Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I don't read many columnists, because frankly there are far too many like the one I've linked. No insight, no logic, and frankly no intelligence. Do papers really print these things because they attract readers?
How long do we want to remain in Iraq? Another six months?

Twelve months?



Last spring, when the president proposed sending an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq as part of a "New Way Forward," his supporters said we would know in six months whether this effort would bear fruit. Six months, said senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said we'd know if the surge was working in "five to six months."

Before Congress Monday, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, said that though almost nothing we've been trying to achieve with the surge in Iraq has come to pass, it still was too soon to make a decision. Iraq still is beset by sectarian and terrorist violence; its government is no closer to political reconciliation. More people were killed in August, after the increase in American forces in Iraq, than were in February, before the so-called surge began.

Apparently I saw and read some completely different General Petraeus testifying in congress.

Makes you wonder why it's a "so-called" surge since it has essentially peaked and the general is looking at the time period when it can be withdrawn. So how isn't this a surge.

Then there is the indications that the surge is working. Seems that the data is clearly supporting the fact that it is working. So all the Bush supporters are right. But in context to this Op-Ed that bit of information appears to have been lost. So I'm not certain what the relevance of this statement could really be.
But, Petraeus was quick to add, it was too soon to begin bringing troops home. Instead, he said, give the surge another six months.

Another six months.

And after that? If another six months passes, and nothing changes, and more people die? Then what?

So here's a bit of historical perspective for this mouth which has dissociated any relationship with its neural control, Counterinsurgencies take time. Malaysia took more than 10 years and that was a small one. Algeria took much longer and still failed. Counterinsurgencies in South Africa (Boer war) took almost a decade after the end of the regular fighting if you can actually decide on when that was. How long has Peru been fighting the Shining Path? How long has the Tamil insurgency been ongoing?

But she want an answer on when we flee. Her basic analysis is that we've failed and should just swallow our pride and run home. She doesn't mention our moral obligation to prevent a sectarian genocidal civil war that we essentially will have started, nor does she appear worried about the fact that the destabilization of the region would likely have dramatic impact on the world economy. Didn't think about all those who will suffer if serious energy issues arise from this and how that impact will harm vast numbers of people.

Why bother looking ahead and understanding moral responsibility. But that seems to be the way with this flavor of Progressive. Go to her listed blog if you need further development of this theme. You'll note the intelligent diatribes about Chimpy. She makes real columnists look literally brilliant.

Apparently this theme of needing to know when the US is going to be out of Iraq is not original either.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after meeting with Mr. Bush at the White House, said it appeared the administration was planning for a "10-year" military commitment in Iraq.

Gen. Petraeus, who had remained composed through much of his congressional testimony, at one point became frustrated when Democratic Senator Robert Menendez demanded to know how many more years American troops would be in Iraq.

"I cannot predict that," Gen. Petraeus replied. "You know, I'm as frustrated with the situation as anybody else. This is going on three years for me (in Iraq), on top of a year deployment to Bosnia as well. So my family also knows something about sacrifice."

No doubt this brand of shrill demands was heard during other wars. But this is about the only question that is consistently heard from the "progressive" set. I wish I had seen Menendez's questions. It would have been nice to see his side of the debate related to the potential dangers of rushed withdrawal to balance his demands for a completion data. (Yeah, that was sarcasm for those of you with tin ears.)

The report of course points to what the "journalist" views as a fumble by Petraeus in answering the security question.
But in surprising, unscripted remarks before a Senate committee yesterday, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq said he couldn't answer the one question many people were asking: Has the current Iraq war strategy made the U.S. safer?

"I don't know, actually," Gen. Petraeus said in response to persistent questioning by Republican Senator John Warner.

The general's comment was a rare departure from longstanding assertions -- by the White House and senior U.S. military leaders -- that no matter the difficulties in Iraq, the war is protecting the U.S. from even greater dangers.

Fascinating analysis. Apparently they figure he blundered, instead of viewing this as an honest answer. No spin or attempt to push Bush's line. Gee, that's interesting, he didn't draw conclusions from data he didn't possess. But he obviously blundered instead of providing a powerful indicator that he was making his own statement and not that of the White House. Giving him a bit of credit there would have been too much though. And, No doubt, that conclusion will never be seen in the MSM.

1 comment:

geekwife said...

I found it interesting that the same people who tended not to trust Petraeus's assertions on what he does know (i.e. the actual situation on the ground in Iraq) assigned great import to what Petraeus admitted he doesn't know - the high-level, overarching strategic question of whether or not we are safer here. Isn't that question a little outside his purview? And if you think he's lying/wrong/blind about what's going on in the nitty-gritty, why would you trust what he says about the bigger picture?