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Parry writes: "Not exactly known for truthfulness, U.S. neocons have been trying to reassure the American people that sinking a negotiated deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program would be a painless proposition."

US fighter jet. (photo: US Airforce)
US fighter jet. (photo: US Airforce)

A Neocon Admits the Plan to Bomb Iran

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

19 March 15


The neocon Washington Post, which wants to kill the talks aimed at constraining Iran’s nuclear program, allowed a contrary opinion of sorts onto its pages – a neocon who also wants to collapse the talks but is honest enough to say that the follow-up will be a U.S. war on Iran, reports Robert Parry.

ot exactly known for truthfulness, U.S. neocons have been trying to reassure the American people that sinking a negotiated deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program would be a painless proposition, but at least one prominent neocon, Joshua Muravchik, acknowledges that the alternative will be war – and he likes the idea.

On Sunday, the neocon Washington Post allowed Muravchik to use its opinion section to advocate for an aggressive war against Iran – essentially a perpetual U.S. bombing campaign against the country – despite the fact that aggressive war is a violation of international law, condemned by the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal as “the supreme international crime.”

Given that the Post is very restrictive in the op-ed pieces that it prints, it is revealing that advocacy for an unprovoked bombing campaign against Iran is considered within the realm of acceptable opinion. But the truth is that the only difference between Muravchik’s view and the Post’s own editorial stance is that Muravchik lays out the almost certain consequences of sabotaging a diplomatic solution.

In his article headlined “War is the only way to stop Iran” in print editions and “War with Iran is probably our best option” online, Muravchik lets the bloody-thirsty neocon cat out of the bag as he agrees with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hysterical view of Iran but recognizes that killing international negotiations on limiting Iran’s nuclear program would leave open only one realistic option:

“What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons? That, in fact, is probably the reality. … Sanctions may have induced Iran to enter negotiations, but they have not persuaded it to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. Nor would the stiffer sanctions that Netanyahu advocates bring a different result. …

“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 destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary.”

Typical of the neocons, Muravchik foresees no problem with his endless bombing war against Iran, including the possibility that Iran, which Western intelligence agencies agree is not working on a bomb, might reverse its course if it faced repeated bombing assaults from the United States.

This neocon-advocated violation of international law also might further undermine hopes of curbing violence in the Middle East and establishing some form of meaningful order there and elsewhere. This neocon view that America can do whatever it wants to whomever it wants might actually push the rest of the world into a coalition against U.S. bullying that could provoke an existential escalation of violence with nuclear weapons coming into play.

Never Seeing Reality

Of course, neocons never foresee problems as they draw up these war plans at their think tanks and discuss them on their op-ed pages. Muravchik, by the way, is a fellow at the neocon-dominated School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins and the Washington Post’s editorial page is run by neocons Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl.

But, as U.S. officialdom and the American people should have learned from the Iraq War, neocon schemes often don’t play out quite as well in the real world – not that the neocons seem to care about the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis or the nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers who died fighting in the neocons’ Iraq debacle.

For the neocons, their true guiding star is to enlist the U.S. military as the enforcers of Netanyahu’s strategic vision. If Netanyahu says that Iran – not al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – is the more serious threat then the neocons line up behind that agenda, which also happens to dovetail with the interests of Israel’s new ally, Saudi Arabia.

So, Americans hear lots of scary stories about Iran “gobbling up” its neighbors – as Netanyahu described in his lecture to a joint session of the U.S. Congress this month – even though Iran has not invaded any country for centuries and, indeed, was the target of a Saudi-backed invasion by Iraq in 1980.

Not only did Netanyahu’s wildly exaggerate the danger from Iran but he ignored the fact that Iran’s involvement in Iraq and Syria has come at the invitation of those governments to help fight the terrorists of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State. [See’s “Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran.”]

In other words, Iran is on the same side of those conflicts against Sunni terrorists as the United States is. But what we’re seeing now from Israel and the neocons is a determined effort to shift U.S. focus away from combating Sunni terrorists — some backed by Saudi Arabia — and toward essentially taking their side against Iran, Iraq and Syria.

That’s why the neocons are downplaying the atrocities of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – or for that matter the chopping off of heads by Israel’s Saudi friends – while hyping every complaint they can about Iran. [See’s “The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

Muravchik favors this reversal of priorities and doesn’t seem to care that a U.S. bombing campaign against Iran would have a destructive impact on Iran’s ability to blunt the advances of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. The neocons also have been hot for bombing Syria’s military, which along with Iran represents the greatest bulwark against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

The neocons and Netanyahu seem quite complacent about the prospect of the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front hoisting their black flags over Damascus or even Baghdad. Yet, such a move would almost surely force the U.S. president – whether Barack Obama or his successor – to return to a ground war in the Middle East at enormous cost to the American people.

