Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ONE FRIEDMAN FROM NOW....Gen. David Petraeus's gaffe (later retracted) that he didn't know if the Iraq war is making us safer got a lot of press yesterday, but I think Fred Kaplan nails a couple of exchanges that might have been more important:

The Democratic chairman, Sen. Joseph Biden, asked Petraeus whether he would recommend a continuation of the strategy — with 130,000 to 160,000 U.S. troops shooting and dying in Iraq — if the situation next March were the same as it is now.

Petraeus replied, "That's a really big hypothetical." Biden said, "I don't think it's a hypothetical." So Petraeus stepped up and answered the question. He said, "I'd be very hard-pressed to recommend that, at that point."

....Sen. Barack Obama asked Crocker a related question: "At what point do we say, 'Enough'?"....The level of violence, he said, needs to go down and stay down. Iraqi insurgents need to display the same sort of political cooperation that Sunni tribes are now displaying in Anbar province. Linkage needs to be developed between the central government in Baghdad and provinces where this sort of progress is taking place. And the Baghdad government needs to combat Shiite, as well as Sunni, militias.

....When Petraeus and Crocker return to Congress in March 2008, these words will no doubt be read back to them.

No doubt. The question is, will it matter?

Kevin Drum 1:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

No doubt. The question is, will it matter?

Has it yet?

Posted by: ed on September 12, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I believe that Petraeus took a risk forecasting troop drawdowns under the rationale of progress being mad, even though he really had no choice due to the state of the military, because events on the ground could certainly worsen and the whole surge strategy and the reported progress could easily collapse.

I also think that time is on our side. If this were 2008, the Petraeus propaganda onslaught could be decisive, but it's much too early for that to be the case today.

Posted by: Oleary25 on September 12, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

No doubt. The question is, will it matter?

No. It won't matter. We won't notice Petreus' March 08 report because the war on Iran wil be dominating the news.

Posted by: SFHawkguy on September 12, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Considering the things said by Gonzo, and how he hung on 'way too long, my bet is that reading past statements, showing videos, whatever, will make no difference whatsoever

This is what happens when one is dealing with disingenuous political operatives with no sense of shame

Impeach, convict, ban from holding any 'Office of Profit or Trust', indict, try, convict, imprison, commit to a mental institution, banish from our shores.

And Repugs say that Dems don't have 'a plan'!

Posted by: Satan luvvs Repugs on September 12, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

We all know that Petraeus will be hard-pressed to make the same recommendation next time --- as he was this time. He wouldn't have made it without the hard press.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on September 12, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Time is NOT on the side of the US military who will die in Iraq!

Posted by: Captain Dan on September 12, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why the pessimism, Kevin? Six months ago you said you did not believe the Surge would work.
Yet, as General David Petraeus said "As a bottom line up front, the military objectives of the surge are in large measure being met." So you were wrong then because the Surge has worked. If you look at General David Petraeus' chart again, it says we will have a significant drop of troops by March '08.

But also, it was reported at by the AP that "President Bush will tell the nation Thursday evening that he plans to reduce the American troop presence in Iraq by as many as 30,000 by next summer." Considering all of this, I think we have every reason to be optimistic about the next six months of the War on Terrorism and Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Your downbeat and pessimistic predictions are unwarranted.

Posted by: Al on September 12, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

....Sen. Barack Obama asked Crocker a related question: "At what point do we say, 'Enough'?"....The level of violence, he said, needs to go down and stay down. Iraqi insurgents need to display the same sort of political cooperation that Sunni tribes are now displaying in Anbar province. Linkage needs to be developed between the central government in Baghdad and provinces where this sort of progress is taking place. And the Baghdad government needs to combat Shiite, as well as Sunni, militias.

