World War X

General Richard B. Myers led the way by leading the first presentation of the year in the Fine and Performing Arts center. Entitled “War X,” the retired General held a series of sessions, wherein he spoke on the controversial War on Terror. An exclusive student session was held earlier in the day for Western students, followed by a public session later in the evening.General Myers spoke in detail about his time as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense, and the principal military advisor to the president. After discussing his impressive resumé, the General welcomed any questions from interested students.Early during the presentation, General Myers dispelled popular myths about the current administration, such as rumors involving the President ignoring his advisors and various conspiracies involving setting up governments in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. He made it abundantly clear that not only did the President and his associates listen to the advice of those with similar or differing opinions, but they were encouraged to speak plainly and honestly at all times.When asked about his personal opinion on the war on terror, General Myers replied, “I believe the threat from violent extremism is a bigger threat to our freedom than our own Civil War.” In addition to that, he spoke more specifically of the war, calling it, “Asymmetric warfare at its best.”Questions from students covered a wide range of subjects, all of which General Myers answered with an honesty uncharacteristic of a politician. General Myers spoke in detail about recent acts the government has taken to, supposedly, protect our freedom. While he spoke in favor of monitoring telephone conversations, he was careful to specify that he only believed monitoring phone calls from places outside of the United States coming in was necessary.One particularly bold student went so far as to compare the United States spreading democracy through less-privileged countries to the actions of the terrorist threat itself. General Myers, while somewhat upset by the comparison, replied, “I don’t think there’s a more noble thing to do than to give people the ability to do what they want to do.”In addition to answering student questions, General Myers spoke about the war on terror in a broader sense. A firm believer in the actions taking place overseas, the General went to great lengths to establish that the United States is taking great steps and that our presence in hostile countries such as Iraq is not only welcome by the populace, but is absolutely necessary in an effort to establish a more secure world for future generations.Shortly after the question and answer session, the General took time to shake hands with interested students and briefly spoke to the media present.Regardless of your personal opinion on the controversial topic, General Myers presented many interesting ideas and a fascinating insider point of view on the current world situation. “War X” was an excellent opportunity not only for Western Students but members of the entire community to broaden their horizons and learn a little more about the world in which we currently reside.