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"World War IV" review by Michiko Katutani

Updated on October 26, 2007

Norman Podhoretz

"World War IV" by Norman Podhoretz Reviewed by Michiko Katutani

In his bellicose new book, "World War IV," Giuliani's foreign policy adviser, neocon founder, Norman Podhoretz, declares that the current Iraq war is only one front (Iran being another) in what he calls "World War IV," a long struggle against Islamofascism, which like the cold war, will almost certainly go on for three or four decades."

Mr. Podhoretz remains an ardent supporter of the Bush doctrine of unilateral action, pre-emptive war and the exportation of democracy to the Middle East.

When Mr. Giuliani was recently asked if he agreed with Podhoretz that the time to bomb Iran had already come, Giuliani replied: "We are not at that stage at this point. Can we get to that stage? Yes. And is that stage closer that some Democrats believe? I believe it is."

Mr. Pohoretz told Newsweek "I decided to join Giuliani's team because his view of the war--what I call World War IV--is very close to my own."

Podhoretz's book serves up a hectoring, often illogical screed based on cherry-picked facts and blustering assertions and hurls accusations of cowardice, anti-Americanism and sheer venality at any and all opponents of the Bush doctrine, be they on the right or left.

A chapter about conservatives like George Will, who have challenged the administrtation policy in Iraq, is titled "defeatism on the right." Another chapter depicts "realists" (Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Bush I, Sbigniew Brzeziinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter) who have argued that the invasion of Iraq has destabilized the Middle East, as self-serving appeasers who were "rooting for an American defeat as the only way to save their worldview from winding up on the ash heap of history."

Regarding the question of growing tensions with Iran, Podhoretz is both dogmatic and illogical. Although he wrote last summer that "Iran is the currently main center of the Islamofacist ideology against we have been fighting since 9/11" and the "main sponsor of the terroism that is Islamofacism's weapon of choice," he fails to come to terms with the fact that it was the United States' invasion of Iraq that dismantled Iran's greatest foe in the region and gave it greater sway than ever in the Middle East.

Mr. Podhoretz's penchant for demagogic generalizations, Manichean language and contempt for people who disagree with him, makes for a shrill, unpersuasive book.

Here's a link to Katutani's review of Podhoretz's book.

Podhoretz' Evil Spawn


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