By Joseph Kellard
I’d like to report that Commentary magazine published my letter about Iran in the May issue. But they cut and rewrote the original so significantly, that not a single sentence is as I wrote it, and it only hints at my main point.
Anyway, the Norman Podhoretz essay on Iran that I replied to can be read here:
My letter and all the others published in response to the essay can be found here:
And below is the published version of my letter, followed by the original.
To the Editor:
Norman Podhoretz argues that the United States should bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, but would this be sufficient? The mullahs might simply reconstitute their nuclear program, or they might attempt a spectacular terrorist attack on our troops in the region or on American soil. Only if an effort were made to topple the regime would a bombing campaign be worthwhile.
To the Editor:
The problem with Norman Podhoretz’s essay “Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands” (February 2008) is that it is too timid.
In the debate over gun control in this nation, some Americans who uphold the Second Amendment properly point out that guns don’t kill people, people do. And that also holds true for nuclear weapons — it’s not the weapons per se that are the danger, but the people who possess them. Podhoretz’s essay is premised on the false alternative of whether or not the United States should bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is a false option because even if the administration or another did bomb those targets, the “people” -- that is, the American-hating Islamic fanatics that rule Iran -- would nevertheless live another day to rebuild those facilities, or import nuclear capabilities from other dictatorial regimes that threaten us and other free people.
The case for bombing Iran is unquestionable, given the war its regime has waged on America for nearly 30 years (including in Iraq and Afghanistan today). The only question to rationally debate is to what extent our so-called leaders need to bomb the ruling mullahs and ayatollahs, their nuclear facilities and their mosques and schools that preach “death to America.” Only when we use devastating force against them will their threat to America be eliminated.