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Retired general says U.S. must get tougher

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The situation in Iraq may be spiraling out of control, but that didn't seem to faze retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, who was the keynote speaker last month in Raleigh at The John Locke Foundation Headliner Luncheon.

McInerney, who is a senior Fox News military analyst, went through a litany of nations--Iran, Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan--that the U.S. has to reign in, and said human rights and civil liberties should not be considered an impediment because "my race is against something catastrophic happening in the United States." McInerney said terrorists may already have nuclear weapons, and the U.S. is the likely target. "We're in a race for our lives like we've never fought before," he said.

According to McInerney:

  • U.S. support for "human rights and that kind of thing ... makes us too soft a society."
  • Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are now in Syria, and the U.S. has to go get them. "It would take us four days to take Syria."
  • "We decimated the CIA back in the '70s" when the spy agency stopped working with "slimeballs." "You really need slimeballs out in the field, because you're up against slimeballs."
  • Iran is two years from getting enriched uranium, and the U.S. should be taking "both overt and covert action" to stop Iran from acquiring nukes. "We have to go to Iran directly. Initially we have to do this diplomatically."
  • Never say "war is unthinkable" with North Korea because the U.S. will lose its leverage. North Korea "is easier militarily" for the U.S. to defeat than Iraq was.
  • Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean "made a tragic mistake to pull his party to the left, and I believe that was unpatriotic.... The country should have a bipartisan position on this war."
  • The Muslim world must stand up against terrorism. If there is a terrorist attack that kills 30 million Americans, "there wouldn't be a mosque left standing in this country."
  • "Look at the pictures of 9-11 about once a month ... You can't hide in denial about what these people want to do."
  • Former Bush terrorism adviser Richard Clarke should have kept his mouth shut. "He's been in charge of counter-terrorism for all these years, and he doesn't understand the web of terror. He's wrong. It's very simple."
  • "We're going to lose people; there's no question about that."

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