Skip to comments.Obama senior advisor blames Bush for Iran's anti-Americanism
Posted on 03/05/2008 2:43:40 PM PST by LSUfan
Barack Obama's most senior military adviser says President Bush is to blame for Iran's bad behavior.
This assessment provided to Insight from retired Gen. Merrill McPeak provides a glimpse into how an Obama administration would deal with Iran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly has referred to the ultimate destruction of Israel; is pursuing nuclear weapons in the opinion of some national security experts; and his Revolutionary Guard is training Iraqis to kill American military personnel in Iraq.
Just last week, Ahmadinejad said of Israel, "The world powers established this filthy bacteria, the Zionist regime, which is lashing out at the nations in the region like a wild beast."
In the view of McPeak, the most senior retired officer to back Obama's presidential run, Iran's behavior is a reaction to Bush's tough talk.
"Iran is a big enemy of al Qaeda," said McPeak, who was the Air Force's chief of staff and a Joint Chiefs member during the presidency of Bush's father.
"They were a big enemy of the Taliban," said the retired four-star general. "They cooperated with us quite completely in the initial phases of our Afghanistan operation. And it was us that insulted them by including them in the 'axis of evil' and making sure they understood we didn't like them very much."
McPeak, an Obama campaign co-chairman, was referring to Bush's post-September 11 speech in which he referred to North Korea, Iraq and Iran as an axis of evil.
"That drove us apart," said McPeak. "Obama's idea is, why not talk to them. Why not see if there isn't some common ground. Certainly, the fight against al Qaeda would be one of them."
National security experts say Iran's rogue behavior pre-dates Bush's speech. In June 2001, the Justice Department indicted 13 members of a pro-Iranian group, Saudi Hezbollah, for carrying out the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 American service members in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Hezbollah held regular meetings in Iran, said the FBI.
"With all due respect to Gen. McPeak, what drives the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran apartand has since 1979is the unwavering antipathy of the regime in Tehran towards the United States, its ally Israel and freedom-loving, non-Islamist nations more generally," said Frank Gaffney, a Pentagon policymaker in the Ronald Reagan administration who heads the Center for Security Policy.
Added Gaffney: "It is not simply naïve, it is reckless to ignore: serial statements by the mullahs and their front man, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, about a world without America; their goons parading in Iranian cities shouting Death to America; their active efforts to kill and maim Americans and Iraqis in the hope of defeating the United States in Iraq and rendering the latter an oil-rich satellite and new safe-haven for Iranian-backed terror; and accumulating evidence that Irans Hezbollah proxies, and their intelligence agents are developing cells capable of unleashing deadly violence here as well as elsewhere. Even an individual without appreciable expertise in such matters like Sen. Obama should be able to discern these realities. It is inexplicable how a professional military officer like Gen. McPeak could fail to do so."
Obama, who leads in the race to be the Democrats' presidential nominee, has said he will meet with any leader of any state, including Iran's Ahmadinejad, without pre-conditions. "He would be willing to meet with the leadership of Pakistan, with the leadership of Iran, with the leadership in Syria and see if we can't find common ground," said McPeak. "I mean, some of those places aren't real happy with al Qaeda either, especially Iran."
Obama's position does not seem much different than an edict from Republican stalwart James Baker. The former secretary of state says he believes in talking to ones enemies. But President Bush has shown no interest in meeting with Ahmadinejad or Syria's strongman Bashar Assad, whose country is allowing al Qaeda suicide bombers to pass through on their way to deadly missions in Iraq.
Asked if Obama would meet with al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden, who has declared war on America, McPeak said, "No. Bin Laden doesn't represent any country or legitimate government anywhere. "
Added McPeak, who switched from being a Republican to a Democrat over Bush's decision to invade Iraq, "[Obama] believes in a strong America and he understands that includes a military dimension.... He wants a strong military."
But worst of all, he is completely wrong about Iran and Al Qaeda and Scarborough failed to challenge him on it: The 9-11 Commission uncovered clear evidence of great cooperation between Iran and Al Qaeda over a period of years, long before the September 11 attacks.
It is scary to me that a flag rank retired officer could be so misinformed and ignorant about vital issues...
I think he slept through the takeover of the US embassy in Iran back in 1979. LOL!
Ummm - try Carter .... wasn’t he in office when Iran took over our embassy? And wasn’t it Carter who got the Shah kicked out???
I blame Carter.
I knew him when I was a fighter pilot type in the USAF. He is a bungling ass. (Hope, he didn’t do anything bad to my career...he was just an ass.) I also ran into him doing some engineering work after my retirement. He was still an ass, and demonstrated remarkable engineering incompetancy to boot (he should work for Microsoft). The guy is a loon, pure and simple. Methinks there’s a family relationship somewhere between him and Wes Clark. He fits just fine in the Dhimmicratic party.
Obama has less than 10 flag rank officers supporting him. GW had over 300. The numbers speak for themselves.
You are not alone.
Wow. What a wealth of misinformation.
How does someone like this ever get to be a member of the Joint Chiefs?
Lets all smoke a hookah with the kookah Obama...
If Obama is Prez this country is doomed.... He actually thinks Amadmanjihad plays fair.... bwahhhhhh
“He wants a strong military”
For everyone but the USA.
Yeah, that’s right. Iran was our friend and aly until G.W. Bush became President. What a crock of sh*t.
It's hard to believe that Obama has such stupid advisors. (Well, maybe not.)
McPeak is delusional.
“Iran is the enemy of Al Qaeda”
Uhh...wake up, pal. The US is a bigger enemy to both of them, which is why collusion is sometimes allowed between them.
Don't think the Ayatollahs forgot ~ they know that the real enemy is the Democratic party.
This man is delusional or a liar, probably the latter. Iran has been anti-American since the Ayatollah (ph) took power. does anyone on the left remember the Iranian radicals, including their current president, taking over our embassy?
Where do the Democrats dig up these flunky military men?
General McPeak should know that Iran has been anti-American since 1979. Somebody hit him on the head and wake him up.
Obamarchy: the Audacity of Dope.
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