The obvious alternative to this truly frightening scenario is to complete the international negotiations requiring Iran to accept intrusive inspections to ensure that its nuclear program remains peaceful – and then work with Iran on areas of mutual interests, such as rolling back the advances of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria.

This more rational approach holds out the prospect of achieving some stability in Iraq and – if accompanied by realistic negotiations between Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his political opponents – reducing the bloodletting in Syria if not ending it.

That pragmatic solution could well be the best result both for the people of the region and for U.S. national interests. But none of that would please Netanyahu and the neocons. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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+43 # Activista 2015-03-19 18:40
GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert can’t wait any longer: ‘It’s time to bomb Iran’
... “We need to encourage this administration to go take out Iran’s nuclear capability,” Gohmert said.
“I think it’s time to bomb Iran — anything that resembles a nuclear facility with centrifuges,” he added. “It’s time to bomb.”
the US congress/war propaganda is getting worse and worse -
+56 # Farafalla 2015-03-19 22:11
Lets not forget that Hillary has been on board with bombing Iran. Neocons aren't just the "thinkers" in the "think tanks". It's the whole GOP and a good chunk of the Dems.
+36 # Merlin 2015-03-20 00:51
Agricanto 2015-03-19 22:11

How anyone can be pro sHillary as a leader of this country is beyond me. She represents the worst of the crazy ideas in foreign policy, while completely backing the bankster bastards here at home. What ever positive stands she takes on women's rights, pales before the blackness she represents everywhere else.
+55 # gdsharpe 2015-03-19 22:25
It seems that Cheney's PNAC plans are still in effect even after their abject failure in Iraq.
+12 # Merlin 2015-03-20 00:41
+4 # gdsharpe 2015-03-19 22:25
It seems that Cheney's PNAC plans are still in effect even after their abject failure in Iraq.

Cheney had nothing to do with the formation or writing the PNAC document. It was written by Zionist neocons in 1998. BushCo bought into the plan when it was presented to them.
+34 # gdsharpe 2015-03-20 01:28
That white paper was commissioned by Cheney, who was one of the charter members of the PNAC.
-6 # Merlin 2015-03-20 12:53
gdsharpe 2015-03-20 01:28

"…Cheney, who was one of the charter members of the PNAC."

You are simply dead wrong here. Show me proof.
+13 # gwaite 2015-03-20 07:03
The principal authors of PNAC were Lynn Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. That's not confirmed but they were creditied with it in 2001
-29 # stannadel 2015-03-20 08:09
And neither of them were Jewish, so drop the Antisemitic rhetoric about "Zionist" neocons Merlin
+26 # cymricmorty 2015-03-20 08:39
Oh, come on stannadel. PNAC was founded by Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and included core members Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, for starters. That's besides the good Xian soldiers Rumsfeld and Cheney et al.
+1 # Merlin 2015-03-20 19:51
stannadel 2015-03-20 08:09

"And neither of them were Jewish, so drop the Antisemitic rhetoric about "Zionist" neocons Merlin"

My, my! Did I hurt your wittle feewings? You know The Great Merlin speaks only the truth, right? Does the truth hurt stannie baby. Now you know as well as Merlin does, that the "folks" who wrote the PNAC paper and the Securing the Realm job for Nutty (odd spelling for someone's name, yeah?) in 1996, were neocons, right. They don't run from that title, they wear it proudly! And maybe you don't understand what the word Zionist means. You should, you know, being a Zionist shill yourself. Oh BTW look up that word shill before you get your panties in a knot, like Dennis did. Boy did he make a fool out of himself.

One small piece of advice to ya stannie baby, you gotta know what your talking about before you spew nonsense regarding chainy and company. Merlin has a soft spot for all you newbies and does not want you to make a fool of yourself. So take his advice as "one buddy" to another. OK? Ya got it? Good!
+5 # Mannstein 2015-03-21 12:35
OK Feith and Perle are Zonist Israel firsters as well as Neo Cons. But one must not say that for fear of the Anti Semitism smear.
-1 # Merlin 2015-03-20 12:40
gwaite 2015-03-20 07:03

"The principal authors of PNAC were Lynn Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. That's not confirmed but they were creditied with it in 2001"

Please show me the proof of this. I am looking at the "PNAC Rebuilding America's Defenses" document right now. The Cheneys are not mentioned.
+10 # RMDC 2015-03-20 20:16
The PNAC paper called Rebuilding America's Defenses was written by Wolfowitz, a Cheney aid for many years. It was derived from the 1991 document produced when Cheney was Sec. of Defense calling for massive escalation in US wars all over the globe. This document has never been declassified but much of its contents has leaked out by various neo-cons who contributed it.

