Iran would like to throw its weight around regionally, and its unsavory President makes bizarre and aggressive comments. That’s hardly a reason for the U.S., which is a world away, to bomb the place, when the result would be to cause the Iranians to rally around the mullahcracy and provoke Iran to make serious local mischief. Even the deranged Podhoretz Père doesn’t propose reinstituting the draft and sending a million men to occupy Iran, locus of a proud civilization. an effort that would not be worth a fraction of the lives and treasure it would take.
As for Russia, the West’s approach has been wrongheaded. Once the threat of a massive armor attack on Europe, abetted by local communists, was gone, the reasons for NATO and the encirclement of Russia were gone. Instead of respecting Russia’s sphere of influence and treating it as an imporant interlocutor, we expanded NATO to within a few clicks of St. Petersburg, and many of our opinion leaders cultivated Russophobia (and also Sinophobia) as if they were in search of an adversary to give meaning to their shallow lives. There’s no issue with Russia that a realistic view of U.S. national interests and competent diplomacy can’t manage. (By the way, this doesn’t mean we need to love Putin, any more than we need to love Mubarak).
Podhoretz is just another old man who is willing to spill the blood of the young men of his country, in furtherance of his mad delusions and out of envy of their youthful vigor. Unfortunately he’s still endowed with rhetorical skill and has some remaining influence, and therefore remains a danger to the Republic.