This is like a wet-dream, at this point. The Founding Fathers had some organization, momentum to achieve something, and printing presses promoting it. They weren't shooting each other, and post-Revolution we only had a few little uprisings of farmers who didn't like how post-war economics turned out for them. These Iraqis are all literally shooting at each other. The idea that a federal state is going to materialize without them finishing the shooting each other, by getting whoever it is they want to get, is a joke. If that's the progress Crocker wants, it's going to take 45 or 100 years of US occupation. The West had the formative wars it had prior to formation of nation-states because it needed them as a prelude to forming stable national identities. Iraq is in a situation something like that. It's not in an America-immediately-before-the-Constitution like-period.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Any person with some poli sci education will see what I mean.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

What's really outrageous about the we-can't-discuss-hypotheticals dodge is that this entire war was sold on hypotheticals. Saddam might take his WMDs and hand them over to Al Qaeda to attack us and if we only have the courage to go to war with Iraq then democracy will flourish making the middle east a haven of peace and stability.

But making plans on the basis of certain obvious contingencies? Oh, we can't discuss those. They're hypotheticals!

Posted by: Hieronymus Braintree on September 12, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Al, good post. Petraeus testified that the surge is essentially working. Anti-war folks have done what they could to dance around his basic conclusion. Move On called him a traitor. Some Dems falsely accused him of coordinating his statement with the White House. Even when that was denied, the allegation was reported by the media as if it had some credibility.

Many critics arbitrarily claimed that the testimony was slanted. E.g., the linked Slate article asserts without evidence that Petraeus and Crocker "did their best all day and yesterday to put the most hopeful face on the grimness before them." In fact, there's no basis to believe the testimony was anything but accurate and down the middle.

Petraeus has given the nation good news. The surge has produced substantial improvement. It will be interesting to see how anti-war people react if conditions in Iraq continue to improve.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Will it matter? No, because the Democrats in Congress are too chicken to refuse to appropriate money for the Fiasco in Iraq.

All the punditry of "they can't override a veto" misses the point that spending bills originate in the House of Representatives, and if Nancy Pelosi had the same kind of control over her caucus that Tom Delay had over his, no spending bill without withdrawal timelines would ever be considered by the Ways and Means Committee.

So Bush vetoes a bill with timelines. Then it is HIS fault there is no money for the troops.

Hold steady and stand your ground.

But nooooo. They quiver at the prospect of being called "cowards" and "hating the troops."

Come on now. Get ahead of the curve and force the administration's bluff.

Or else it becomes YOUR war just as much as Bush's.

I am so mad at the Democrats in Congress I could spit.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 12, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Petraeus wont be back in March. It will be some new general with a great background and the ability to get the job done. IF only we will give him the chance (may take 6 months).

By that time Petraeus will have been a very very unfortunate failure and the administration will have no problem trashing him.

Posted by: yep on September 12, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Just curious why it's so long before we receive another report from Petaeus? March is six long months and many, many more deaths from now.

Posted by: phoebes on September 12, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Some Dems falsely accused [Petraeus] of coordinating his statement with the White House."

Best line I heard on this was: "Bush's saying he's waiting to hear Petraeus's report is like Edgar Bergen saying he was waiting to get Charlie McCarthy's views on the matter."

Posted by: David in NY on September 12, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

"...When Petraeus and Crocker return to Congress in March 2008, these words will no doubt be read back to them..."

No, those words won't be read back to them because Petraeus and Crocker will both be in new jobs by next March 2008. Like any good careerist, I'm sure that both Petraeus and Crocker negotiated guaranteed promotions by the end of this year if they could put together a plausible reason to continue the "surge" in this September briefing. They'll just fail upward and leave answering the questions for the next pair of careerists who get tapped for these positions by Bush and the posse. The hew and cry will go out that the new duet needs to be allowed an opportunity to make their own assessment, which will again call for another Friedman unit of time to continue the occupation. We've seen this dance routine before.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan on September 12, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't they make a new game called "Petraeus: Grand Military Strategy" in which you have to organize the statistics about Iraq and the surge in the best way to swindle congress?

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal,

Petraeus' promises that things are looking up in Iraq, but the reason for taking his words with a grain is because he has been claiming that we are making huge progress in Iraq ever since 2004. So why should we take his "good news" to mean anything more in 2007 than it did in 2004?

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 12, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

What could possibly be more important than for the commanding general to admit that the war that is ruining the nation's self-esteem, it' global repuation and it's miliary capability can not be said to be making us safer? What could be more important than Petraeus saying that the war, beyond it's own sake, is pointless?

