Retired Marine General Supports Diplomacy Over Going To War With Iran
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Aired 3/7/12 on KPBS News.
President Obama said there's still time for diplomacy with Iran, and he's getting support from some retired military and intelligence officials, including one from Del Mar.
In his first news conference of the year, President Barack Obama pushed back at calls for tougher U.S. action against Iran.
Republicans have been pushing for the U.S. to get tough because of Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. President Obama said there's still time for diplomacy, and he's getting support from some retired military and intelligence officials, including one from Del Mar.
He replaced Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf as Chief of Central Command in the Middle East in 1991 and retired four years later.
James Hoar and several other retired generals signed off on an open letter in the Washington Post this week, urging President Obama to avoid military action in Iran. Hoar thinks there needs to be a national discussion, not a political debate about going to war with Iran.
"Nobody ever discussed eight or 10 years ago, what the cost was going to be for invading Iraq. The cost turned out to be a trillion dollars, 4,500 Americans killed, more than 20,000 wounded and not to mention the 100,000 Iraqis that we killed. This is the kind of toll of war that we need to think through," Hoar said.
He said anyone who thinks going to war with Iran would be simple doesn't understand the nature of that part of the world. Hoar said if you think the price of gas is high now, imagine paying $10 or $11 a gallon in California, if you shutdown Iran.
"The war is being fought in the Persian Gulf, so oil from UAE, oil and gas from Cutter and Kuwait isn't going out to the Persian Gulf. That's going to drive oil prices sky high not only here, but in Europe and every place around the world," the General said.
The U.S. has nuclear capabilities, Israel has nuclear capabilities, why would it be so terrible if Iran had a nuclear bomb? "The problem is you have an irresponsible leader in Iran that openly says that the country is prepared to attack Israel. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. But it's the sort of circumstances that you cannot allow to just let's see what happens, Hoar said.