For a full geneology of these documents, see the appendix is Carl Mirra, Enduring Freedom or Enduring War: Prospects and Costs of the New American 21st Century. All the documents are nicely incuded here.
+4 # Questions, questions 2015-03-22 12:57
Come on folks, a simple google search confirms that Dick Cheney, as well as his future chief of staff (Scooter Libby) were co-signers of the founding document for PNAC:
And Libby was a contributor to the "Rebuilding America's Defenses" document as well - see list at its bottom.

But the basic fact is that most of the signers and contributors to PNAC's work are Zionists and also have dual citizenship with Israel. This should be troubling for most Americans.
+66 # Archie1954 2015-03-19 22:28
Of course, Iran and its allies are just going to sit by and do nothing while the US bombs them back to the stone age, right? Wrong! Russia is an ally of Iran's and Syria's and has absolutely nothing to lose because of American foolishness with respect to it in Ukraine. So it will get involved. Iraq is now an ally of Iran's, as they are both Shiite led as is Syria. This is not going to be the stroll in the park that the idiots in Congress think it will be. I can forsee actual terrorist attacks on the US homeland (I mean real attacks, not manufactured ones like 9/11), if the US bombs Iran.
+68 # Old Uncle Dave 2015-03-19 23:30
Iran hasn't invaded another country for over 200 years. They don't have nukes. [Israel does.] They signed the Nuclear Non-proliferati on Treaty. [Israel did not.] They allow IAEA inspections. [Israel does not.] If anyplace needs bombing it's Dimona.
+52 # jimallyn 2015-03-19 23:40
U.S. intelligence agencies have said they have no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. The best information that we have says their nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes, and under the term of the Nuclear Non-Proliferati on Treaty, they have every right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. On the other hand, Israel has several hundred nuclear weapons. If we're going to destroy anybody's nuclear program, it should be Israel's.
+18 # RLF 2015-03-20 05:21
if you believe Iran doesn't want a nuke then you're stupid...but why wouldn't they with Israel's nukes staring them down.

Bomb Iran and the 'war with all Muslims' starts. We'll be fighting for the next 50 years.
+16 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-03-20 10:22
'We'll be fighting for the next 50 years.'

Supposing a war economy lasts that long....
+10 # Granny Weatherwax 2015-03-20 21:14
I am afraid it would be over very fast. The question is what would survive.
+24 # anarchteacher 2015-03-20 00:09
Joshua Muravchik is a neocon ideologue known primarily for his book, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. It is all about how the collectivists of old brazenly ignored human nature, reality, and logic and attempted to create "a new man." Over the years since that volume was written, Muravchik became what he had earlier scorned and condemned.

In the insane as well as evil collectivist traditions of Rousseau, Marx, and Hitler these neocon followers of Trotsky, Strauss, Kristol, Krauthammer, Kagan, Kaplan, and Perle etc. think they can bring by force democracy to the Middle East, by which they do not mean majority vote, the rule of law, and civil liberties.

They actually believe that, through coercive central planning, taxes extracted from hapless productive Americans, and "New Model Armies" of the US government, they can create the New Neocon Man -- just as the revolutionary Jacobins in France, the Marxist Socialists in the Soviet Union, and the National Socialists in Germany attempted to do.
+6 # Granny Weatherwax 2015-03-20 21:16
Quoting anarchteacher:
In the insane as well as evil collectivist traditions of Rousseau, Marx, and Hitler these neocon followers of Trotsky, Strauss, Kristol, Krauthammer, Kagan, Kaplan, and Perle etc...

Why not put them all in a blender? Sure they are all the same, aren't they? You forgot Mao and Stalin.
+31 # ericlipps 2015-03-20 04:29
Just as was true of the George W. Bush administration' s ideologues regarding Iraq., Mr. Muravchik fails to ask the next question: If we do go to war with Iran to stop it from developing the Bomb, and we win (as of course is likely), what then? Do we spend the next ten years, or whatever, occupying the country, while ISIS takes advantage of our preoccupation to spread itself elsewhere?

And if we want Iran NEVER to have nukes, so that Israel can feel secure as the only nation in the region with a nuclear arsenal, how do we make sure of it? Forcibly keep Iran at a 1930s (or earlier) level of technology? How?

