Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Myers says U.S. should fight extremism

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman calls for bipartisanship

May 3, 2007

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Gen. Richard Myers talks to the media Wednesday afternoon before giving the Dole Lecture at the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University. He said bipartisanship is necessary to address the issue of extremism.

Gen. Richard Myers talks to the media Wednesday afternoon before giving the Dole Lecture at the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University. He said bipartisanship is necessary to address the issue of extremism.

6News video: General Richard Myers speaks at the Dole Institute about terrorism

Out of uniform and speaking on his personal experience with the war on terror, General Richard Myers addressed a packed audience tonight at the Dole Institute of Politics. Enlarge video

Violent extremism is the biggest threat to the United States and the American way of life since the Civil War, retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said during a speech at the Dole Institute of Politics on Wednesday night.

"This is an enemy that is determined. It has a long-range plan," said Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Extremists have no regular military but they use terrorism with a total ruthless disregard for human life, Myers said.

"They are going to work on our minds like they work on the minds around the world of folks where they use terror to create fear," he said.

Myers spoke to more than 500 people who filled the Dole Institute on the Kansas University campus. The Kansas State University graduate gave this year's Dole Lecture. The speech also was simulcast at KU's Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

Myers became Joint Chiefs chairman Oct. 1, 2001, less than a month after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Seven days after he took office, the nation was at war in Afghanistan. He retired Sept. 30, 2005, while the U.S. was embroiled in a second war in Iraq.

Myers described Sept. 11 as a "hammer blow to the head." He said President Bush was shaken by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"I think he felt, as commander in chief and president, he let the country down," Myers said.

Terrorists count on fear to cause their enemies to think illogically and make mistakes, Myers said.

"You see it every day in Iraq when they blow up hospitals and schools," he said.

Countering extremism should involve many areas of the country's resources, including strategies that involve economics, education and diplomacy as well as the military, he said. The war on terrorism and extremism will take time, he said.

"You've got to get people to not want to be in jihad," Myers said, referring to the Arabic term for an armed struggle.

Myers said he feels good about Afghanistan's future, but it needs a rural development plan to lure people away from the poppy fields. In Iraq, the U.S. needs to continue to pressure that country's government to improve its performance, he said.

During his speech and during a prespeech interview with the Journal-World, Myers said he tries to stay apolitical and declined to directly criticize politicians seeking a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. He did say, however, that if Iraq falls, extremists will be emboldened.

"I think the ends that Congress wants are appropriate and the means - I think I'd be careful about the means and the signal it sends to ourselves, our troops and the signal it sends to our adversaries," Myers told the Journal-World.

But Myers was critical of the partisanship that has developed in Congress since the 2004 elections. Bipartisanship is needed to address the serious issues of extremism, he said.

Myers said his four years as Joint Chiefs chairman were not the easiest, but they were the most fulfilling because of the challenges in dealing with Sept. 11 and Iraq.

Myers' speech gave the audience "food for thought" about some serious issues, said Karl Brooks, associate professor of history and environmental studies at KU.

"I would have liked to hear more about his thoughts now that he's a private citizen about mistakes that were made," Brooks said. "He is in a unique position to look back and say we should have done things differently and I would encourage my successors to do them differently."

Lawrence resident Bob Burkhart agreed.

"He brings some valuable personal perspective. He's not pretending to represent national policy," he said.

Highlights of Gen. Richard Myers' speech

Here are some of the highlights of retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers' speech Wednesday night at the Dole Institute of Politics:

¢ Morale throughout the military is still good. Myers recalled meeting a major in the Kansas National Guard at an airport recently. The major was headed back to Iraq after volunteering for a second tour of duty. The Guardsman thought his experience was needed, Myers said.

In August 2005, Myers wanted to visit military bases around the world to check on troop morale. He decided to take with him two comedians to entertain the troops. He also wanted an athlete to accompany him. The National Football League recommended former Chicago Bears and Kansas University football standout Gale Sayers. Sayers ended the shows with uplifting speeches, Myers said.

"They (troops) respected me. They laughed at the comedians. But they got tears in their eyes listening to Gale," he said.

¢ During a question-and-answer session with the audience following his speech, Myers was asked about atrocities committed by American troops in Iraq as well as earlier wars, including Vietnam.

Myers said that people in the military are a reflection of society. "We are imperfect. That doesn't mean we don't strive to be (perfect)," he said.

¢ Myers also said polls have shown that the military is still highly respected, not only in this country but also by military leaders and personnel in other countries.

¢ Myers said he has not read former CIA director George Tenet's new book, "At the Center of the Storm." He declined to comment on it beyond saying "some of what I've heard is pretty accurate." He did not offer specifics.

