Talk:Norman Podhoretz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


I have deleted the line stating He is an American neoconservative because it is redundant. Not two sentences later, we are told he became associated with the neoconservative movement in the 70s. Also deleted the footnote referring to an article calling him the Godfather of neoconservatism. Anyone familiar with neoconservatism knows that Irving kristol is considered the Godfather of neoconservatism —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spiker 22 (talkcontribs) 10:07, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

So this kook has pretty much been wrong in everything he's ever stated. Why does anyone continue to listen to him?

Political Philosophy?

I have changed the heading from political philosophy to Political views. Positions one takes on issues are not in themselves a political philosophy. They may result from such a philosophy, but are not the philosophy itself. ~ Spiker_22 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Medal of Freedom?

Norman Podhoretz is mentioned on the list of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients in the Presidential Medal of Freedom wiki-entry. (According to the Senate website linked there, he received it June 23, 2004.)

Should there be some mention that he received this award, and why?

--Wbakker2 16:53, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There certainly should be a mention. On a separate issue, does anyone know why the bulk of the article is pulled from a copyrighted source? I don't see any permission. -Willmcw 22:10, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I've deleted it. It was from "Family ties connect US right, Zionists" by Jim Lobe at [1] "Pakistan's most widely circulated English language newspaper." -Willmcw 01:37, Mar 1, 2005 (UTC)

The article says "He is believed to be a member of the Council on Foreign Relations". I don't think the CFR membership list is secret, so this information should be available. And who "believes" he's a member? Presumably the person who wrote that sentence. If the author doesn't know whether Podhoretz is a member he shouldn't be speculating in the article.

I removed the reference to Podhoretz as a member of CFR completely. He is no longer a member. The line could read "Podhoretz is a former member of the CFR," if his former membership were deemed relevant. 22:58, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Balancing Claims as to War Rationale by Mr Podhoretz[edit]

New information arising from the report issued by the National Intelligence Council a 9 page report claiming as conclusion that Iran does not as of November 2007 have or intends to go ahead with a nuclear weapons program. A screenshot of the report conclusions can be viewed here[[2]]

A copy of the report can be downloaded for reading from the New York Times titled "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities" Please contrast the conclusions reached by the National Intelligence Council against Norman Podhoretz's more recent statement made in June 2007 on Iran available from Commentary Magazine piece "The Case for Bombing Iran"

-- (talk) 06:34, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I didn't see the Podhoretz interview where he lost his composure ... not sure if that is an objective or subjective criteria, but


My real observation is that the entire bio is 7 paragraphs long, and almost half of all the words are on the interview in question. A life evaluated based on 20 minutes? Come on.

How proportional is that observation to his overall body of work. Yes, Podhoretz is a strong advocate for controversial political positions -- so slam him for ONE interview where he lost it? Is that fair? Is that constructive to dialogue?

Somehow, I think not.

Mantuan 00:30, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Other than being a neocon what can you say good/intellectual about him, what can you say bad? He lost it in an interview, is it on youtube - link? Are you sure he ever had it?

Proportionality or just poorly written article

Mantuan I agree with this point entirely. Unfortunately, the Wiki article, itself is badly written. My first complaint; though minor, is that the article descrbes Podhoretz as an "American neoconservative columnist and political scientist." and later "He has been characterized as the "godfather" of neoconservatism." Personally, I doubt Norman Podhoretz is a Political Scientist or that he considers himself one. Further, the author does not know much about neoconservatives in general or Podhoretz in particular. He does cite an article titled Neocon 'godfather' Norman Podhoretz tells Bush: bomb Iran. Yet as anyone who has done their due dilligence knows, Irving Kristol, not Podhoretz is considered the godfather of neoconservatives or as Kristol, himself put it in a recent Weekly Standard article, The Neoconservative Persuasion: ( "Even I, frequently referred to as the "godfather" of all those neocons, have had my moments of wonderment. My next criticism is that the article pretends to discuss Podhortez' Political philosophy but defines it in terms of the positions he has taken on certain issues. Note there is not one mention of Norman Podhoretz' claim some time ago that the expression neoconservative had become meaningless, no mention of the disillusionment with "liberalism" or how his realignment with the right stemed from the break with liberalism. Of course we are treated to a strange critique in the section on Vietnam:" He argues that when the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, it sacrificed its national honor by a disgraceful show of weakness and cowardice.....However, while it was going on, the Vietnam war was mentioned in Commentary less than a handful of times, usually derided as a distraction from the core of American foreign policy — dealing with the threat of an all powerful Soviet Union." The author phrases this as though there is a contradiction here. I am not sure why there's a problem with believing the US picked the wrong battle ( an apparently distracting one) during the cold war and an assessment of how badly it was concluded or even more to the point having a different asessment of the significance of each. ~ Spiker_22 (talk) 07:13, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

