March 26, 2003


LT. GEN. JOHN ABIZAID: He's an American of Lebanese extraction, he's Gen. Tommy Franks's right-hand man, and he may be a key figure in the post-war rebuilding of Iraq. Get to know him:

Abizaid’s career has displayed a rare combination of scholarly studies and hands-on military leadership. He earned a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies while at Harvard, after earning the nickname the “Mad Arab” at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Abizaid speaks Arabic, studied at the University of Jordan in Amman as well as a U.S. Army War College Senior Fellowship at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and served as an operations officer with a U.N. observer group in Lebanon.

His other stints have been as an infantry commander, commandant of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and assistant to then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili in 1993. He led a U.S. Army Ranger rifle company during the 1983 invasion of Grenada, and his use of a commandeered bulldozer to advance on a Cuban position inspired a fictional scene in the 1986 Clint Eastwood movie “Heartbreak Ridge.”

Definitely a good guy to have on our side.

Posted by John Tabin at March 26, 2003 03:55 AM