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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Will They Listen To This General?

That's the question that Glenn Reynolds is asking, and it's a worthy question. See, General John Abizaid recently gave an address to a group of Harvard students. In part, this is what he had to say:
America cannot walk away from Iraq without risking another world war. That warning was sounded at the Kennedy School forum Nov. 17 by Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the man responsible for U.S. military strategy in the Middle East.

"We can walk away from this enemy, but they will not walk away from us," Abizaid told the forum audience during a discussion titled "The Long War."

"We have not failed yet and we will not fail if we all understand what we have to do. If we can stay together nothing can stop us and we can make the world a better place."

Abizaid cited what he called the three greatest challenges facing the world - the Arab-Israeli conflict; the rise of extremist groups "with a dark vision of the future"; and, specifically, the dangers posed by "Shia revolutionary thought."

"Where these things come together is in Iraq," he said. "It's absolutely not an easy thing to do," Abizaid went on to say. "But the sacrifice that is necessary to stabilize Iraq must be sustained in order for the region itself to become more resilient against these three challenges."

And while admitting that the recent upturn in sectarian violence in Iraq is disturbing, Abizaid said politicians cannot set arbitrary deadlines for the withdrawal of American troops.

"We all want to leave when we can, but the most important thing must be the stability of the region. We must stabilize Iraq. It's vitally important to us," he said.

Abizaid also admitted that the challenges in the Middle East extend far beyond Iraq's borders, and it will require a concerted effort by several countries - including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - to meet them.

"We must defeat the extremism of bin Laden and his associated movement. It's murderous. It's ruthless. It's very capable. It's got strength as a network unlike any nonstate actor has ever seen before. We've got to defeat it," he said.

"Think of it as an opportunity to confront fascism in 1920 if only we'd had the guts to do it then," he continued. "I believe that if we don't have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we will move toward World War III tomorrow."

While Harvard is hardly a bastion of conservative thought, they did allow him to speak, and he made good points. The Middle East isn't a region we can just turn a blind eye to. We did that for decades, and look where it has brought us. It's provided us a blood-thirsty enemy that has no remorse and no conscience, but plenty of will. They have a spiritual fortitude that surprises many who haven't been paying attention, and the presence of that within them makes us wonder where ours is.

After all, we are being urged to talk with Syria and Iran. We were urged to talk with North Korea. Talk is cheap, folks, and it rarely gets us anywhere. Did it get Neville Chamberlain anywhere? Did it get FDR anywhere when he sat down to talk with Stalin at Yalta? Churchill was derided after the Munich Accord was signed, but he was proven right when Hitler pushed into Austria and Poland. The mess from Yalta left us facing Communism in Asia, leading to two bloody wars, and the birth of a unified, Communist Vietnam. And in addition to that, Communism entered our hemisphere when Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba, and greeted Khrushchev with a big bear hug.

Talks end up bringing us more problems down the road. General Abizaid understands this, and is fighting for victory in Iraq. This is part of a much broader war, and while it's a good thing to see the military commanders talking about this, we need the president out there doing that, too. He is the commander-in-chief, and it's his job to reassure the public that what we're doing is the right course of action.

But Glenn is quick to point out that the Democrats were whining and complaining that no one was listening to the generals about Iraq. Here is the general in charge of operations in the Middle East, and notably Iraq. Are they going to listen to General Abizaid, or blow him off, too?

Publius II


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