Top neocon urged Bush to bomb Iran during private White House meeting
Nick Juliano
Published: Monday September 24, 2007

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Giuliani adviser Podhoretz predicted Bush 'will hit' Iran before term is up

One of the few remaining neoconservatives in America was recently granted a private audience in the White House to deliver a 45-minute sales pitch to convince President Bush, accompanied by political deputy Karl Rove, to bomb Iran.

Norman Podhoretz, who is among a dwindling class of aggressive defenders of President Bush's Iraq invasion, argued the United States needed to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, the author tells The Politico Monday. The longtime editor of Commentary magazine, Podhoretz is now serving as a foreign policy adviser to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.

Although Bush "didn't tip his hand," Podhoretz says he believes that "Bush is going to hit" Iran before his term ends, The Politico reported.

"“I did say to [the president], that people ask: Why are you spending all this time negotiating sanctions? Time is passing. I said, my friend [Robert] Kagan wrote a column which he said you were giving ‘futility its chance.’ And both he and Karl Rove burst out laughing," Podhoretz said.

"It struck me,” Podhoretz added, “that if they really believed that there was a chance for these negotiations and sanctions to work, they would not have laughed. They would have got their backs up and said, ‘No, no, it’s not futile, there’s a very good chance.’” ? Podhoretz said his prediction of a US strike is based on instinct, rather than any indication from the president.

His most recent book World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism has been praised by conservative talker Rush Limbaugh and defends Bush's decision to invade Iraq, the Politico reports.

One of the country's most ardent hawks, Podhoretz was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 when criticism of what some were then beginning to see as a quagmire in Iraq began to intensify.

Podhorets has remained steadfast in arguing in favor of US preemptive war, saying in a recent op-ed that he "hopes" and "prays" for an invasion of Iran.