Jordan Candler / Sep. 23, 2015

Gen. Petraeus on the ‘Geopolitical Chernobyl’

“We are not where we should be at this point,” he says of the Middle East.

During congressional testimony Tuesday, Ret. Gen. David Petraeus didn’t mince words about Barack Obama’s strategy in the Middle East. “We are not where we should be at this point,” he said in regards to Iraq. He had particularly strong words for the situation in Syria, which he called a “geopolitical Chernobyl — spewing instability and extremism over the region and the rest of the world.” The fight, he declared, will come to us whether we like it or not: “The Middle East is not part of the world that plays by Las Vegas rules: What happens in the Middle East is not going to stay in the Middle East.” As part of his testimony, Petraeus, who masterminded the Iraq surge under George W. Bush, laid out the strategic framework he would implement today. According to The Daily Signal’s Natalie Johnson, “Petraeus advised the U.S. to form enclaves in Syria protected by coalition airpower to strengthen support for moderate Sunni rebels, train additional forces, and provide haven for displaced Syrians. He also urged the U.S. to take a hardline position against President Bashar al-Assad’s indiscriminate barrel-bomb attacks that the Syrian Air Force continues to deploy across civilian areas.” Petraeus also addressed the elephant in the room — his affair with Paula Broadway and subsequently disclosing secrets to her that landed him in hot water. “Four years ago, I made a serious mistake, one that brought discredit and pain to those closest to me. There is nothing I can do to undo what I did. I can only say again how sorry I am to those I let down and then strive to go forward with a greater sense of humility and purpose, and with gratitude to those who stood with me during a very difficult chapter in my life.” Petraeus — a guy we need now more than ever — was punished for his malfeasance. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is running for president despite far more serious crimes.

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