“More than anything in the world, national security adviser John Bolton would love to have a war with Iran. It will be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, his birthday wrapped into one.”
Pretend you didn’t get here by reading the headline. Who would you think made this statement? The Iranian Twitter account? Rachel Maddow? Senator Hirono? Maxine Waters? Hey, Kim Jong-un likes to rail about “the Moustache…”
But no, that was Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host who thinks the world would either be a peaceful place, or at least no one would ever attack the United States if the dreaded “NeoCons” weren’t running around the world starting wars of regime change.
“NeoCon,” of course, in the context of Tucker Carlson Tonight, means anyone who is more hawkish than Tucker Carlson. That’s generally an epithet thrown around by what Tucker loves to call “the stupid people” on liberal networks.
But anyone with a rudimentary education in English—especially smart people—should see the roots of the word. It literally means newly conservative. Or, as Irving Kristol remarked, “a liberal who was mugged by reality.”
There is no evidence John Bolton was ever a liberal. In fact, he told the Atlantic, “I was for Barry Goldwater when I was 15.”
Before Bolton joined the White House National Security team, Carlson warned us that Nikki Haley was trying to start a war with Iran.
In fact, pretty much anyone who believes in peace through strength is, in Tucker’s lexicon, a “NeoCon” who is trying to start a war.
He tries to put an authoritative sheen on all this by frequently inviting to the show retired colonel and author Douglas Macgregor, who is also the most cited military man on antiwar.com. (His viewers would probably start to bail if he served them a diet of Tulsi Gabbard on a nightly basis)
To say that Macgregor’s views among military analysts are idiosyncratic is to put it lightly. Comparatively, John Kerry was in total agreement with his Swift Boat colleagues.
On the night that Carlson repeated his outrageous claim that John Bolton lives to start wars, Macgregor was there to back him up, saying there is “no evidence” that Iran wants a conflict with the United States. “There’s no evidence Iran wants to attack us. Quite the contrary, I think they’d very much like to avoid any conflict with us under any and all circumstances,” he said.
Then, bizarrely, as though speaking directly to Trump (which on a Fox News show is an even bet) Macgregor offered this gem of political wisdom: “I do not see the president gaining from this but I see that he loses. I don’t see how he gets reelected. I don’t see how he achieves anything in the gulf that is positive for the United States and the American people.”
Yeah, well that’s my primary consideration when pondering issues of war and peace…
But according to Carlson and Macgregor, Iran is just minding its own business, while warmonger John Bolton hatches Dr. Strangelovian plots and tries to provoke another “Gulf of Tonkin” incident. (By the way, even having written a book that centers around the Navy SEALs at the heart of the Tonkin Gulf incident, I’m not sure how to respond to that, since when it comes to this topic, it’s hard to tell if Tucker Carlson is more apt to traffic in conspiracy theories from the Left or the Right about Vietnam.)
Carlson and Macgregor also discussed that Bolton is perhaps hoping that just having lots of forces in the same area will provoke an accidental war, if nothing else.
Really? I know this was a concern in the 1950s and ’60s anti-nuke movies, but can anyone tell me of a war that was actually started that way?
Tucker sure took it seriously, though.
Here are some terms that were not brought up while discussing the peace-loving Ayatollah and his government:
- Quds Force
- Revolutionary Guard
- Iranian IED factories
That’s not surprising. One of Tucker Carlson’s other frequent guests, Glenn Greenwald, primary publicist for Edward Snowden and a man that Tucker has called “the bravest man in the world,” denies that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. See a pattern here?
Responding to intelligence reports of a threat with a show of force is a far, far cry from starting a war. But hey, maybe we should go back to the last administration’s way of handling Iran.
Anybody got a billion and half in greenbacks we can load on a plane?