Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ted Koppel Does Understand the Threat to America

The western world has had to deal with violent jihad by Muslims for more than a thousand years. After the defeats of Muslim armies in Spain centuries earlier, and of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the west largely relaxed regarding that particular threat. The combination of billions of petrodollars with the acquisition and near acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons) together with the atrocity of September 11 completely changed the equation and the rules.

It is a fact of life that grownups have to deal with the potential of these threats – and also deal with opposition from those who do not understand the danger or who place political advantage above the fight for survival of western and American culture. How silly it is to observe Congressional Democrats arguing about how to get the troops out in six months or a year.

Grownups understand that the genie can not be placed back into the bottle; grownups understand that the primitive and barbaric culture of Muslim societies has to be brought into the 21st century, and what took a thousand years to do will probably take at least a hundred years to undo. The West will never live in peace, secure from threats of mass murder, until democracy, human rights and modernization spreads through the Middle East and beyond.

We can whine all we want, but protecting the oil fields and the oil routes and preventing the use of WMD’s by Islamic madmen has fallen on America’s shoulders because we can, and no one else can.

Excerpted comments made by Ted Koppel to Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, 3/11/07.
(comments he could not possibly have made while on ABC’s “Nightline”)

Koppel: “I made a little note here of something that Ambassador Khalilzad said to you a moment ago. He said, “The region will not be stable until Iraq is stabilized.” It’s the one thing nobody talks about. Everyone is concerned about the United States being in the middle of a civil war inside Iraq. But they forget about the fact that if U.S. troops were to pull out of Iraq, that civil war could become a regional war between Sunnis and Shia. And the region, just in case anyone has forgotten, is the Persian Gulf, where we get most of our oil, and, I’ve talked about this before, natural gas. So, the idea of pulling out of there and letting the region, letting the national civil war expand into a regional civil war, something the United States cannot allow to happen.” …

Russert: “Ted Koppel, you are tonight airing on the Discover Channel a special called “Our Children’s Children’s War,” the “long war” as you call it repeatedly, that this war on terror is much more than just Iraq, and it’s going to go on for a long time.”

Koppel: “It could go on, I mean, Gen. Abizaid with whom I spoke talked into terms of generations. And, if you think about two things, that’s not so hard to imagine. Number one, the Cold War after all, lasted 50 years. Uh, we didn’t know it when we began it. We didn’t know it, we didn’t know how long it was going to be when we were in the middle of it. But, it lasted half a century.

If you look back at the elements of the war against terrorism, that war was going on, and has been going on for the past 24 years. We just didn’t connect the dots. 24 years ago, the precursors of Hezbollah blew up the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. That was 1983, 241 Americans killed. In the interim between then and now you had two attacks on the World Trade Center, you had the blowing up of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, you had the attempt to blow up the U.S.S. Cole, you had the bombing of the two U.S. embassies in East Africa. This war’s already been going on for 24 years; we were just a little bit slow to recognize it.”…

Koppel: “I see a lot of wishful thinking going on here in Washington right now. I mean when Congress talks about, first of all, setting these these milestones. And, the irony is if the Iraqis successfully meet the milestones, the implication is we stay. If they fail to meet the milestones we leave. That doesn’t make any sense at all. It ought to be the other way around. If they fail, we stay because they need us. If they succeed, we can start to pull out again.

So, I, I have this feeling that on the one hand, the Democrats are making a great deal of hay out of saying we have to get out of Iraq, and indeed we do at some point or another. But the notion that the war will be over when we pull out of Iraq, and even when we pull out of Afghanistan, you heard what Gen. Abizaid had to say, it’s not going to be over. It’s going to be a different war, but the war continues. “


Full transcript available on MSNBC


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At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched that MTP show...Koppell DOES get it!

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that this is the main problem with the Democrats as a whole. They just don't get it. They're trying to keep the idiots like Code Pink and Move-on, happy, so that they can continue to get money from them. I've had it with Democrats! They don't even have a clue.


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