My remark of 6 January 2007 was about some material that has now been removed. It had to do with an interview Podhoretz gave in 2006 and the wiki piece on 6 January had a very long paragraph, now gone, on that. My remarks given the article as it looks today probably now make little to no sense due to the changes made since then. (talk) 13:25, 20 November 2007 (UTC) Mantuan

Podhoretz and WW4[edit]

Puffy John Podhoretz, who has been known to flirt with danger when devouring cream pies, dismisses the number of dead and horribly mangled as insignificant compared to Vietnam. Yes, Puffy, they are, but give it time and they will not be. Podhoretz, incidentally, qualified his statement by announcing that he had not served in the army. Gee, thanks, and here I thought you were a Silver Star winner and a volunteer to boot

Robert Kagan and William Kristol were giddy with excitement at the prospect of Armageddon. The coming war “is going to spread and engulf a number of countries. … It is going to resemble the clash of civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. … [I]t is possible that the demise of some ‘moderate’ Arab regimes may be just round the corner.”

Norman Podhoretz in Commentary even outdid Kristol’s Standard, rhapsodizing that we should embrace a war of civilizations, as it is George W. Bush’s mission “to fight World War IV—the war against militant Islam

(These unsigned comments were left by Paleocon (talk · contribs) 05:16 20 June 2007))

Paleocon Wiki is not fo ideological squabbles. There is nothing in the statements of Kristol or Kagan denoting giddiness or excitement concerning "the prospect of Armageddon". The Concept of WW4 advocated by Norman Podhoretz refers to the belief that the current war can only be accurately understood as a war against a homicidal element within Islam, regardless of whether it is in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or somewhere else. Further, this concept is defined by the notion that the current war is global in nature and bares a striking resemblance to that of WWII and The Cold War. Specifically in the sense that while Fascism, Communism and later this homicial Islam may have different ideological origins, they all represent the same kind of threat to civilization, the same intolerance that can brook no challenges to its certainties wherein a difference of opinion whether expressed in a cartoon or novel is considered justification for murder. Whether one agrees with this idea or considers it insane is not a question for Wikipedia. Wiki is concerned with whether the idea is accurately described and documented. ~ Spiker_22

Army Service[edit]

The article has one sentence in it about Podhoretz's Army service: something along the lines of "He also served in the Army..." Does anyone have further information about this beyond the years of service as noted in the article? (For example, whether he was an officer (and thus served after college), whether he was commissioned through ROTC or OCS, and/or any other details of his career in the military.) If anyone had more information please put it in the article - it seems to me that the Army service was a rather important part of Podhoretz's life and thus the information would add significantly to the article. KNVercingetorix (talk) 01:59, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

In what way do you get the impression that "Army service was a rather important part of Podhoretz's life"?

~ Spiker_22

I recently read NPod's "Ex-Friends." The bulk of his army tour seems to have been spent as a propaganda officer in 1950s Germany, lecturing soldiers on the importance of the Western Civilization they were charged with defending against the Communists. I believe he was drafted after college. I don't believe that the army service was terribly significant in Norman's self-presentation, that is, in the autobiographies I have read such as Making It and Ex-Friends. I don't think it was that significant: Remember that the United States kept a universal draft after WWII, but except for the Korean and Vietnam wars, most soldiers didn't see combat. Yudel (talk) 00:12, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

RE:Balancing Claims as to War Rationale by Mr Podhoretz

"the report issued by the National Intelligence Council a 9 page report claiming as conclusion that Iran does not as of November 2007 have or intends to go ahead with a nuclear weapons program[sic]" This is indeed a peculiar conclusion. If one looks at the screen shot of the reports conclusions We see the following:

"We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid 2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Is that you, claiming to balance Podhoretz's claims?

