Terror Expert: War With Iran More Likely to Happen

Saturday, 06 Nov 2010 06:28 PM

By Dan Weil, with Kathleen Walter

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Results of the midterm elections make a war with Iran more likely, says Michael Scheuer, a counterterrorism expert who spent more than 20 years working for the CIA. But America isn't prepared for such a confrontation, thanks to President Barack Obama.

“On Iran, there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans,” he tells Newsmax.TV. “They’re very comfortable with the idea that a foreign leader like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu can take 300 million Americans to war whenever he wants.”

In Scheuer’s view, “The election was a disaster in terms of increasing the chances of another war that we don’t have the resources to fight, and we won’t have the will to win.”

Story continues below video.



Scheuer, author of the book “Imperial Hubris,” takes Obama to task for saying the country can handle another 9/11 attack. “It’s a foolish comment of a man who is only moderately talented in terms of international affairs,” he says.

“Given the disastrous state of our economy, I’m not so sure we could handle all the effects of an attack.”

But Scheuer doesn’t think the Republican takeover of the House will improve anti-terrorism efforts. “I don’t think there’s any real difference between Obama and his party and the Republicans,” he says.

“They’re still fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist, an enemy they believe is attacking us because we have elections, women in the work place, because we drink beer and watch R-rated movies.”

So what’s the real situation?

“Until they understand we’re being attacked because of our foreign policy and what we do in the Muslim world, we’re never going to understand the motivation and size of the enemy,” Scheuer says.

As for Obama’s decision not to use the term "radical Islam," Scheuer says: "That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.” If you don’t understand your enemy, you won’t defeat him, he points out. “To not use the word Islamist prevents us from seeing what the problem is and addressing it adequately. It’s very childish.”

As for the Afghanistan war, he opposes Obama’s timetable, but believes U.S. forces should already have withdrawn.

“It’s very clear that neither the military nor the president nor Republicans intend to win in Afghanistan,” Scheuer says. “On most issues, I’m a hawk. But I’m never a hawk when it comes to losing our young men and women in a war we don’t intend to win. Clearly that’s the case in Afghanistan.”

Obama has set the July 2011 troop withdrawal deadline so that troops will come home before the 2012 election, he says.

At the CIA, Scheuer was chief of the Osama bin Laden tracking unit. As for the present, he believes bin Laden is still in northern Pakistan or Afghanistan and remains in good health.

“I know there are good people chasing him every day,” Scheuer says. “But we have so few people in Afghanistan, and they have so many things to do just to defeat the Taliban … that I think he’ll probably die of old age before we can capture or kill him.”

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