Let's take a look at just some of which he had to offer:
MR. RUSSERT: Ted Koppel, the meeting in Iraq—the Iranians, Syrian, Iraqis, U.S—what should we think about it?
MR. TED KOPPEL: Had to happen. I, I, 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 the Sunnis and Shia. And the region, just in case anyone has forgotten, is the Persian Gulf, where we get most of our oil and, you and I have talked about his before, natural gas. So the idea of pulling out of there and letting the region—I mean, letting the national civil war expand into a regional civil war, something the United States cannot allow to happen.
Now, I can just hear the Left's chants of "No war for oil" and "don't trade blood for oil". Those are just a couple of the many catchy slogans developed by the political anti-war cults, to go along with other classics like "Bush lied, people died". But if we really let Mr. Koppel's answer sink in, we must look inwardly and realistically at what would happen if the oil supply were shut down, because of a regional war.
If you think we are paying too much for a gallon of gas now, ask yourself, how much would we be paying if the Persian Gulf were shut down for business? And not only us in the U.S., but what about Europe, China, India, and the rest of the industrialized world? It doesn't take an MIT educated economist to figure out that when demand exceeds supply, price goes up. Persian Gulf gets shut down, oil doesn't get out, price goes up. Not just for us, but everyone.
If there's no oil, there's no gas. If there's no gas, there will no way to ship things we make and get to areas where services are needed. The economy is a funny thing, you know? Things like this have a way of rippling out and affecting every other industry in the world. Jobs will then be in grave jeopardy, pretty soon we are talking not just recession here, but deep depression.
I wonder how many of those that wish America to fail so miserably in order for them to say, it's all Bush's fault - really understand these concepts. I wonder how many can grasp the thought of how many people would suffer if this were to happen, just so they could have something to villify and demonize one man they hate so much, and with every ounce of their existences.
Regardless of what Mr. Koppel thought of the reasoning of going to war, he demonstrates here that he understands all of these concepts I have just mentioned, and understands them with great clarity and deep understanding. He could have taken a potshot at the administration as it appears to be in chic, to do these days. But he didn't. He gave a solid answer that is the reality of the situation, whether any of us likes it or not.
I do not like the fact that this war has been mishandled, but that's not the issue right now. Now is not the time to troubleshoot that aspect of the war, there will be plenty of time for that down the road. What we must be doing is, trying to win some kind realistic victory here, tied to the success of the new Iraqi government. Or at very least, keep the enemies of peace and stability from winning. Winning means getting the Iraqis to do what we are doing, with less and less of our help.
MR. RUSSERT: Ted Koppel, you are tonight airing on the Discovery Channel a special called “Our Children’s Children’s War.” “The long war,” as you called—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.
MR. TED KOPPEL: It could go on—I mean, General Abizaid, with whom I spoke, talks in 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. 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. Twenty-four years ago, the, 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, 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.
I would disagree with Mr. Koppel in one thing he states here. This war began earlier than he says. It did not begin with the Marine barracks bombing, it began when the Iranians stormed our embassy in 1979. That was the giant step into the jihad age. That was the first blow that registered, the barracks bombing was just an escalation of the first blow. (For more on this, read this long, but in-depth essay by Sal Rosken. Anti-war types, especially.)
With that said, look at what Mr Koppel has to say here. We didn't know how long the Cold War would last, we only knew that we had to fight it or risk losing the world to poverty and corruption. If China, Russia, and Europe would all look at this in the same light, this thing would not be as much of an issue, as it is. Instead, China, Russia, and Europe have this thing about rewarding the kinds of behaviors that lead us all to this point.
MR. RUSSERT: You also mention that the—besides providing military assistance, health care for cattle and goats.
MR. KOPPEL: Well, the idea is—and, and they talk about, you know, in the old days, in, in Vietnam, they used to refer to it as winning hearts and minds. These days they talk about conquering human terrain. And the way they do that—and again, the, the, the notion is to use as few troops as you possibly can. You have those troops on the ground, they’re digging wells for people, they’re inoculating sheep and goats, they are building health clinics, they’re helping to build schools. And in the—in the course of that, they’re gaining intelligence, they’re winning over allies, they believe, to the United States, and they’re denying terrorists the ability to gain a foothold.
Here, Ted is saying what he would not have the liberty to say, if he still had to bow to the wishes and will of ABC news. ABC, as well as the other major networks, have made it look like we have brought nothing but death and despair to the region. Mr. Russert has painted that dismal image in the past. And rather than asking some extra follow-up on Mr. Koppel's answer, he chose to swing back to another panel guest and change the subject just enough, to divert some attention away from what Ted said.
Let's look at something, here. How many times do we hear Iraqis complaining about electrical blackouts?
What we do not hear is the Iraqi being interviewed on the network newscast, usually lives in an area that used to enjoy the high life under Saddam. They had all the amenities, we take for granted, like electricity. But, many more people never had it or the other things. Some regions of Iraq never had power under Saddam. Now they have it. But until the infrastructure can be completed and in some cases rebuilt, there has to be rolling blackouts from time to time to accommodate demand.
No, you hear about the blackouts, but you do not hear why. You do not hear the rest of the story, just the version of a former Baathist that feels the need to whine because he has to sacrifice a little - so that his other countrymen can have something, as well. And it's all because there is an element within this nation that wants the U.S. to fail, so they can blame George Bush. They hate him so much that they are willing to send everything down the tubes, to discredit him anyway they can.
Like I have said in many posts before, I do not like everything that the man does and he wasn't my first choice in 2000. But I do not hate the man so much that I would be willing to sacrifice the peace and stability of the world, just to prove he was wrong about something. I do not think that Mr.Koppel would either - which is evident by his statements made earlier today. He had every opportunity to do a hit, but didn't.
Mr. Koppel for President? I wouldn't mind listening to what he had to say, and if it was much like what I heard from him in this forum, I would give him a serious and enthusiastic look. He is one deeply intelligent and analytical thinker. But rest assured that Mr. Koppel falls into one very important category that is worthy to consider - he is too smart to want the job.