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.
Oh, I'll bet they haven't forgotten...they just want us to forget. On second thought, Obama may have forgotten - he was probably still smoking weed during that time.
Eh, he’s a ‘Tard. Not much else to say.
The idiots voting for Obama will not know any better. Most of them are way to young to remember that Iran has been an enemy ever since we allowed the Shah of Iran to be deposed by radical islamists. I guarantee they are not teaching that in publik skules.
“How does someone like this ever get to be a member of the Joint Chiefs?”
Nowadays members of the Joint Chiefs are more politicians than military men.
If you are a liberal, history begins at whatever time you get up each day. If you are a liberal with a long view of history, it began on November 4, 2000.
Gee, I didn't realize the W was President in 1979 during the Embassy takeover and 444 days hostage situation.
Must be he morphed from a P-nut farmer to Texas rancher.
Simply amazing how the Peter Principle keeps being reinforced over and over with comments such as from this moonbat.
Barak “Jimmy Carter Jr” Obama might want to point the finger at Jimmy “Barak Obama of the 70s” Carter instead.
McPeak’s name rings a bell. He screwed something up during Desert Storm but for the life of me I can’t remember.
Obviously he was brain dead from about 1979 - 1992.
Obama is a Academic type without any real world experience.
Graduated from a Ivy League College to become a social activitist. Seven years in the State Senate representing the most corrupt area in Illinois....Cook County.
Luck got him into the US Senate. Served only three years too. He thinks he can tackle all the dangers in this world and keep my family safe.
The Mullah’s and North Koreans will have a good time walking all over him.
The Mullah regime has been calling the U.S. “The Great Satan” since they took over in 1979. That makes 28 years.
They have also been leading chants of “Death to America” since 1979. That makes 28 years.
McPeak is an ass-clown.
“Nowadays members of the Joint Chiefs are more politicians than military men.”
Does the job require the ability to read the newspaper?
Actually, it’s 29
Hezballah is a working partner with al Queda.
The 1998 Indictment said so but Ostrich Crowd want to ignore that threat.
I believe when it comes to executive branch foreign policy moves there are no coincidences. Obama if he’s a true American, would work his rear off to open up venues we have been kept from. He could do a lot to open up Africa and it’s resources. Look how the western regions welcomed President Bush. With Obama it would be stratosperic.I suspect very little of the continent has been cataloged for hydrocarbon reserves I also suspect it’ll be completely converted to Islam in 20 years if we don’t do something.
It’s one thing to be tough cowboys and go it alone but as we saw at the Alamo, bravery cannot overcome insurmountable odds. Demographically, it’s starting to tilt hard to the east. The hammer has been applied relentlessly for 7 years now. Maybe it’s time for diplomacy to turn the trick the rest of the way.
They already know we have better commisaries and post exchanges than Al Qaeda. :) And they sure as heck know we are a better at terrorizing terrorists and their compadres with intel and UAVS or force recon. Who knows.
IF McPeak is older than 45 he’s just talking garbage and doesn’t a bit of it. He knows what Iran has done to harm us in the region. He’s lying. Has to be.
Is this the same McPeak that campaigned for Kerry in 2004?
General Merrill McPeak says in this interview( recorded a year ago ), that it doesn't really matter who you elect President. The General, who served under Bush, Sr., said, we were at a moral high when we came out of the Gulf. McPeak says he does not blame the sitting President only for the mistakes made, he blames many in the State Dept., other powerful agencies of the Federal Government. He added Colin Powell was his next door neighbor for a time. He was good friends with Paul Wolfowitz. To mislead the American public, he said, was probably deliberate, certainly they're smart enough, there had to have been some kind of motive.
The General said, "the President had innocence in experience, so it is hard to blame him". I voted for the President. McPeak then he registered as an Independent; now he has registered as a Democrat, adding he has gone way over to the enemy camp and laughs. He told how he had worked for Howard Dean and for John Kerry.
When McPeak was asked about pulling out of Iraq. He said he favored a departure as early as feasible; but it is not a good idea to give a public date! That gives options to those that would do us damage! In a sense, we could do more important things than immediate departure. Our position in the Middle east is probably sabotaged for centuries. There are Positive steps we could take now and announce now. Economic assistance doesn't make any difference until you have stabilization or settled down- then you can help them get back on their feet.
