these stories about Obama possibly bankrolling one of Netanyahu’s opponents.

The stories you refer to are coming from Netanyahu himself.

It seems that Obama isn’t the only one who’s got him freaked out. He’s been jabbering about a full-blown “foreign conspiracy” conniving at his defeat, led by (get this) “the Scandinavians”.

Even paranoids have real enemies, of course, but I wouldn’t put much credence in this one. Bizarre accusations that would marginalize the accuser in American politiccs are par for the course in Israel, and Netanyahu is famous for them.

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Weird stuff. From “Iran is an existential threat!” to “The Scandinavians are after me!”

#28 Comment By sean On March 15, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

You know who would love a war between the U.S. and Iran? ISIS.

#29 Comment By Andrew On March 15, 2015 @ 11:00 pm

It is hard to believe that after the debacle of Iraq which was at the behest of Mr Muravchik and his group of neocons we are again beset with the stupidity of his comments which seem to have little sensible thought behind them.

Do they not learn anything?

#30 Comment By After All It’s Lent On March 16, 2015 @ 5:52 am

Red diaper babies fulminating against the mullahs. What a freak show. When are the real Americans coming back?

#31 Comment By seydlitz89 On March 16, 2015 @ 8:10 am

I don’t think this oped really expects to kickstart a war or even a serious debate. Rather it’s what has become “the new normal”, whereby US academics (in reality cheap propagandists) present the case for wars of aggression. It has become “what we do” in Dick Cheney’s America and it is only going to get worse . . .

#32 Comment By MyronHudson On March 16, 2015 @ 2:11 pm

“Besides the short-term harm that this would do to Iran’s political life, an attack on their country would poison U.S.-Iranian relations for generations.”

And the fun part is that it would also poison our relationship with our actual allies. We can safely count on them to sit this one out. The former coalition of the bribed would not take the bait this time, and our middle eastern clients would do what they have always done – nothing.

#33 Comment By JohnG On March 16, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

@seydlitz89

I don’t think this oped really expects to kickstart a war or even a serious debate. Rather it’s what has become “the new normal”, whereby US academics (in reality cheap propagandists) present the case for wars of aggression. It has become “what we do” in Dick Cheney’s America and it is only going to get worse . . .

It was Clinton’s secretary of State, the WORST in recent memory and unfortunately an “academic” (God knows how she got her doctorate!), who once famously said “what good is having a strong military if we are never going to use it”… Our problems are deeply rooted and bipartisan, and the hawks have managed to deeply corrupt even the academic world, probably sidelining many sensible scholars which I am sure are there. Sigh.

#34 Comment By Jack from DC On March 16, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

“For a paper named Washington Post, it doesn’t even cover the city very well.” Not fair. The traffic and weather sections are quite responsible and very useful.

#35 Comment By seydlitz89 On March 16, 2015 @ 4:23 pm

JohnG-

Agree, very much bi-partisan, to the point where I would say that both BHO and GWB are Cheneyites in terms of foreign policy, total surveillance, Wall Street banksters, assumptions regarding executive power . . . The distinctions seem minor, more the nature of window dressing to fool the respective “true believers”. Does BHO even control his own State Department . . . ?

#36 Comment By Ed K. On March 16, 2015 @ 7:10 pm

After spending $6 trillion (that is Trillion with a T) US tax dollars nation building in Iraq, the situation on the ground is worse than ever. Now the neo-cons want to try the same nation building strategy Iran, with the same “cake-walk” claims. Someone needs to say no.

#37 Comment By Basilmcd On March 17, 2015 @ 12:38 am

In one sense it’s a refreshing change for the better that the opponents of diplomacy with Iran have moved from denial to openly admitting that war is the only way to achieve their objectives.

At that point it’s fair to ask Muravchik if his scholarship extends to checking to see what Pentagon war plans say about a conflict with Iran. Their plans include boots on the ground; any attack would have to be accompanied by a move to secure the straits of Hormuz, and for that 10,000 Marines are scheduled to land on the North shore of the strait and take on the 1.5 million Iranian regulars and militia in the area.

Mr. Muravchik may have a plan in mind that doesn’t involve more than a handful of airstrikes, similar to the attacks on Isis. The Pentagon, on the other hand, are the professionals, and a general outline of their plans are quite public, if Mr. Muravchik would care to look. According to those sources any attack on Iran would involve not the desultory half-dozen strikes per day we’ve seen against Isis, but hundreds and hundreds of strikes per day, involving the entire range of American air and naval power, persisting for up to six months.

And at that point, the Pentagon has stated repeatedly that the only way to ensure that Iran does not reconstruct its programs is not more bombing, but invasion and occupation.

Which I am sure Mr. Muravchik would support whole-heartedly.

Mr. Muravchik should read more.

#38 Comment By Kurt Gayle On March 17, 2015 @ 8:01 am

@ After All It’s Lent

Your reference to “red diaper babies” identifies a common feature of neocon background that is rarely discussed:

“’Muravchik was National Chairman of the Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL) from 1968 to 1973… [Now] he describes himself as a neo-conservative, despite the disapproval of his social-democratic father and socialist mother. His father criticized his Heaven on earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism [2002]:

“’Josh Muravchik’s father, Manny, eighty-five-years-old, breathing through oxygen tubes, [was] handing out his own two-page Xeroxed affirmation of socialism…Manny let the reader know that his own life, and that of Josh’s mother, would be impossible today absent the very sort of anti-market reforms—Medicare, rent-controlled apartments—for which they’d worked while Josh was still a pisher and toward which he sounded at best ambivalent today…Father told son that if there was utopian impulse to be feared, it was that messianic laissez-faire nonsense he must have picked up once he’d left home. You think your mother and I could survive in your perfect world, Mr. Capitalist Shill?’ “

“His mother was too upset with his book to attend the discussion.

“In 2006, he called for the bombing of Iran in a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled ‘Bomb Iran’.”

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