When did you last see or hear Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, or Commander of Central Command, General John Abizaid, appear on one of the big three networks in prime time for a conversation on the war?
Mike Wallace was eager to bring us Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's worldview to American living rooms, but have any of the networks been as busy setting out before the public our military's view of the stakes of the conflict and the nature of the enemy?
On Tuesday, August 22, I spent 25 minutes interviewing General Abizaid, and played the entire interview twice on my radio program. The transcript is here.
It is not a "gotcha" interview. I didn't ask about Haditha, or Abu Ghraib or any other subject designed to create a headline. Rather, my questions are straightforward inquiries about the conduct of the war and the stakes involved. General Abizaid is a widely admired military leader, and his responses are candid as well as focused. Here is one of the crucial exchanges:
HH: General Abizaid, is the American media, and I understand fully your commitment to 1st Amendment freedom, as every member of the American military is always quick to say. But is the American media making your job easier or harder in securing stability, and in ending extremism in the region?