The General was askied about Abu grab several times in this inerview. The General said he strongly believes we should bulldoze Abu grab prison and plant a garden! He also believes we should fire 20,000 contractors in Iraq who are not in the assistance (grid construction) field, simply gun slingers, mercenary types. Like Blackwater? asked the Interviwer. The General hesitated and responded at that point, yes. I would get them out this afternoon! he added; as they are an insult to our military! If there is something wrong with our trained Army, then we should fix it. Many of the contractors are from overseas, very tough guys!
We are building a dozen or so main operating bases in Iraq-large bases. I would announce we are suspending all construction, because is a waste of money! In the beginning you could argue you could stay a 100 years and make a very good argument. You could have argued in 2003, go in and build a permanent presence. It would have been a logical case to be made. He gave examples of the US being in other countries for decades. We can't stay now because we had so messed up the operation. The dozen or few bases, we are just constructing are just monuments of the past-- and stop construction because of the cost, he adds. The General emphasized, The Pictures of what happened at Abu grab prison will be in textbooks read by Arab school children for generations. Raise it and blow it up! The General said lawyers in uniform have recommended this for a long time. Those in Washington, sitting in an office in uniform have decided differently.
When asked (1 year ago) that he might become the Military Adviser for Obama, he added he was impressed with what he could see. What I liked about Obama was he told me he "wants "to change the game, not just be good at the game". Hillary knows how to play the game. One change, Obama said is to do something about this money requirement needed to get elected-$100 million just to get started.
When asked when the war on terror started, he said that had been a big discussion for some time. The General said it probably started under the Jimmy Carter administration, Iran hostage situation. After that event, Americans started getting murdered across the Middle East-ongoing.
When we went into Afghanistan, the General said, Iran was helpful, and pledged 300 million dollars in assistance. Some in our Government didn't like that; but, he emphasized that the diplomats were getting along quite well. Then we went on this "Axis of Evil squeege"(pressure),and it definitely changed all that.
There is a point when stupidity does becomes criminal, said McPeak. When the interviewer continues to push for impeachment of Bush, the General said; but was quick to add he did not believe Bush should be impeached. He said instead, we should impeach ourselves; for electing him twice. We should look ourselves in the face and say we aren't doing that again.
He was asked about American being an Imperial Power. My wish is that this country lasts a 1000 years. If that aspiration is to come true, we can't stand any more Administrations like this one. We took down the Soviet Union. The Russian people took down the Soviet Union. The Russian people understood there was "a competing way of life". I would hope that we direct our diplomatic and political strength the same way now. Just by being on TV, everyone in the world has the visibility. "When our motives are bad, they see that. When our motives are good on the side of the angels, they see that too- like when in Afghanistan." America has enormous clout and I hope it lasts for a long time.
Note: The interviewer a couple of times tried push the Liberal tag word- Imperialism; but General McPeak did not slip into the interviewer's intent to steer and; therefore, conclude. There is a lot I missed in the attempt to transcribe; but this at least gives ,e some indication of how McPeak might advise Obama. I felt, the General handled himself quite well and made respectful answers. Sometimes not answering when it amounted to no more than a personal opinion on another party, or answered he did not know. The media, as we know, can often take much out of a context which was really nothing.
Interview with General Merrill McPeak, Third Planet Report
Iran is brought up. I was interested in what the General had to say. He knows a Hell of a lot more than I ever will know or pretend to know on this subject. We just have to go forward, we can't change the past, as it just becomes an agenda driven redundancy.
I don’t see much to fault with what the President and his advisors did in Iraq. Peace comes after war. They tried to skip a step. Those people weren’t coming around easy. I’m still utterly impressed at how well we did on all levels. Compare this pacification campaign with the Philippines. Good comparison. We stayed in the Philippines for 70 some odd years pacifying as it were :).
Actually the Media tried to con the public into thinking we could skip a step starting with Mission Accomplished. That was a dirty trick. They are famous for dirty tricks. The same media that’ll tout the new economy right before the dotcom collapses. Dumb all.
Note: this topic is from 3/05/2008 2:43:40 PM PST by LSUfan. -- ...retired Gen. Merrill McPeak provides a glimpse into how an Obama administration would deal with Iran... "Iran is a big enemy of al Qaeda... 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... That drove us apart... 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.... "what drives the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran apart -- and has since 1979 -- is 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.
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