Nothing here about Iran NOT HAVING a weapons program. As to intent The NIE say "we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons" Indeed, the NIE is only moderately confident Bold text (My emphasis)

Based on the screenshot of the conclusions alone One can say that Iran does indeed have a a nuclear weapons program; That the NIE beleives it is suspended (as opposed to abandoned), but is only moderately confident of this and that the NIE beleives that Iran is less determined to develop nuclear weapons "than we have been judging since 2005." Contextually, we must asses the current NIE's moderate confidence against the 2005 “high confidence” it had in judging that that Iran was “determined to develop nuclear weapons.” The current NIE tells us a judgement of high confidence means "our judgments are based on high-quality information, and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment" Of course if we look at the NIE itself (, we see that moderate confidence "means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible. but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence." So the NIE finds it plausible, based on "credible sources" that Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program Also I think we can infer from both NIE judgements, that the intelligence community is choosing to be somewhat more cautious with their pronouncements. In the key judgements section we see the following:

"Iran resumed its declared centrifuge enrichment activities in January 2006, despite the continued halt in the nuclear weapons program. Iran made significant progress in 2007 installing centrifuges at Natanz, but we judge with moderate confidence it still faces significant technical problems operating them."

And later

"Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example, Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. We also assess with high confidence that since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development projects with commercial and conventional military applications—some of which would also be of limited use for nuclear weapons."

So the question is whether or not this information tends to support the conclusions drawn by Mr. Podhoretz. Of course, answering that question depends in part on a careful reading of the available NIE statement. Along with the recognition that, as the NIE, itself, states "These assessments and judgments generally are based on collected information, which often is incomplete or fragmentary. Finally, claims about what Iran may or may not do is premature considering that the IAEA has a report do out this month and as far as we know have not finished their investigation. ~ Spiker_22 -- (talk) 03:25, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Warning: Lobbyists Berman and Company at work[edit]

This article has been edited anonymously by Berman and Company, who are lobbyists for amongst others the American Beverage Institute, the Center for Consumer Freedom, the Center for Union Facts and the Employment Policies Institute.

IP address of traces to Berman and Company, see the Whois report. I Spy With My Big Eye (talk) 10:53, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Vietnam section[edit]

Hello! Pardon me if I made mistakes on my first edit. I very slightly changed the wording in this section to better reflect a neutral standpoint. Ms. Clo (talk) 07:16, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Aside from poor wording, I think this section could use some additional improvement. Namely, the quoted portion of the cited book seems to me, as a first-time reader, to be incomplete. It seems to imply something that is not substantiated by the text quoted. Could anyone with access to the cited source expound upon this viewpoint? Ms. Clo (talk) 07:22, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I see this is not a book but an online source. I am reading it to try to find a solution to the problem I mentioned. Ms. Clo (talk) 07:43, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

This is the full quote, as quoted by the book review (the book itself may have more to say on the subject):

As one who has never believed that anything good would ever come for us or for the world from an unambiguous American defeat, I now find myself -and here is the main source of my own embarrassment in writing about Vietnam - unhappily moving to the side of those who would prefer just such an American defeat to a 'Vietnamization' of the war which calls for the indefinite and unlimited bombardment by American pilots in American planes of every country in that already devastated region.

I think that either removal of the partial quote, or instatement of the full quote, would improve this article. I hope to gather more editor opinions before I edit this section. Ms. Clo (talk) 07:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I have instated the quote from which the 'weasel' quotes were taken. I'm still not happy with this section... I think we need to remove the weasel quotes entirely and fairly represent the subject's words as well as those of his reviewer. Ms. Clo (talk) 04:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Copyright problem[edit]

‎ This article has been revised as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 00:47, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

political views section seems oddly shaped[edit]

he is well known for his views on the cold war, 60s era protests and cultural change, and then support for Reaganism, and as an example of a the neoconservative journey from social democrat/liberal. There seems very little on his views of the cold war, rather more on his views of post 2000 events (when he was really a much more marginal figure) and the oddity (and I suspect a cherry picked out of context quote) about his views on history. Ricardianman (talk) 21:41, 14 February 2011 (UTC)