Abizaid The Double Agent

by digby

Well that didn't take long. I checked to see what the right was saying about General Abizaid's comments and naturally Michael "ding dong Khameni is dead" Ledeen is appalled:

"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said..."Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."

I'm grateful for this bit of enlightenment from the former commander of Central Command, whose failed strategy in Iraq led us to fight more effectively, especially against the Iranians' depredations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It was under Abizaid that the copious evidence of Iranian activity was suppressed, and we, let's say, took it easy on the thousands of Revolutionary Guards killers running all over the country.

Gosh, it sounds like Ledeen is accusing Abizaid of something rather unpleasant, don't you think?

Some of the commenters at LGF are a bit less opaque in their criticism:

Abizaid is of middle eastern descent IIRC, is that right?


It's a sad thing when the suspicion can arise ( with validity ) that the ethnicity of a General Officer of the United States Army, may influence, even trump his patriotism.

The Iranians are not arabs, as is Abizaid, but...

Certainly, he's a world class moron.

Wesley Clark, proved beyond doubt that one can attain the rank of General in the USA, despite being devoid of character or intellect. Abizaid,
sets this fact in stone.

This was good too:

Hmmm, Abizaid leaves and the situation in Iraq starts improving.


A lil' double loyalty perhaps?

The Freepers also weigh in:

He’d probably feel welcome back in Lebanon, Italy, or someplace like that.


I think General Abizaid's ethnicity (I know, he's of Arab, not Persian, extraction, but from the Mid-East nonetheless) is playing him false on this one. I've seen more than one General Officer miscalculate what the enemy would do based on his perception of what he would do in a similar situation; sometimes you really do have to examine the "worst case scenario".


Abazaid is a darling poster child of the "anti war" movement.... he has a long history iof this, add to that he is of questionable patriotic character in my book, seeing he is a first generation import from Saudi Arabia ! a fellow like Abazaid getting to that level is just plain bizzarre, All arabs are smiling backstabbers and that is not "racism" it is a demographic reality

When a poster points out that they are criticizing a General, we have the piece de resistance in response:

Only Moveon calls them liars and traitors. Big difference.

This is why the pearl clutching among the right wingers and their media allies is so laughable. On the right, they treat all Generals and troops who disagree with them like garbage, in the most despicable terms possible. Look what they did to John Kerry. Why any DC liberal takes their little "patriotic" game seriously is beyond me.

Scott Horton wrote an excellent post a couple of weeks ago about all this that should be read by every Democratic consultant in Washington. They need to stop playing these silly games on Republican turf:

A recently retired flag officer friend of mine, who describes himself as a “once solid, and now wavering Republican” tells me:

Most officers, you know, are Republicans, but we all do our best to ensure that we wear no party allegiance when we put on our uniforms. It’s common to think that the Republicans love the military and the Democrats despise us. But our actual experience over the last couple of decades is that the Democrats, whether they despise us or not, leave us free to manage our own affairs and don’t interfere too much. Whereas the Republicans seem to love us so much that they know better than the career officer corps about just about everything. I’m really close to thinking that I prefer those Democrats, whether they despise us or not.

He went on to tell me that one of the things that bugged him the most about the Pentagon in recent years was the fairly overt process of politicization. “The White House was always involved in picking the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a handful of other positions, of course, but the process further down the line, especially two-stars and lower, was really peer-review. There is still a peer-review, but now it’s politicos who make the decisions, and their suspicion of where people stand in terms of party politics seems to weigh very heavily. This just ain’t right.”


The Department of Defense has limited access of military personnel to certain websites. In general, in the area of political commentary and reporting, the DOD view is that websites tightly aligned with the Republican Party or firmly committed to support the administration are fine. Websites associated with the Democratic Party or critical of the Administration are off limits.

A good example of this was recently reported by the Center for American Progress’ blog, thinkprogress.org.

ThinkProgress is now banned from the U.S. military network in Baghdad.

Recently, an avid ThinkProgress reader — a U.S. soldier serving his second tour in Iraq — wrote to us and said that he can no longer access ThinkProgress.org... The ban began sometime shortly after Aug. 22, when Ret. Maj. Gen. John Batiste was our guest blogger on ThinkProgress. He posted an op-ed that was strongly critical of the President’s policies and advocated a “responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq.” Previously, both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times had rejected the piece.

Here’s what Major General Batiste, a Republican–but apparently not a sufficiently loyal Republican–had written that appears to have provoked the ban:

It is disappointing that so many elected representatives of my [Republican] party continue to blindly support the administration rather than doing what is in the best interests of our country. Traditionally, my party has maintained a conservative view on questions regarding our Armed Forces. For example, we commit our military only when absolutely necessary . . .

The only way to stabilize Iraq and allow our military to rearm and refit for the long fight ahead is to begin a responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq and replace the troops with far less expensive and much more effective resources–those of diplomacy and the critical work of political reconciliation and economic recovery. In other words, when it comes to Iraq, it’s time for conservatives to once again be conservative.

Of course, Rush Limbaugh, the team at Fox News, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and Commentary can all be read with no interruption.

Read the whole post. The politicization of the military --- and the harsh treatment meted out to those in (and retired from) the military who fail to toe the line, is something that should be publicly discussed instead of running from it like a bunch of scared little bunnies every time some wingnut shows up in a uniform waving the GOP flag. This nonsense about being required to respect only the most loyal Republican officers is unamerican.