GENERAL JOHN ABIZAID, in The Harvard Gazette:

America cannot walk away from Iraq without risking another world war. That warning was sounded at the Kennedy School forum Nov. 17 by Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the man responsible for U.S. military strategy in the Middle East.

“We can walk away from this enemy, but they will not walk away from us,” Abizaid told the forum audience during a discussion titled “The Long War.”

“We have not failed yet and we will not fail if we all understand what we have to do. If we can stay together nothing can stop us and we can make the world a better place.”

Abizaid cited what he called the three greatest challenges facing the world – the Arab-Israeli conflict; the rise of extremist groups “with a dark vision of the future”; and, specifically, the dangers posed by “Shia revolutionary thought.”

“Where these things come together is in Iraq,” he said. “It’s absolutely not an easy thing to do,” Abizaid went on to say. “But the sacrifice that is necessary to stabilize Iraq must be sustained in order for the region itself to become more resilient against these three challenges.”

And while admitting that the recent upturn in sectarian violence in Iraq is disturbing, Abizaid said politicians cannot set arbitrary deadlines for the withdrawal of American troops.

Read the whole thing — and remember that the big rap against Rumsfeld was supposedly that he “didn’t listen to the generals.” So will the Democrats, and Rumsfeld’s successors, listen to this general?