Iran: To Neocon or Not to Neocon, Is That the Question?

A portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is placed with weapons during a military parade just outside Tehran on Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Neoconservatism has had a bad reputation since the Iraq War, a conflagration that was supposed to turn that Middle Eastern country into Denmark.

We all know how that went. Those of us who were neocons in those days (I was, more or less, as well as tons of people who now pretend otherwise) didn’t bank on the tribalism of the region as well as the fundamentalist nature of Islam that resists, to put it mildly, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.


So arrivederci neoconism, we thought, but here we are again with Iran.

A number of intelligent people — including some with whom I normally agree but who have had enough of neocon adventures — say we should basically ignore the mullahs because, well, what have they done to us?

A lot actually. Back in the Iraq War, they killed many of our soldiers with IEDs. Bush was so deep into things at that point he turned away and did nothing. Can we blame him? I’m not sure.

And then there’s the little matter of Hezbollah, Iran’s giant terror army client. Way back in 1983, at the behest of the mullahs, they blew up that barracks in Beirut with 241 American servicemen who were there on a peace-keeping mission. Hezbollah’s been killing Americans ever since, most of them inside our 50 states.

Indeed, the number of Americans killed by Hezbollah domestically dwarfs 9/11 because they are among the premier drug dealers in the world and Americans are dropping like flies from narcotics.

Among the most hideous aspects of Obama’s hideous Iran Deal was his quietly agreeing with the mullahs to put the kibosh on Project Cassandra that was about to unmask the billion-dollar Hezbollah drug network. (If you haven’t read about this, you should. The author should have won the Pulitzer instead of the creeps who got it for lying about Russia collusion.)

But does all this murder by Iran and their minions mean that Trump should have gone after the mullahs for shooting down the drone? He did say he stood down because the drone was unmanned. But there have obviously been plenty of other instances.


Saturday’s WSJ editorial goes full-bore neocon, or close, accusing the president of, essentially, “punking out” and even predicting he would now walk back sanctions. (They have already been proven wrong on that one. He’s done the opposite.)

One has the feeling that had Trump gone through with the attack, the Journal would have written an editorial worrying he hadn’t been “proportional.” That’s how it goes in our politics, where Trump Derangement Syndrome is the only thing left that’s bipartisan.

As for the Democratic candidates, it’s not even worth commenting on their statements, they were so rote and unsophisticated. In any case, they’re more worried about Senator Eastland (now deceased) than the mullahs.

But what should we do about Iran? I think we must stay the course of the sanctions and try to force them into talks. Time is on our side. And the mullahs’ insane behavior does not make the greedy Europeans look good. Perhaps they will even come around to help us. Stranger things have happened. (Well, not much.)

Meanwhile, it’s not “To Neocon or Not to Neocon?” That is not the question. Ideology is for children and college professors. The question is how do we use common sense? That sense tells me that Trump has now cleared the way for serious action against the mullahs when they pull another stunt, as we can assume they will.

Indeed if they have any brains — and some of them must, even with their berserk belief system — they probably see this too. If I were Iran, I’d be afraid. I’d be very afraid. I might even come to the table.


And, needless to say, Trump has no interest whatsoever in a ground war with Iran, as well he shouldn’t. That part of the neocon lesson holds. Any action should and would come from the air. And that would be a disaster for Iran that they would be truly insane to court. As I said, look for Iran to come to the table. My prediction: somewhere around September, after they have time to pretend it was at least partly their idea. But we’ll know, won’t we?

And if the talks break down, there’s always what any decent person wants in the first place — regime change.

Co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media Roger L. Simon’s new novel is coming soon.


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