Comments

Stephen Prue 8 years, 4 months ago

of course the war is about oil, its like blood to this modern world we can't live without it. oil supports most if not all of our activities. humans have always struggled for control of resources its called survival but survival at what cost is the question. people should have learned to cooperate and share a long time ago but i don't see it happening anytime soon.

intellectualswindler 8 years, 4 months ago

Of course, if we really were in it for the oil, we could have removed sanctions against Saddam's regime and allowed him to export as much oil as he pleased. This would, of course, have driven down the price of oil and satisfied American consumers. I wonder why that never happened. Also, I wonder why we haven't invaded Venezuela or Nigeria yet. They certainly are easier pickings than Iraq.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years, 4 months ago

There is no reason to think that having the U.S. military control the oil in Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter, would make gas cheaper for American consumers. Why would you think that, right_thinker? But, something certainly has lead to record profits for oil companies.

And removing sanctions from Saddam Hussein's Iraq in no way would have guaranteed the U.S. getting any more oil at any price. We are in stiff competition for purchasing oil with China and I'm not sure that we have any bargaining chips other than our military might, and the effectiveness of that is proving to maybe be less than some had hoped for.

And, intellectualswindler, the word "yet" may be the key to your statement.

jonas 8 years, 4 months ago

"Myers says U.S. should fight extremism"

"Also says we should educate children, effectively manage economy."

KLATTU 8 years, 4 months ago

Over 70% of Americans will die from disease. Less than 0.7% will die by murder, and the vast majority of those will be killed by someone they know, not foreign or domestic terrorists. We can afford to wage a multi-billion dollar a week war on terrorism, but the politicians say healthcare is too expensive to provide to every American. I'm all for defending the country against religious extremists where ever they are from, but a war on disease would be much more helpful in most American families' pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 years, 4 months ago

"But Myers was critical of the partisanship that has developed in Congress since the 2004 elections. Bipartisanship is needed to address the serious issues of extremism, he said."

2004!!!! What about the last speaker who refused to talk to Democrats! Partisanship has been going on since the Republicans decided to take down Clinton at all costs. I don't just blame the Republicans and their mealy mouthed pundits. The Democrats started acting just like them. We need to find office holders who are there to serve the people, not advance their own power hungry interests.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years, 4 months ago

Early on in this war against Iraq there were some "conservative" pundits who were saying, "of course this war is about oil". Specifically, I remember John Gibson of FOX news saying this and making the argument that waging war in order to secure oil was a good thing because Americans need oil to survive. It wasn't too bad an argument but now that the casualties have risen as the war goes on longer than some might have expected I don't hear that argument anymore.

So, is war for oil worth the lives of a few hundred American soldiers but not worth the lives of a few thousand?

And, let's not forget what the definition of "conspiracy" is and let's not kid ourselves that U.S. officials haven't conspired about oil in Iraq. It's not a theory that the Iraqi oil supplies has been conspired over. It's a fact.

Stephen Prue 8 years, 4 months ago

the war for oil isn't just for us its for our allies as well. its about the control of the stuff that makes the world economy spin. i'm not suggesting we shouldn't fight for important resources we just need to be prepared for the outcomes. also, the $4 a gallon gas is just the oil companies stickin it to the consumer just before summer travel time. its been happening as long as i can remember. the question we need to ask ourselves is how much do we want government controlling gas prices. it doesn't do a great job on anything it does. life is never fair and never will be, we have the right life liberty and the pursuit of happiness no promises that we will be happy.

Heartlander 8 years, 4 months ago

Everybody dances around the subject, attributes terrorism to something else, but the real problem is the religion of Islam. It is the cause, pure and simple. Not just some form of extremism. In fact, Americans seem to be suffering from a kind of "Stockholm Syndrome" when it comes to endorsing and welcoming Islam into our land. It's origin was Satan some fourteen hundred years ago and it's now coming into ascendancy. It has been raised up and nurtured all this time for the opposition of Israel. The truth is, the dispensation of the Christian church is about over with the restoration of Israel right around the corner. That said, regrettably and sadly, the rest of the world hates Israel because it would like to get rid of the Christians and the Jews--the U.S has been her only friend. As long as we stand behind her, even though we have all these problems, the Lord will see us through. If we turn our backs on her, it will be our death knell.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years, 4 months ago

Heartlander, switch a couple of religions around and your words could have come out of Germany 65 years ago.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years, 4 months ago

posessionannex, you make some good points. I think the fallacy of the Wolf article is that the growing fascism in the U.S. is a Bush thing, or a Republican thing. I do think that there is growing fascism in the U.S. but it's coming from the Democrats and the Republicans, which I see as two factions of the same political party, which is a based in a combination of socialism and corporatism, which Mussolini said was basis of fascism.

