Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No wonder Abizaid was replaced - he's saying too many smart things!

Arabic-speaking General John Abizaid, who retired after he headed Central Command (or CENTCOM, which is in charge of the Middle East for the U.S. armed forces) for nearly four years and was replaced by President Bush by a navy admiral (something that is happening a lot as army and marine commanders continually and increasingly criticize the war in Iraq), has been saying a lot of things that make sense recently.

First this:
"Iran is not a suicide nation," he said. "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."

The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.

"I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear," he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.

"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."
As Nat-Wu responded in an email, it is complete idiocy that it seems "everybody thinks that once Iran gets a nuke, they're going to immediately drop it on Israel and immolate themselves in the process."

The truth is Iran can be deterred from nukes with strong diplomacy on the part of the U.S. that this administration and future Republicans ones will not engaged in. Furthermore, while no one thinks we should let them get nukes, the Bush/Republican/neo-con solution of going to war and bombing Iran is not a reasonable course of action and would have worse consequences for us than Iran having nuclear weapons.

Also, Gen. Abizaid has discredited the Republican tactic of using the phrase "Islamic extremism." According to Rudy Giuliani, the fact that Democrats do not use this word shows they are "weak on terror," while in reality, it is counterproductive to the cause against Al Qaeda and other jihadis because it drives away moderate Muslims needed to win the fight.

In a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the role of the military in counterterrorism, Gen. Abizaid that “even adding the word Islamic” makes it “very, very difficult” to “work together” with mainline regional leaders to keep extremism “from becoming mainstream.” Think Progress has video.

Given these intelligent statements, it is not surprising the general is out of a job these days with the current band of idiots running the country.

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

I'm sure there are a few who think the credible threat of force is useful in diplomacy, but the problem is that it forces the Iranian leadership into a corner. They respond to our hostile language with hostility of their own, which moves us further away from an agreement, not closer. I for one don't think we can completely renounce the use of foce, but we'd do well to dial down the language considerably and give the Iranian leadership a chance to see that they can get something out of renouncing a nuclear program. In large part they are motivated to gain nukes by the threat we pose to them (and rightly so, one could argue.) If we simply back off a little bit, and make it quite clear that we will use force only as an absolute last resort, they might be more accommodating. It certainly couldn't do worse than the present approach, which seems calculated by hawks in the White House to get us into another war.