We learned to live with Sovet Russia and Communist China having nuclear weapons. Why is Iran different? Because it potentially threatens Israel rather than merely America?
-24 # stannadel 2015-03-20 08:13
because extreme religious fanatics who praise martyrdom are far less predictable than secularists who don't believe in either martyrdom or an afterlife.
+20 # cymricmorty 2015-03-20 08:42
Quoting stannadel:
because extreme religious fanatics who praise martyrdom are far less predictable than secularists who don't believe in either martyrdom or an afterlife.

"Extreme religious fanatics" who wish to hasten Armageddon are also far from predictable, and are also dragging secularists along with them. Secularists are some of the only sane people.
-2 # Merlin 2015-03-20 20:10
-18 # stannadel 2015-03-20 08:13
because extreme religious fanatics who praise martyrdom are far less predictable than secularists who don't believe in either martyrdom or an afterlife.

Stannie, Stannie Stannie. Tsk, tsk. You better change that lower case “b” in your quite unintelligble sentence before the editor, Citizen Mike, sees it! You don’t want to make Mike unhappy, now, do you? I taught you how to use that edit thingie, right? You know, the one with the pencil? Good!

But more importantly, what are you smoking? Must be some good stuff! Your comment could only have been written by someone under the influence. I know it looked to you as some beautiful piece of poetry, but read it again when you are more your real self! OK? Don’t be embarrassed! It happens like that. We write gibberish and think its great stuff. Like what you wrote here.

Now gibberish can be fun, you understand. Its like a cryptogram. You know, the puzzle game where you unscramble the gibberish presented. Of course, sometimes the gibberish is just gibberish like your post here. Sigh… Please try harder. OK?
+5 # Activista 2015-03-21 12:16
Quoting stannadel:
because extreme religious fanatics who praise martyrdom are far less predictable than secularists who don't believe in either martyrdom or an afterlife.

The right (extreme religious fanatics Israel/Netanyah o) - emphasizes the lands' strategic value and biblical symbolism and pushes constantly for settling them with Jews...
+6 # Mannstein 2015-03-21 12:44
You mean like the Israeli fanatic that calls on his government to nuke Germany and Iran based on something he read in the Old testament? Claims he is just following Yahweh's orders.
+6 # Granny Weatherwax 2015-03-20 21:19
I don't think we learned to live with Soviet Russia having nukes.
Winning the cold war is often credited to Reagan.
In my view considering the obvious endgame, the one who saved us all is the one had the balls to call it quits.
Gorbachev got a well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize not like others (and I don't think only of Kissinger).
+22 # gwaite 2015-03-20 07:12
The second half of the 20th century should have taught us something. We haven't "won" anything in someone else's country, except, maybe Grenada, and that was like shooting fish in a barrel. The way it looks right now we'll be fighting for fifty years just to make up for our mistakes.
+27 # walt 2015-03-20 08:01
It's time all Americans start seeing clearly that the real enemy we are fighting is the neocon lobby that controls our Congress and much of the media. Robert Parry exposes it well with this article.