There are both Democrats and some Republicans that want more gun control, but I don't know that many, if any advocate taking away all guns the general population. But taking away guns may not be the #1 thing that needs to be done in order to promote fascism. If you can keep people controlled with information and keep them thinking that they are getting what they want and need, physical control is not as important.

Other than the Democrats and Republicans (one party) all other political parties are not outlawed but they are well marginalized to the point on a national level they have pretty much zero influence over policy and the spending of treasury.

911 wasn't fake. Real people died real horrible deaths. Staged or not it has definitely been used to push back on personal freedoms. I won't argue that the Patriot Act did this. It's a simple fact.

The media isn't nationalized but it is 99% "corporatized" to the same affect and the government has actively argued for and taken more access to peoples' electronic communications.

Though Bush seems to oppose it there is a push by Republicans to control and enforce borders.

It's a good idea to look back and review how Nazism and Fascism rose in Germany and Italy in the middle of the last century but it's a different world now and things are not likely to happen in the same way. But #1 back then and #1 now on the list of things that must happen in order for fascism to take hold is to not allow people to realize that it's happening.

Kathy Getto 8 years, 4 months ago

Ag, your post of 10:54 was right on. Extremism in any form is detrimental to the common goal.

Mkh 8 years, 4 months ago

The US should fight extremism within it's own government, because the fall of this Empire is coming from within.

I must say you all have some interesting ideas about how gas prices are regulated, certainly good for a laugh.
"Terrorism" or "Extremism" is a diversion to allow our military and government to secure the remaining fossil fuels in the world. The real danger to the American way of life is our addiction to the consumption of resources. Unfortunately it will only be after the coming Economic Collapse that the US realizes it cannot support it's consumption on fossil fuels any longer.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years, 4 months ago

Why would Dylan Avery have to be dead or disappeared if Bush or the U.S. was fascist? He is 99% marginalized. If his marginalization began to break down and a significant number of people began to listen to Avery and believe him, then he might disappear or end up dead but most likely there would be new efforts to marginalize him. Because, if he did end up dead or disappeared it might lend credence to what he has been saying, in some peoples' minds.

And: Winston Smith definitely believed that there were enemies of the State: because the State told him so:

Stephen Prue 8 years, 4 months ago

what is the common goal? did i miss the memo?

Heartlander 8 years, 4 months ago

Most people don't realize that the major decisions are made at the Bohemian Grove level, anyway.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree with fighting extremism, at home and abroad. Dogmatic religious extremists should be stopped whether they are detonating IEDs in Iraq or blowing up federal buildings and shooting doctors here at home.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years, 4 months ago

Totalitarianism exists at both ends of the political spectrum. Anarchy is the center.

Confrontation 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Myers. We should fight Christian extremism, as well. Sam Brownback, anyone?

The_Twelve 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic, Glad you picked up on my comment from last night bout lies and "moral continuum". The facts are there: Japanese comfort stations for American GIs, No Gun Ri, My Lai, the Vietnam story I wasn't allowed to tell, Tilman, Abu Ghraib, the discharge of needed Arabic/Pashtu translators due to sexuality, the failure to guard ammo dumps at beginning of the war, the failure to adequately. armor humvees, the failure to understand that mountains and deserts are "porous borders" too, just like jungles... The point is--as you noted--the military and gov't hides the truth from the public, at the same time they claim that they are fighting for it.

All I want to know was, What is the "moral continuum"??
When should the military tell the truth and when does it not? Do we have the right to know?

oh, The words were there: "Truth and integrity", "freedom" "American spirit and character" but they were ultimately empty.

--the only answer I got was "we are imperfect, but strive to be perfect". That's the perfect answer that refuses to take responsibility for mistakes.

Why does the soldier/veteran refuse to talk about the horrors of war?
That's what irked me so much about the Swift Boat group--how can you attack another soldier for finally seeing that war is hell and killing should stop? Should I believe that the military creates killing machines and that we should accept the fact that this percentage of the population will always believe that killing is the best way out of any predicament? If that's the club's motto, I'm glad I never joined.

--Reminds me of a comment made by a soldier on the Military channel the other night: he was sorry his tour was almost up, because he hadn't killed anyone yet.

