"Probably the most respected flag officer [general] in the Army"
It's fashionable among the left to talk about the racism of the U.S., how our approach to Iraq is fueled by our hate for Arabs. So it's interesting to read this profile of John P. Abizaid
At a time when all eyes in the U.S. military are focused on Iraq, Lt. Gen. John P. Abizaid is the right man in the right place at the right time.
As director of the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the veteran infantryman coordinates the daily activities of the top level of the U.S. military, making sure that the regional commanders (or "CinCs"), the military services, senior Defense Department civilians and the Joint Staff are all working toward the same goals.
He also is probably the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. military who is an expert in Arab affairs. Of Lebanese descent himself, Abizaid speaks Arabic, has a master's degree in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard and lived in the region while studying at the University of Jordan. He traveled in Iraq back then and was there again in 1991, when he commanded an infantry battalion in Operation Provide Comfort, the post-Gulf War relief operation in northern Iraq.
Already, other generals talk about Abizaid as a likely future head of the U.S. Central Command, or as an Army chief, or perhaps as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the top slot in the U.S. military. "If the defense secretary doesn't make him a CinC and then chief of staff of the Army or chairman of the Joint Chiefs, then we will have missed the boat," said retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, himself a former chairman.
Hmm. A Lebanese-American in the upper echelons of the military? Does Chomsky know about this?