Neocon commentator David Gelernter writing in The Weekly Standard today is hoping President Obama will attack Iran in order that Israel doesn’t have to. Gelernter writes:
…an American attack would of course be far less dangerous for the world (let alone Israel), because American action to slap down revenge counterattacks will be taken for granted. And clearly an American attack could do greater damage to Iran’s arsenal—and be more likely than an Israeli attack to bring about an Iranian revolution.
Before commenting on his remarks, there are a few one should know about Gelernter.
In 2007 Gelernter published a book titled Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion. The title alone should tell you something about his delusional arrogance. In it, Gelernter argues:
The religious idea called “America” is religious insofar as it tells an absolute truth about the meaning of human life, a truth that we must take on faith. (“We hold these truths to be self evident,” says the Declaration of Independence. No proofs are supplied.) I will try to show that the “American Religion”, which gives “America” its spiritual meaning, consists of an American Creed in the context of a doctrine I will call American Zionism.
Gelernter goes onto write:
I will try to show that the American Religion incorporates the biblical ideas of a chosen people in a promised land. Those concepts are the source of America’s (sometime) sense of divine mission; of her (not invariable yet often powerful) feeling of obligation to all of mankind; of her democratic chivalry – her nagging awareness of a duty to help the weak against the strong. This “chivalry” has nothing to do with knights and ladies; it is a deep sense of duty to the suffering, and comes straight from American Zionism.(1)
Clearly, at least in Gelernter’s twisted and delusional mind, not only is Israel the Promised Land but so is America, and the American people, despite the vast majority of them not being Jewish, are part of his Zionist delusions. Once one understands where Gelernter is coming from ideologically, one can readily understand, albeit in an extremely twisted sort of way, why he sees it as being imperative that the US attacks Iran first in order to ‘protect’ Israel.
Apart from his delusional ideology, Gelernter’s inability to understand that an American attack against Iran, far from ‘bringing about an Iranian revolution’, is much more likely to tenaciously unite the people of Iran behind their leaders as they had before when Saddam Hussein attacked them back in the 1980s, is dangerously naïve. The Iranians, despite the propaganda to the contrary, are not a threat at all to the Israelis, but that would soon change, however, if the Americans or the Israelis launch an attack against Iran. There will by no winners of such a war; all will lose.
(1) David Gelernter, Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion. (New York: Doubleday, 2007.) pp. 4-5.