Whatever happened to Eisenhower's "Military-industrial complex" speech 60/61?

blindrabbit 8 years, 4 months ago

Behold, George Tenet and Richard Myers both in the same week!! Where were their backbones when they both were integral parts of the blind Bush ambition that led us into this Iraqi morass. Myers in particular is part of what a active duty army LtCol. recently called a "Lack of Generalship" in the current military hierarchy. What comes to mind when Gens. Tommy Franks, George Casey, Peter Pace,George Petraeus and particularily Myers are mentioned: educated, but blinded by their needs to protect their positions in the pecking order. The reality that the upper levels of the military serve at the pleasure of the Commander in Chief is in full evidence here. Any senior military officer that has the audacity to speak the real truth is requsitioned to the "passed over/passed out" reality of the DOD. Many clear thinking "star" officers were relegated to the military scrap pile to clear the way for these yea-sayers.

General Myers was also part the branch of the Service's (USAF) that has a history of Extreme Christian views in the upper echelon of their structure. This has been evidenced by the hazing of non-Christians service personnel that has occurred throughout the Air Force in recent years, including the Air Force Academy (where else but Colorado Springs). "Onward Christian Soldiers" is a reality here!

Both Tenet and Myers stand to make handsome profits from their "coming outs"; it is too bad that they did not display more "spine" when they both should have displayed clearer thinking.

rhd99 8 years, 4 months ago

George Tenet had NO spine whatsoever during his tenure at the CIA folks. He conveniently blames everyone in this administration while forgetting that he knew back in '98 during the embassy bombings that Al Qaeda was planning & failed to tell anyone about it. General Myers, on the other hand, as THE senior uniformed officer was obligated to share his observations to events prior to Sep. 11, but didn't, & he could have done a better job of monitoring the intel with his Joint Staff personnel. Instead, Rumsfeld decides that Missle defense was job #1, so he nominated General Myers for the Chairmanship of the JCS. Overall, George Tenet deserves more blame than anyone else for his clear lack of prudent judgement & information gathering that could have prevented Sep. 11.

Nick Yoho 8 years, 4 months ago

"General Myers was also part the branch of the Service's (USAF) that has a history of Extreme Christian views in the upper echelon of their structure. This has been evidenced by the hazing of non-Christians service personnel that has occurred throughout the Air Force in recent years, including the Air Force Academy (where else but Colorado Springs). "Onward Christian Soldiers" is a reality here!"

Blind Rabbit is right!Extremism is in the Air Force too Check this Post:

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/7230

And needs to be checked right here at home,too.

u2r2h 8 years, 4 months ago

11.15am stuckinthemiddle used the word:

+++ fallacy +++

That's a premonition

+++ Growing fascism in the U.S. is a Bush thing, or a Republican thing. I do think that there is growing fascism in the U.S. but it's coming from the Democrats and the Republicans, which I see as two factions of the same political party,+++

So far you are not totally wrong, although the small difference that the Democrats represent can have large outcomes. As in any complicated system.

which is a based in a combination of socialism and corporatism, which Mussolini said was basis of fascism.

WOW!! Socialism is the OPPOSITE of corporatism, how can you throw them together? Creative thinking of a kid? Socialism is good! Just imagine 6 weeks paid holidays, 3 years paid parental leave ... Sweden, Germany ... huh?

There are both Democrats and some Republicans that want more gun control,

So they should!! Coercion is despicable! The American Way (violence, coercion) is making our lives miserable. Fear and loathing.... urgghh.. untenable..

But worse, the APATHY... but I couldn't care less ;-)

911 was done by the US military, plain and simple. JCS/NSA/CIA is the actual government! Eisenhower told us then, and it is only worse now. Any mention of US and democracy is just laughable. The people have very little control, all power is in the hands of private-unelected-elites.

But that's nothing new. However the fact that people (like you) can DOUBLETHINK (socialism+corporatism, guns+peace, 911insidejob+braveUSA) is ghastly!!

30 years of brainwashing by the INDUSTRY works very well... check
ALEX CAREY on TUC RADIO ... gives you the history of this sad, sad exercise.

u2r2h 8 years, 4 months ago

For all US citizens WHO KNOW EXACTLY what's going on, these are a MUST READ:

http://u2r2h.blogspot.com/2007/04/usa-citizens-must-read.html

and this

http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2007/01/scroll-down-for-previous-blog-posts.html

Ideological self defence ... indispensable these days!

BECAUSE THE CRAZIEST IDEAS are RESIDENT IN YOUR HEAD.

99% of them have been planted there through devious and clever logic-trickery.

They are EASILY proven wrong, but it is DIFFICULT to stop thinking this bullsh and admitting one was hoaxed.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. .... WC

rhd99 8 years, 4 months ago

WOW! Those of you who say that the JCS/NSA/CIA & others in government caused Sep. 11 to happen, GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND. I don't care how much people hate Bush, I want to know how our President caused Sep. 11 to happen, in your view. You say he did it. Prove it!

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