Forward Thinking

Iraq War 'Godfather' Opposes Iran Strike

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

friends of tel aviv university
Bernard Lewis chats with Henry Kissinger

The man once known as the intellectual godfather of the Iraq war opposes a military strike on Iran.

Bernard Lewis, 96, the British-born expert on the Middle East who enjoyed exceptionally close ties to the Bush administration, told the Forward at a gala dinner held in his honor last night that he didn’t support military action against Iran.

“I don’t think it’s the right answer,” he said.

Lewis said that he supported regime change in Iran, but that it should be achieved through U.S. support of an internal Iranian opposition.

“We should do what we can to help the Iranian opposition,” Lewis said. “We could do a lot to help them and we’re not doing a damn thing, as far as I know.”

Lewis, an emeritus professor in Princeton’s Near Eastern Studies program and a highly controversial figure in his field, has been characterized as having provided the intellectual framework for the justification of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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