As news about Iran has faded from television and the print media in all the hub-bub about the death of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, as well as the resignation of Sarah Palin, the Washington Post‘s Op-Ed publication Thursday of yet another neo-conservative’s view about Iran has gone pretty much unnoticed. That view is nothing new. It’s bomb, bomb, bomb.
Why the Washington Post‘s editors think this perspective deserves repeating is, of course, not a difficult question to answer given who runs the editorial pages and given the alter-the-debate, pay-for-a-seat salons recently proposed by the newspaper.
This time, the bomb, bomb, bomb barker is John Bolton. One of the founding crew at the Project for a New American Century, he’s been at his noxious efforts in various government posts since the Reagan administration. He capped his career as America’s public face at the United Nations for five months in 2005 until Congress refused to extend his recess appointment from Mister Bush. One of the few times in eight years that we saw some spine from moderate Democrats in matters of foreign policy.
Give Bolton and the other PNACkers credit. They never shied away from the term “imperialism”; they embraced it as eagerly as a previous generation embraced Manifest Destiny, without shame or irony or the least modicum of restraint. And they have, as we know too well, not been shy about proposing invasions and bombings in support of the empire.
Like many of his kind – from Bill Kristol to Newt Gingrich – Bolton has been pushing to bomb Iran for years. He wanted the U.S. to bomb alleged training camps, to bomb it during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and always, always, always to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. This call for illegal pre-emptive action is made all the more disgusting in light of the neo-conservatives’ recent support for the protesters in the streets of Tehran, Isfahan and other Iranian cities. Had they gotten their way during the Cheney-Bush administration, a lot of those protesters would have been blown to bits long before the mullahs’ militias clashed with them over rigged elections.
But the prospect of a few thousand dead civilians has never before been a barrier to such proposals.