These dangerous people use any and all means to create crisis for the USA and urge us again to get involved in fighting wars for Israel. They did it in 2003 for the Iraq invasion and they are at it again now. Get the troops ready and be prepared to see tax dollars flowing into more military spending and war. American lives are expendable and we are expected to pay for it all.
+6 # indian weaver 2015-03-20 12:31
You can add the Ukraine / Kiev war to our Crimes Against Humanity. Obama / Kerry lie daily about the Russian creation of that horror story, when they themselves are responsible for yet another War Crimes "adventure". And "adventure" it is, for these cowards and liars. Putin and China see Amerika coming. They are aware, professional leaders and making preparations for Amerikan aggression bigtime. If Australia / Canada / Mexico Europe / Australia / Africa don't get it yet, they will soon enough. This country has become a living nightmare of evil upon the planet. The worst. And yet, talk to your Republican friends. They seem to me to be from another planet anymore. Time for our own revolution. Arm yourselves or hide, the shit is going to come down soon right in our backyards, like it is already for black youth being exterminated daily by the fascist terrorist regime.
+20 # reiverpacific 2015-03-20 10:34
Quite brutally simple: "Neocon" = Cowardly mini-Feuhrers who never themselves served a day in the military, eagerly advocating the mass deployment of young Americans -other than their own of course- off to death, dismemberment, madness or suicide while they sit in comfort wanking their narcissistic vision of a New American Century aimed at world domination.
Even Hitler at least fought and was wounded in WW1, so they're even worse than he was and like him, learn nothing from their focussed, blinkered mien and blame others for failure to fulfill their visions at their personal cost.
Shit, they might even be forming a "Neocon Youth'" -I wouldn't put it past them!
+13 # jwb110 2015-03-20 10:51
New rule; any Neo-Con think tankers, or War Hawks, Netanyahu types, who call for any war should have to put their children and grandchildren, male and female, on the front lines of any conflict they press for.
You see they have no skin in the game at present. Rich children, see GW Bush, never fight on the front lines or even close to a conflict. The wealthy never suffer a day wondering if their progeny will come home in a body bag.
I am not sure that the people of this country even remember the phrase "cannon fodder", but someone should rebrand the rebranding of the term.
The Congress uses out men and women, in an albeit volunteer army, and then cuts funding for the returning vets whose injuries desperately need attention. The money that Congress keeps from those Vets is the people's tax money and not the Congress's money.
This whole thing is madness!
+7 # indian weaver 2015-03-20 11:02
I'm not surprised. When Russia and China get involved with using Iran as the proxy war against the Fascist Terrorist Regime of Amerika, Ink., then we face worldwide annihilation, courtesy of Obama and dubya, the most horrible evil humans on the planet at this point. Not to mention the extreme suffering coming to even more of the ME courtesy of Obama and dubya, and more Crimes Against Humanity. Their vicious idiocy is escalating and unbelievable. And, they were voted into office by We The People (more or less - I know dubya's Florida rip-off but he got there - with corruption and oligarchy, instead of democracy). What's next? Watch out - they are coming for We The People next. "Step outta line, the Man takes you away ...". Famous early 70s song.
+9 # jazzman633 2015-03-20 11:33
Hey, this is one war that -- thanks to John McCain -- comes with its own theme song already written: "Bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb bomb Iran."
+17 # CragJensen 2015-03-20 13:19
The Bomb, Bomb Iran Blues

They raised their fists, they shouted, they screamed
“Death and destruction to the devils afar and unseen.
We shall drop great bombs of horror squarely upon their toweled and ugly heads.
We shall murder them in their homes, their mosques, their markets and even their beds.
And we shall show them whose god is great!
Not Allah but Jesus and his vengeance can’t wait.
For we are Republican, conservative to the core
In love with our values, our money, our oil, our wars.”
And so I did watch them on my old flat-panel screen
Wondering and waiting for at least one to come clean.
But they continued their ranting and their shaking of fists
Hey, remember Sarah Palin – now that was an amusing twist.
Or Glenn Beck or M. Bachmann or Mitt Romney – in fact
I do believe they all somehow faded – or were they just run off the tracks?
Oh hell – toss me the clicker - maybe I'll scroll-on-down to SyFy
Where only mad-scientists dress in suits, vests and ties.
And where the monsters are fake from their heads to their shoes
‘Cause I’m tired of hearing the “Bomb, Bomb Iran Blues.”
+6 # Merlin 2015-03-20 20:14
CragJensen 2015-03-20 13:19

Beautiful! Thanks for this wonderful post. I enjoyed it immensely!
+1 # Rocky666 2015-03-21 23:54
It is encouraging to see so many posts that show an understanding of what has actually taken place in the U.S. Perhaps there are more clear thinkers out there than I thought!
+2 # beardog 2015-03-22 14:18
Why aren't we in the streets in an effort to stop another neocon war, now on Iran at the behest of Mr. Netanyahu?
0 # crispy 2015-03-29 12:53
BECAUSE Americans do NOT read R parry's excellent papers on Iran, Israel, Ukraine but watch Fox news, which they think is the most trustworthy source of NEWS- w MSN at the bottom of the list - (according to a recent surprising pole.)
Few read NYT and Wash post and see what they get from the latter...They did not even get on the streets when the election count was stopped in Florida following a Supreme court coup.
FEW know the recount showed GORE WON and that is because main street news DOD not put that on the front page as it should have in a true (even half true) democracy!
0 # crispy 2015-03-29 12:11
Great article as usual and I agree w 99% of it. Yet, on this "The neocons and Netanyahu seem quite complacent about the prospect of the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front hoisting their black flags over Damascus or even Baghdad." I have to say Parry is pushing it. An Isis army,15000-2500 0-strong albeit ferocious and scary to Iraqis cannot and will not defeat Iran and conquer Baghdad.
Unless Iran were weakened and demoralized after an illegal US invasion - as Iraq was -Iranians would defend themselves against A FEW extremist thugs pillaging in the name of Allah (so they claim.)
Also Parry fails to mention that even Mossad agrees Iran is not close to getting a nuclear device they could use to target enemies far away - IF they are pursuing an offensive nuclear program at all.

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