Posted by: Brian on September 12, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't they make a new game called "Petraeus: Grand Military Strategy" in which you have to organize the statistics about Iraq and the surge in the best way to swindle congress?

I'm making fun of Republicans and Petraeus, of course. Petraeus is a fighting man-- fighting to have one of his lackeys polish his stars before he makes his TV appearances, that is.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

In describing Petraeus' "gaffe", I'm reminded of the definition of gaffe from Howard Dean:

A gaffe in Washington is when someone tells the truth but shouldn't have.

Posted by: CA Pol Junkie on September 12, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Even if the "surge" is meeting all of its military objectives, the whole point of meeting the military objectives was to provide breathing room so that the objectives that really matter, the political objectives, could be improved (even Petraeus is quite clear that the war will not be won militarily). That of course, has not happen, so meeting the military objectives has done squat. It's nice they've been met, but that and $4 gets you a latte at Starbucks (and the continuing death of fine American men and women).

Posted by: Jim on September 12, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

***

Posted by: mhr on September 12, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

One of the BUsh admin's greatest propaganda victories is the extent to which they have managed to define the current Iraq debate as a question of differing foreign policy strategies, when in truth it is about how to recover from the criminally incompetent leadership that has brought us to this point.

Posted by: Del Capslock on September 12, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Daryl McCullough: Petraeus' promises that things are looking up in Iraq, but the reason for taking his words with a grain is because he has been claiming that we are making huge progress in Iraq ever since 2004. So why should we take his "good news" to mean anything more in 2007 than it did in 2004?

Daryl, critics have cited just one article Petraeus wrote in 2004, rather than many comments since 2004. Petraeus said there was tangible progress, which was correct at the time. Progress continued for another 6 - 8 months. Things changed dramatically after the 2006 al-Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra and the sectarian slaughter that ensued. However, Petraeus's comment was accurate when he made it.

Incidentally, that 2004 article included negative comments as well. It was not just a rosy picture.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Al, good post.

If there was any doubt that "ex-liberal" posts here in bad faith -- and there wasn't -- this would tear it.

The difference between you and "Al", "ex-liberal," is that you aren't paid to post here.

Or are you?

Posted by: Gregory on September 12, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

As predicted, "ex-liberal" points to the spurious assertions of "progress" in Petraeus' testimony in order to advocate wasting more American lives and treasure to rescue Bush and the neocons' disastrous occupation of Iraq. "ex-liberal" is as predictable as he is dishonest.

"ex-liberal," no one doubts that American forces can control the territory within rifle shot. But the so-called "surge" is unsustainable; the military must draw down the troops, and as you well know, the politcial -- not military -- objectives that were the point of putting more American lives at risk have overwhelmingly not been met.

Petraeus' testimony was disingenuous, and we need no further proof of it than your own dishoenst -- and, again, sadly predictable -- advocacy of it here.

The "surge" is a failure, and "progress" just isn't good enough. No one is fooled by your bullshit or Petraeus. But just as your dolchstosslegende reveals that deep down you know Bush's adventure is a failure -- since you're looking to shift the blame for it -- the mad spinning by you and the rest of the dead-enders is a good indication that you know that the propaganda surge is a flop, too.

But of course you know this. After all, the more obvious your bullshit, the more insulting it's meant to be.

Posted by: Gregory on September 12, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Daryl, critics have cited just one article Petraeus wrote in 2004, rather than many comments since 2004. Petraeus said there was tangible progress, which was correct at the time. Progress continued for another 6 - 8 months. Things changed dramatically after the 2006 al-Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra and the sectarian slaughter that ensued. However, Petraeus's comment was accurate when he made it.

