Ted Koppel’s Nightline program began as a nightly update to the Iran hostage crisis. So in a literal way, he has been covering the jihadi war against the US since 1979. That experience was evident in Koppel’s appearance on Meet the Press Sunday.

(hat tip: Noel Sheppard)

Koppel delivered a triple dose of truth on the subject of Iraq. Admitting it is “the one thing nobody talks about,” he explained what the consequences would be if the United States pulled out of Iraq. Among other things, he discussed how the dots of terrorism trace back to Hezbollah’s attack on U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon which killed 241 of America’s finest and the extent of the War on Terror.

Here’s the gem:

Koppel: I made a little note here of something that Ambassador Khalilzad said to you a moment ago. He said, “The region will not be stable until Iraq is stabilized.” It’s the one thing nobody talks about. Everyone is concerned about the United States being in the middle of a civil war inside Iraq. But they forget about the fact that if U.S. troops were to pull out of Iraq, that civil war could become a regional war between Sunnis and Shia. And the region, just in case anyone has forgotten, is the Persian Gulf, where we get most of our oil, and, I’ve talked about this before, natural gas. So, the idea of pulling out of there and letting the region, letting the national civil war expand into a regional civil war, something the United States cannot allow to happen.

More (emphasis mine):

Koppel: If you look back at the elements of the war against terrorism, that war was going on, and has been going on for the past 24 years. We just didn’t connect the dots. 24 years ago, the precursors of Hezbollah blew up the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. That was 1983, 241 Americans killed. In the interim between then and now you had two attacks on the World Trade Center, you had the blowing up of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, you had the attempt to blow up the U.S.S. Cole, you had the bombing of the two U.S. embassies in East Africa. This war’s already been going on for 24 years; we were just a little bit slow to recognize it.

And last, but certainly not least:

Koppel: So, I, I have this feeling that on the one hand, the Democrats are making a great deal of hay out of saying we have to get out of Iraq, and indeed we do at some point or another. But the notion that the war will be over when we pull out of Iraq, and even when we pull out of Afghanistan, you heard what Gen. Abizaid had to say, it’s not going to be over. It’s going to be a different war, but the war continues.

Now, if the “idiot liberals” would just listen to Ted Koppel…