Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ted Koppel Tells Shocking Truth About Iraq and War on Terror (Updated w-videos)

Here are the shocking excerpts (MSN video available here with segment 1 at minute 14:10, segment 2 at minute 19:00, and segment 3 here):

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.

Amazing. For those interested, I wrote an article about this very subject in November. I must say I find it extraordinary that any major media figure is coming out so strongly and making such a declaration, especially on such a popular Sunday talk show.

Yet, the best was still to come, as a little later on in the discussion, Russert asked Koppel a very telling question:

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.

Amazing. Did Tim Russert just accidentally admit that the war in Iraq is indeed a part of the war on terror? Shocking. Yet, not close to as shocking as Koppel’s answer:

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.

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