Ah, the old Samarra dodge, dissected just recently by Josh Marshall (bolding mine):

Petraeus says he was right. Things were going well with the security forces. But that was before the 2006 al-Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra. I won't say that this wasn't a major catalyzing event. But administration officials have increasingly seized upon it as a critical turning point of the occupation, which it quite simply was not. That's convenient for them because it posits a very different narrative of events than most of us -- reality included -- believe in. In this alternative view, it was a hard slog before January 2006. There were mistakes and setbacks. But fundamentally the mission was on track and things were improving until a catastrophic and unpredicted event threw the whole operation into chaos.... But this argument doesn't square with any of the available facts. The best analogy is some variant of that darkly comic line about the guy falling from a tall building who gets asked, mid-fall, how things are going. So far, so good, he replies. In this case, it may be something like asking the guy what happened. And he replies, things were going well till we passed the second floor. From there on, it got very bad. Pretty much everything we see began to happen in 2003, actually very soon after the invasion proper. It was all visible by the fall of that year. And every metric has been more or less downhill ever since.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2007_09_09.php

Posted by: Stefan on September 12, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, Josh Marshall is an excellent blogger, but this item doesn't meet his usual standard. The two points you highlighted actually show the weakness. Marshall asserts that available facts show that the al-Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra was not a critical turning point, but he offers no facts to back up his assertion.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "ex-liberal" complains that someone else "offers no facts to back up his assertion."

Posted by: Gregory on September 12, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

but he offers no facts to back up his assertion.

You didn't seem to mind when Petraeus was doing this all this week.

Posted by: ckelly on September 12, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Petraeus said there was tangible progress, which was correct at the time.

Please offer facts to back up this assertion.

Progress continued for another 6 - 8 months.

Please offer facts to back up this assertion.

Things changed dramatically after the 2006 al-Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra and the sectarian slaughter that ensued.

Please offer facts to back up this assertion.

However, Petraeus's comment was accurate when he made it.

Please offer facts to back up this assertion.

Posted by: Stefan on September 12, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, FAUX-Lib, still time to serve your country - Get your bugle out and hurry to Sea-Tac - Boogie down I-5 to Ft Lewis - Plenty of time to practice playing taps.

The 48th member of the Stryker Brigade has died from wounds suffered in Iraq - A young Captain, who while on his second tour in June, was hit by a sniper - At the time, he was leading a rescue mission - The bullet paralyzed him - At his request, his family was allowed to have him taken off life supports.

The Brigade is regrouping at Ft Lewis - Plenty of time, because of Shrub, for them to be sent back into action. Practice well, FAUX - Perhaps you can help DoD manipulate the stats regarding this very latest tragic casualty.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 12, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

While you're at it, ex-liberal, offer up even one fact supporting your assertion that you were ever liberal to begin with. Everything about you reeks of utter bullshit.

Posted by: junebug on September 12, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

U.S. National Interest in Iraq left Undefended?
.
We and the Brits have left the oil rich part of Iraq and its vital international port for shipments, i.e. the most important part of Iraq, to Iranian influenced warring bands of Shiites.
Elsewhere our troops are attacked one hundred and seventy five times a day.
(177.8 attacks a day on troops Reuters 7.20.07)

What in the holy christ are we exactly doing there? Defending the contractors in non National Interest territory???
If we're staying in Iraq in such force to defend the Emerald Palace when we've already lost control over most areas of strategic interest, that's like defending your ego when you're in quicksand. Or like getting a boob job with the last of your cash when the Doc says you've got cancer.
--cognitorex blogspot--

Posted by: cognitorex on September 12, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

junebug: While you're at it, ex-liberal, offer up even one fact supporting your assertion that you were ever liberal to begin with.

-- was a dues-paying member of the ACLU and the NAACP.

-- gave money to the National Committee for and Effective Congress. The NCEC distributes money to liberal candidates.

-- still belong to the Sierra Club

-- attended one of Martin Luther King's March on Washington.

-- participated in anti-war activities at UC Berkeley in the 1960's

-- campaign worker for Eugene McCarthy in the California primary election in 1968

The first Presidential candidate I actively supported was JFK. He believed in a strong military, promotion of democracy abroad, use of wiretapping when necessary for national security, and cutting tax rates. Surprisingly, a 1960's liberal doesn't look that different from a George Bush conservative.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

kevin: The question is, will it matter?


well...it will to those wrapping up the tours that i extended...

but hey...

...they volunteered...

Posted by: g.w.b. on September 12, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, but FAUX-Lib, was so "lib" when he became lost looking for his beloved Wilhelmstrasse shrine and then getting run into by Mrs Lee. After that it all became comparative for him.

But, she contributed, FAUX whined as he voted for Ronny.

