Neocon nonsense

David Bernstein, Volokh Conspiracy:

"Neocons, Iraq, Iran, and Israel: Putting aside the anti-Semitic implications of the view that a small band of Jewish "neocon Likudniks" somehow managed to manipulate the clueless goyim in the Bush Administration to invade Iraq on behalf of Israel, two stark facts demonstrate the absurdity that any sort of Likudnik lobby is controlling U.S. foreign policy: (1) Yasser Arafat is still alive, well, and dictating a terror campaign from his headquarters in Ramallah. All it would take to get rid of him, a far bigger prize for Sharon than Saddam, would be a nod with no domestic political cost from Bush--no invasion, no American soldiers' lives lost, no billions of dollars--yet there he sits, safe as can be; and (2) Israel didn't want Saddam to be the primary target of the U.S. post-9/11 anti-terror campaign. Before the conflict in Iraq arose, Israel was desperately trying to get the Bush Administration to focus instead on what it considered the greater strategic/terrorist threat to itself and the West, the Hizbollah/Iran axis. But the Bush Administration's focus on Iraq was counter to Israel's assessment of where both its and Washington's most important interests lay. Those of you who read this blog regularly may have noticed that I haven't said much about Iraq. It's mostly because I was not and have not been convinced that the Israelis were wrong about Iran being a far, far more important and dangerous enemy than Iraq, but I have been willing to be convinced otherwise. I'm not yet at all convinced. Iraq is looking much like a paper tiger. Iran looks poised to have nuclear weapons, has strong ties to Hamas and Hizbollah, has the demonstrated ability to project terrorist force beyond its borders (e.g., the Argentina bombings in the early '90s), and has an underlying ideological hatred for the U.S. unmatched by Saddam's Ba'athists."

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