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FOX Military Guest Hypes War with Iran

Reported by Marie Therese - August 17, 2006 -

Yesterday morning [8-17-06] Lt. Col. Ralph Peters appeared on FOX & Friends to give his assessment of the recent cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon. The gung-ho ultra-conservative military advisor and author delivered his take on the recent hostilities. In the Colonel's world, all is black-and-white and one doesn't negotiate with bloodthirsty heathens.

At one point Peters departed from the usual script on Hezbollah and Israel and opined that Israel lost the last war. However, he made up for it by dredging up the standard neocon line that Iranians are a bunch of mad dogs with whom we cannot negotiate. Many pundits, including The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, believe that the attack on Lebanon was a dress rehearsal for a similar assault on Iran. Hersh pointed out in a recent article that his sources told him that the Bush administration knew this past spring about what Israel planned to do.

This comes as no surprise to me. USAID established an active presence in Lebanon beginning in 2002. Hundreds of projects were funded each year. In 2005 the U. S. Embassy website in Beirut published 260 press releases outlining the various projects paid for with American dollars. Abruptly, in January of 2006, there were no press releases, and in February and March, there was a total of 13. And after that, nothing. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the timing of this is curious and lends credence to Hersh's contention that the Bush administration was privy to the Lebanon attack months before they actually occurred.

Here's the transcript of the Peters interview:

BRIAN KILMEADE: Well, the Israelis and Hezbollah did quit the fight. They stopped fighting. It's holding. Who won, Colonel?

COL. RALPH PETERS: Well, on the ground, it's a stalemate. Both sides had their pluses or minuses. But, where it really matters, at the strategic level, the level that affects not only Israel but us as well, Israel lost. And they lost, hands down. What matters in the Middle East isn't just the facts on the ground, but the perceptions. And the perception in the Arab world and beyond the Arab world is that, for the first time, an Arab army - and Hezbollah is really more of a new-fangled kind of army - for the first time an Arab army faced down Israel, took all it could throw at them and stood its ground, which Hezbollah did. So Hezbollah is perceived as triumphant and this is going to be a great recruiting tool for Hezbollah and of course, it plays into the hands of their backers in Syria and, above all, Iran. And I will tell you, you know, I just came back from Israel, watching this, thinking about it, and I am vastly more concerned about President Amhadinejad of Iran than I am about Osama bin Laden.

STEVE DOOCY: Absolutely. In particular, what?

PETERS: If the civilized world cannot unify and do whatever it may take to stop Iran's nuclear program, we will see nuclear weapons used in the Middle East, probably against Israel, perhaps against Sunni Arabs, but the debacle that these fanatics in Iran - and they are not reasonable people. You cannot negotiate with them. The debacle, the Armageddon to use the Judeo-Christian term, that they seek doesn't deter them at all. They really have this apocalyptic vision. If Iran gets nukes, I truly believe they will use them and nothing will deter them. And, in fact, Israel - you know, its, its sad because, when you go to Israel, you see built a civilization built in the desert, a rule of law, democracy, decent, flourishing, and I'm afraid that it may be living on borrowed time.

KILMEADE (surprised): As a nation?!! I mean, all they have to do is change tactics and they could have blown the doors off Hezbollah or don't you believe that?

PETERS: Well, I absolutely believe that they could have inflicted a severe defeat on Hezbollah, both a practical defeat and a strategic perception defeat, but the point is, they didn't. The Israeli government was weak. They were deluded. They felt they could do it with technology. They fought the battle piecemeal and, you know, it's painful to say this, but they also fought it too humanely.


PETERS: Contrary to the nonsense you hear about Lebanese suffering, there was Israeli suffering, too.

DOOCY: You know, something else, Ralph. Suddenly it calls into question, can we win an eastern war with western values?

PETERS: No. We cannot. I wish it were otherwise. I wish we could all be Quakers but in the world of the Middle East today, if we are not willing to fight ruthlessly to win against these extraordinarily, indescribably ruthless and deadly opponents, over the long term, it is going to cost us very dearly.

KILMEADE: Right. The way we fought WWII which, by the way, we won. Colonel Peters, always appreciate your perspective.

PETERS: Yeah. If I could just make quickly. In warfare the only moral stance is to win.

DOOCY: That's why you're there. (Peters was in Washington, D.C.)