Posted by: stupid git on September 12, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, a strong military - How were those heady days down at Fr Ord, FAUX?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 12, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

The answer to the question is - No. Of all the progressive bloggers, I think Atrios is not linked to enough. Maybe it's his seething disrespect, rather than respectful disagreement, with the TV and newspaper punditry, maybe it's his occasional use of foul language. Whatever it is, the man has been right about the political dynamics of this war for a very, very long time.

Here's Atrios on the mythical September "deadline."
http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_05_06_archive.html#6186997357422128238
http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_05_20_archive.html#5480873786476813462
http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_05_20_archive.html#85072039289989948
http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_05_27_archive.html#1928332958196680582
http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_04_22_archive.html#2479067062309775063

Posted by: christor on September 12, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

And Eugene Debs stole his best ideas from me. More bullshit claims from that countercultural icon, ex-liberal, but none more pathetic than the weak attempt to portray Bush as -- wait for it! -- Kennedy-esque.

Posted by: junebug on September 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, serial liar "ex-liberal" is posting his phony credentials again. How amusing.

Even if they were true, they hardly justify or give credibility the odious opinions "ex-liberal" posts here in support of the authoritarian / neocon agenda.

Of course "ex-liberal" really is here only to insult his betters by posting disingenuous bullshit -- his very handle is an obvious, pernicious lie that serves only as a hint of his neoconservative leanings -- but writing "[JFK] believed in a strong military, promotion of democracy abroad, use of wiretapping when necessary for national security, and cutting tax rates. Surprisingly, a 1960's liberal doesn't look that different from a George Bush conservative" must have given you a special sick thrill. 1960s liberals look a lot different from authoritarian neocon slime like you, "ex-liberal." But then, you know that.

Naturally, it was the abuses of unchecked wiretaps by the Executive that led to the FISA laws in the first place. By his frank admiration of unchecked executive power, "ex-liberal" gives away his deception, but he isn't here to be convincing. His lies are the more insulting the more obvious they are.

Why Kevin's moderator(s) tolerate his pissing on the floor in here is a mystery.

Posted by: Gregory on September 12, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is, even if "ex-liberal"'s claims are true, his long history of disingenuous dissembling makes his word not worth a bucket of piss.

A decent human being might feel a twinge of guilt at such a record of dishonesty. But then, a decent human being wouldn't advocate the policies of torture practiced by the Bush Administration, let alone in the letters pages of the New York Times, so there you go.

Posted by: Gregory on September 12, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose that if FAUX-Lib were a Repug Senator, he would be in line to sit on the Veterans Affair Committee - As Sen Larry "High Anxiety, whenever vice is near" Craig, never served in the military, this qualified him for that committee - His possible replacement, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, has, also, never served in the military. I suppose it is so rare to find any Repug who has served in the military, or even served legitmately honorably, meaning Daddy Warbucks didn't buy one for the lad, that they have to place wannabes on the committee. Sort of the "Geez, a lot of troops and their families, live and vote in my state, so I better appear to be pro-VA" types.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 12, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Al; "So you were wrong then because the Surge has worked."

Of course, Kevin also warned you that you wouldn't enjoy Karl Rove's semen so much, but boy was he wrong there! Good post, Al. And love the new Gap dress.

Posted by: Kenji on September 12, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: Fred Kaplan nails a couple of exchanges that might have been more important ...

More important how?

In the case of Biden's hypothetical, the answer or comeback six months from now is simple. Petraeus answered "I'd be very hard-pressed to recommend that, at that point" when asked whether he would recommend a continuation of the strategy if the situation next March were the same as it is now. But, in six months, he'll just say that the situation is not the same, it has improved, so we should continue the strategy. Duh.

To Obama's question "At what point do we say, 'Enough'?, the long string of conditions listed by Crocker will never be met, so we will never have to say "Enough." Duh again.

The attempt to find traps in these guys' testimony that can be sprung on them six months from now to produce an "I gotcha" moment is a fool's errand.


Posted by: Econobuzz on September 12, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz: "But, in six months, he'll just say that the situation is not the same, it has improved, so we should continue the strategy."

Unless he says the situation is even worse, in which case we have to not only continue the strategy, but redouble our efforts. There'll never be a reason to not have troops there.

