Ted Koppel Tells Shocking Truth About Iraq and War on Terror (Updated w-videos)

Former “Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel was one of Tim Russert’s guests on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” As amazing as it might seem, he made some truly shocking and compelling statements about the Iraq war and the war on terror that virtually no Democrat or media member is willing to accept or report:

  • First, Koppel made it clear that America’s premature departure from Iraq would turn the entire Persian Gulf region into a battlefield between Sunnis and Shia, “something the United States cannot allow to happen
  • Second, he said the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the war on terror that “has been going on for the past 24 years” starting when “the precursors of Hezbollah blew up the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanonin 1983 
  • Finally, he stated that America’s departure from Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of when it occurs, will not represent the end of this battle, but, instead, that it is just “going to be a different war” after that point. 

Here are the shocking excerpts in chronological order (MSN video available here with segment 1 at minute 14:10, segment 2 at minute 19:00, and segment 3 here. Update: Dan Riehl has all three quotes edited together in one video here):

Koppel: 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 Sunnis and Shia. And the region, just in case anyone has forgotten, is the Persian Gulf, where we get most of our oil, and, I’ve talked about this before, natural gas. So, the idea of pulling out of there and letting the region, letting the national civil war expand into a regional civil war, something the United States cannot allow to happen.   

Amazing. For those interested, I wrote an article about this very subject in November. I must say I find it extraordinary that any major media figure is coming out so strongly and making such a declaration, especially on such a popular Sunday talk show.

Yet, the best was still to come, as a little later on in the discussion, Russert asked Koppel a very telling question:

Ted Koppel, you are tonight airing on the Discovery Channel a special called “Our Children’s Children’s War,” the “long war” as you 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.

Amazing. Did Tim Russert just accidentally admit that the war in Iraq is indeed a part of the war on terror? Shocking. Yet, not close to as shocking as Koppel’s answer:

It could go on, I mean, Gen. Abizaid with whom I spoke talked into 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. Uh, 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. 24 years ago, 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 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.   

Amazing. How many members of the Democrat Party or their media minions are willing to make such a claim? While you ponder that question, here was the third extraordinary statement by Koppel:

I see a lot of wishful thinking going on here in Washington right now. I mean when Congress talks about, first of all, setting these these milestones. And, the irony is if the Iraqis successfully meet the milestones, the implication is we stay. If they fail to meet the milestones we leave. That doesn’t make any sense at all. It ought to be the other way around. If they fail, we stay because they need us. If they succeed, we can start to pull out again.

So, I, I have this feeling that on the one hand, the Democrats are making a great deal of hay out of saying we have to get out of Iraq, and indeed we do at some point or another. But the notion that the war will be over when we pull out of Iraq, and even when we pull out of Afghanistan, you heard what Gen. Abizaid had to say, it’s not going to be over. It’s going to be a different war, but the war continues.

Wow. Shocking stuff that you won’t hear from most of the left, and virtually all of the media who are calling for troop withdrawals.

Bravo, Ted. Nicely done.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.