Thursday, November 23, 2006

General Abizaid at Harvard

Once you have a belly-full this Thanksgiving, if you are like me you need an hour or so away from all the noise and dirty dishes. This will fit the bill.

If you have not had a chance to hear General Abizaid in person - you need to see this. Of note, watch close. No notes. Maybe down the road we will see a Secretary of State. Or more. My mind is open, his is huge.

I will let the General speak for himself. It is worth and hour. Click here.
For those who are having trouble seeing the video, let me take you to one of the better parts (it is all great, but one must make decisions now and then). No transcript if available, but if you go to the 1 hour and 3 minute mark, you have this bit your humble scribe transcripted for you. Happy Thanksgiving folks. I give thanks we have General Abizaid.
When I come here and read the newspapers and I watch television, I hear the commentary; it’ all about how we’ve already lost. How this is not worth it, how this is too hared, this is too difficult, “Oh my God…”

This is a dangerous place. This is a difficult place, but when I talk to my young Commanders, when I talk to my old Commanders, that they are not afraid of what they are doint out there. When I go see our Special Operations guys who are conducting raids day after day against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are not afraid of what they are doing. They know what they’ve got to do the tough things; to get the mission done. When I talk to Iraqi officers, they’re not afraid of what they’re doing. They’re very worried about the sectarian problems, but they don’t believe it is failure.

It’s costs a lot of money. It’s cost a lot of blood. It’s cost a lot of treasure; but there is no reason to despair. We can’t be defeated militarily; we’ve been fighting in this region for 5 years. We’ve never lost a platoon incombat. No one is going to throw us into the sea.

Yet, I come back and I feel like General Wainwright at Corregidor in 1942 and that is not the way it is. The way it is, is a bunch of competent professionals out there fighting the fight who can’t seem to get the word across the Atlantic to let people know it’s hard, it’s tough, but we can do this. And so one of the reasons I am here tonight to tell you know it’s hard, it’s tough, but we can do this and don’t despair over the 24hr news cycle. Don’t worry about what Bob Woodward wrote in his book. Worry about what the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are saying out there. Believe me they will tell you when it is not winnable – and they don’t say that.
Hat tip Soldier's Dad over at MilBlogs.

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