As blogmised below, I will be providing some thoughts andÂ excerpts as I (slowly) read through Norman Podhoretz new book World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofasicm. I say slowly because my current schedule doesn’t allow for much in the way of recreational reading time.
“This is your idea of recreation?” you may be thinking. “You must be a real gas at parties.”Â Yes, I am. Chloroform to be specific.
The underlying premise of NorPod’s book is that 9/11 marked the beginning or World War IV much as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand triggered World War I and the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 set World War II in motion.
Yes, we Americans tend to view the attack on Pearl Harbor as the trigger, but there had been just a wee bit of fighting and dying going on while Lindbergh and the “America First” crowd were parading around shouting that we shouldn’t take sides between Britain and Germany; that the Germans were misunderstood; that we were partly to blameâ€””root causes” and all that. Sound familiar?
NorPod labels the currentÂ conflict, “IV” because he argues that the Cold War genuinely represented World War III, and he make a strong case for that in the opening chapter of the book.
Also in the early pages he addresses the arguments of those who claim that a nuclear-armed Iran isn’t such a big deal–nothing to get too worked up about.Â He quotes some academic and public policy types who assert that Ahmadinajad’s Iran will be deterred by our nuclear weapons just as Mutually Assured Destruction prevented the Soviets from attacking us.
NorPod gives those heartbreakingly naive assertions the treatment they deserves. First he points out that because of Shiite eschatology, MAD isn’t a deterrent. It’s an “inducement.” The he quotes the late Ayatollah Khomeini:
We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is an other name for paganism. I say let the land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.
Â Here in the West, it is clear that the gravest challenge to our civilization is the inability of most peopleâ€”fromÂ Sally FieldÂ toÂ Sen. Harry Ried to Keith Olbermann to Barak Obamaâ€”to understand the nature of the enemy.