Tucker Carlson delivered a monologue Tuesday night on "neocons" and their influence in the Washington "swamp" despite "embarrassing" track records. Carlson said individuals like Bill Kristol are "working overtime" to get the U.S. to go to war with Iran.
If President Trump decides to go to war with Iran, it will destroy his presidency, just as the Iraq War destroyed the presidency of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, Carlson said.
"If there was a swamp in Washington, you're looking at it, the foreign policy establishment," Carlson said. "They are working overtime to ensnare the president in a mess in Iran. Let's hope that he understands exactly what's going on."
"They have no idea what they are talking about," he said of the foreign policy establishment. "Their track records are embarrassing. Disaster after disaster. They ought to be selling time-shares in Maui or doing something useful."
"Instead, they have more political power than they have ever had," he said. Amazingly, almost to a person, the same group bitterly opposed the president they now work for. They repeatedly attacked him in public and they attacked him savagely in private."
"Neocon intellectuals feel powerful. Bill Kristol, Max Boot and Nancy Pelosi agree on one thing, war is good as long as the war does not help the United States," Carlson said.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Well, with all the screeching recently about Vladimir Putin and Russia, treason, it's been easy to miss the real news. We have some real news. The United States is inching closer apparently to some kind of conflict with Iran.
This Sunday, the president tweeted this, "To Iranian President Rouhani, never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer the consequences, the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious!"
Well, the interesting thing about this tweet is what didn't happen. The press is usually quick to jump on the president's intemperate tweets.
CNN has apparently an entire team of progressive teenagers devoted to monitoring his feed. But this time, there wasn't much comment from the media.
Why? Because if there is one thing Washington loves more than open borders and fat lobbying contracts, it's pointless wars half a world away.
Contractors get rich. Neocon intellectuals feel powerful. Bill Kristol, Max Boot and Nancy Pelosi agree on one thing, war is good as long as the war does not help the United States.
John Bolton finds himself in that camp. A lifelong neocon, Bolton repeatedly has called for toppling the Iranian government again and again, though tellingly he's never suggested what might replace the Iranian government once it's toppled.
Now, as the national security advisor, he has been changing our policies. The US, for example, has begun promoting protests within Iran in an effort to overthrow the regime there.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appears to be on board with this. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley definitely is. Here's a recent sampling of her saber-rattling on Iran. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: Their government has a long history of murdering its own people who dare to speak the truth.
The Iranian regime is now on notice. The world will be watching what you do.
If you want to come to the table and work on a new Iran deal, we'll be right there to talk to you, but you're not going to threaten us to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iran may have messed with the wrong president here.
HALEY: They absolutely did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now, some of that is bluster, obviously, but some of it is exactly what it looks like - the groundwork for conflict. We are moving toward, however slowly, some kind of confrontation with Iran.
And that should worry everybody, but it should especially be of concern to anyone who supported the president.
If President Trump decides to go to war with Iran, it will destroy his presidency just as the Iraq War destroyed the presidency of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.
Attacking Iran is not like intervening in Libya or Syria or even like invading Iraq. It entails far greater risk and much higher costs.
Geographically, Iran is about four times the size of Iraq. It has three times as many people as Iraq had when we invaded. Iraq was a divided country along religious lines. Iran is not. It's cohesive.
It's a much richer country too with a military that has spent many years preparing for a US invasion. It's a formidable force.
In 2002, the US military carried out a war game that was widely understood to be a simulation of an invasion of Iran. It went badly. America suffered more than 20,000 casualties in a single day and officials halted the game.
So, the question is not could America beat Iran. Yes, it could. The question is, is it ready to try? Well, less ready than ever actually.
Compared to 2003, our country is deeper in debt and far more politically divided than it's been since the Civil War. Our military is overstretched. Ask anyone in it.
Meanwhile, China is much stronger than it was 15 years ago. You can bet the Chinese military will be more assertive than ever when we are tied down in yet another quagmire.
Does anyone outside of Washington actually support a new war in Iran? Well, the Saudi royal family does. So do the leaders of other Sunni Gulf states. They see Iran as their greatest rival and they'd love to have America fight a war against Iran for them. Why wouldn't they?
President Trump's own supporters know better than this, though. You'll remember that, back in 2016, during the Republican primary debate in South Carolina, Donald Trump was the only person on that stage to call the Iraq War a mistake.
He vowed never to repeat anything like that and promised that, if elected, he would act only in America's interest.
The morons handicapping the debate on television predicted Trump would lose, it was over, saying that had sealed his fate. And, of course, they were wrong and he won.
Republican voters agreed with him, it turned out. They had a better sense of the truth. A lot of their kids were serving in the military.
Two-and-a-half years later, amazingly, the president's advisors are telling him he must abandon that promise. Iran is too important, they say. It's the greatest threat this country faces despite the fact that virtually every terror attack in America has been inspired not by Iran, but by Iran's Sunni enemies. Doesn't matter.
The mullahs are months away from building a nuke, the neocons tell us. Keep in mind, these people have been saying the exact same thing, word for word, for more than a decade. You can look it up on Google.
They have no idea what they are talking about. Their track records are embarrassing. Disaster after disaster. They ought to be selling time-shares in Maui or doing something useful.
Instead, they have more political power than they have ever had. Amazingly, almost to a person, the same group bitterly opposed the president they now work for. They repeatedly attacked him in public and they attacked him savagely in private.
They consider his ideas absurd to this day. They regard the notion of putting America first as morally offensive. They're fully on Bill Kristol's team.
In fact, just last week, Kristol was encouraging Nikki Haley to challenge her boss, Donald Trump, for the Republican nomination two years from now, and in a way that makes sense.
If there was a swamp in Washington, you're looking at it, the foreign policy establishment. They are working overtime to ensnare the president in a mess in Iran. Let's hope that he understands exactly what's going on.