Posted by: junebug on September 12, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what hearings Orwell was watching.

Posted by: ckelly on September 12, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK
....Petraeus said there was tangible progress, which was correct at the time. .... ex-lax at 2:31 PM
There has been no progress in Iraq since Bush's invasion. None. Every day, in every way, life has become more dangerous and miserable for Iraqis and more deadly for Americans.
....1960's liberal doesn't look that different from a George Bush conservative. ex-lax at 4:13 PM
So only liberals are concerned about constitutional rights, the environment and equal rights. That sounds like your world view, but only the severely delusional would say that George W. Bush is concerned about any of those issues. His approval about African-Americans is about 8%, among environmentalists, zero, and among constitutional rights activists, also zero
.... once again proves that liberals do not care what evidence there is to contradict their view point .........G.W. orwell at 4:28 PM
Too bad that the data Petraeus uses has been massaged and fudged to support Republican talking points. Posted by: Mike on September 12, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, serial liar "ex-liberal" is posting his phony credentials again. How amusing.

His posted resume makes him look like an FBI informant, which pretty much tracks with everything else we know about him.

Posted by: Disputo on September 12, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Just curious why it's so long before we receive another report from Petaeus? March is six long months and many, many more deaths from now.

No fractional FUs are allowed.

Posted by: Disputo on September 12, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

As Media Matters noted, seven U.S. Army infantrymen and noncommissioned officers currently serving in Iraq wrote in an August 19 New York Times op-ed: "The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere." The soldiers also wrote: "Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side."

Two of the soldiers who wrote the op ed were killed in Iraq. I believe a third has a head injury.

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 12, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

ex-libSurprisingly, a 1960's liberal doesn't look that different from a George Bush conservative.

Except for the soul. Not having one, you might not have noticed.

Posted by: TJM on September 12, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Will it matter?

No. We aren't leaving. Its a moot point.

Posted by: wwz on September 12, 2007 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

ABC News reports:

Soldiers in Iraq Back Petraeus Testimony

At this wind-swept base near the Iranian border, the main points of Gen. David Petraeus' testimony to Congress were met with widespread agreement among soldiers: The American troop buildup is working, but the military needs more time.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=3590081

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, goody, FAUX - You got to put Soldiers in all caps - Make you all warm and fuzzy like watching a John Wayne Green Beanie movie?

Do tell us about your days down at Fort Ord, and your second eight, and shipping out.

Hell, I used to pull guard mount for Special Weapons with a guy from Cal Berkeley who went through Ord - A US type - So, don't give me that deferrment shuffle, FAUX.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 12, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

"No doubt. The question is, will it matter?"

No. It won't matter.

(Apologies to Atrios for stealing his Simple Answers to Simple Questions(tm))

Posted by: Jim Pharo on September 13, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK
Soldiers in Iraq Back Petraeus Testimony.... ex-lax at 11:27 PM
Anecdotal evidence is meaningless, especially from those who still believe they are fighting to revenge 9-11 , an event that Iraq had no involvement. As usual, your dishonesty rivals Instapundit , where, I suspect, you find your information and links [This one of yours was posted at 11:06 PM by Glenn Reynolds]. Posted by: Mike on September 14, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Lotus has plans: the Elise is going to get a detuned Exige engine (220 BHP without an intercooler), a new Exige SR model will feature launch and traction control systems, California series Elise and Exige models are in the pipeline for the boulevard cruising crowd, and Lotus is also going to inject some luxury into the Europa. But the big news which isn't the Esprit is the Lotus Eagle, which will be "a mid engined four seater" made of aluminum for the luxury lifestyle set. Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley said there will be seven (count 'em, seven) versions of the car, and in a crow eating first for Lotus, the car will have paddle shifters. Lotus had previously sworn never to include them on a car, citing purity of the driving experience. But what does the market care for driving purity? (Insert maniacal laugh here.) The Eagle arrives at the end of 2008. The much anticipated, exceedingly long awaited Lotus Esprit was sent back for reworking by Kimberley, who said it didn't have enough...
http://all-info-here.com/

Posted by: awheockqjs on November 8, 2007 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK
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