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September 10, 2007 11:16 PM UTC

Petraeus Opens Testimony on Iraq

  • 70 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Associated Press:

Gen. David Petraeus told Congress today he envisions the withdrawal of roughly 30,000 U.S. combat troops from Iraq by next summer.

In long-awaited testimony, the commanding general of the war said last winter’s buildup in U.S. troops had met its military objectives “in large measure.” As a result, he told a congressional hearing and a nationwide television audience, “I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level … by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains we have fought so hard to achieve.” Testifying in a military uniform bearing four general’s stars and a chestful of medals, Petraeus said he had already provided his views to the military chain of command.

Comments

70 thoughts on “Petraeus Opens Testimony on Iraq

  1. Translation:
    “We only need to keep our troop levels at the unsustainable level three months beyond their capacity.”

    “Since our military objectives were pretty much limited to a short-term flooding of the streets of Baghdad, we can say we met that goal.”

    Ugh.  No-one else’s analysis of the facts on the ground seems to match those of the White House and what generals they can get to agree with them for a time.  Petraeus has lasted a bit longer than the last few, but he’s also been more politically allied with the Administration than your average general – even before he was promoted.

    1. Out of the 860 generals/admirals currently serving in the United States Military, how many are you figure don’t agree with General Petraeus and the administration? 

      1. It’s the ones who’ve retired and used to hold positions like Commander – CENTCOM, Commander of the Iraq Theater, and Chief of Staff of the Army.  An active military officer is not supposed to be a political person; I don’t know how many agree or disagree with the war, nor should I.

        I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there are increasing number of Generals out there who’ve served this nation with dignity and respect who are now able to say what they think about the situation in Iraq – and they think its FUBAR.

  2. Like every time we get testimony – yeah in just 6 months everything will be peachy and we can start reducing troop levels.

    If he actually believes this they need to remove him and replace him with someone who can see what is actually going on.

    1. A small troop reduction by spring is going to have to happen in any case because no one disputes we won’t have enough army left to sustain the present troop levels beyond that time.  Now the administration can claim credit for the withdrawal as if it’s part of their grand strategy.  They have no strategy now any more than they have from day one when the strategy was dancing in the streets, Iraq becomes just like Wisconsin in a matter of months. 

      The idea that  the surge is buying time for the so-called Iraq government is absurd.  No one can really believes that this Maliki government is ever going to be viable.  The administration is just buying time period.  It has no plan for getting the damn thing to work. 

      Kurdistan is already autonomous and isn’t ever going to agree to be part of Iraq again so no unified Iraq ever is already a done deal, along with no successful Maliki led government ever. But none of this is Petraeus concern.  His job is to buy time if that’s what the President wants.

      He isn’t in a position to answer any of the questions or address any of the issues here that really mean something.  Bush is just hiding behind “the Generals” after having ignored or rid himself of any and all generals who have given him advice he didn’t want to hear for the past 5 years.

      If the Dem congress lets themselves be walked all over this time, we may have a lame duck president but the congress will be strictly dead duck.

    1. General Petraeus has honorably served our country since 1970 and the liberals who put out this ad really think he is betraying his country and its citizens?

      This is disgusting and I would say the same thing if it was attacking a general while a Democrat was in the White House. 

      1. But the idea is sane; General Powell did no less to this country when he went before the U.N. knowing that the presentation he was giving was disingenuous at best.

        I’ve noticed something recently: having failed in their mission to create a Permanent Republican Majority, the GOP and their shills have taken to attacking the wording of left-leaning organizations and people rather than attacking the actual thoughts behind the message.

        If an objective analysis (or three) says Gen. Petraeus is spewing horse-manure, then is he doing this country a service or a disservice by hewing to the Administration line?

        1. And I think that Moveon.org is twisting words to suit their purpose.

          Do you agree with them in suggesting that the general is betraying us? 

          Please let me know the three analysises you are speaking of and I will be happy to take a look.  I hope they unbiased independent analysis of the situation by disinterested third parties. 

            1. It is the investigative arm of Congress, which is controlled by partisan Democrats.

              David Walker is a Bill Clinton appointee who is trying to advance the Democrat agenda. 

              Any other suggestions?

              1. I may be naive but I believe that political appointees and government agencies that report to either Congress or the President and his cabinet ought to be regarded as nonpartisan (or at least able to put partisan agendas aside) until they prove otherwise. Are you dismissing the GAO for any reason other than that they report to Congress? And how is David Walker showing that he’s pushing an agenda?

                1. You are smart enough to know that.  Partisanship very rarely get pushed aside. 

                  David Walker was appointed by Clinton, that is why i feel he is pushing an agenda.  Just like Rumsfeld pushed the Bush agenda. 

                  1. When the Republicans had firm control of the Senate and were proving it by refusing to confirm those with even the slightest left lean.

                    This man, after all, would be the person they had to deal with for the next umpteen years.  Walker was a respected accountant in the private sector; his affirmation by the Senate should dispel any thoughts of his partisanship.

                    1. How many times would the Senate filibuster a position such as Comptroller of the United States?

                      As for his approval by the Senate, I am sure that the Republican controlled Senate and, in the past, the Democrat controlled Senate have confirmed people to posts in the hope they would be nonpartisan, but were disappointed. 

                  2. at least, not on the face of it. As PR points out he passed a Repub confirmation and no one’s breathed a word of his supposed partisanship until the GAO criticized the Bush admin. (I’m surprised anyone would still take a bushie spin like that seriously given that Bush has no credibility even with Repubs these days.)

                    I’m open to the notion since I’m not fool enough to believe that anyone’s capable of pure objectivity. But there must be more proof than who appointed him – some action demonstrably out of step with normal GAO action. Without that, it’s the criticism that’s partisan.

              2. It’s controlled by Congress, who tells it what to do.  Beyond that, Walker serves – as do his predecessors and successors – a term that crosses Presidential term lines (the term is 15 years…).  The GAO has always been considered an impartial body – at least up until they started disagreeing with Bush.

                If you won’t accept that kind of assessment, try the Iraqi people (PDF) (poll conducted by ABC, the BBC, and NHK) – 70% feel the overall situation in Iraq has worsened since the surge began; 76% feel security in their own area has either not changed or gotten worse; almost every single measure in the poll has trended negative since their last poll in March.

                    1. They’re the NIE and the DIA analysis, not the Sunday Comics.  Details have been leaked in various accounts, though.

                      Today’s news is that the Pentagon recommendation on Iraq will be “precipitous withdrawal” – they want 2/3 of the troops out early next year and the rest redeployed away from the citizenry and organized into support teams.  Admiral Fallon, Cmdr. CENTCOM (Petraeus’s boss) is favoring this plan.

                      Do you need any more?  Is Bush the only authority on this for you?

                    2. How did leaks come out about these reports and what type of person whould leaks likely come from?  Would they come from somebody who supports Bush, or, since thy are damaging, could they be from someone who opposes Bush.

                      Also, you are smart enough to know that relying on leaked info only give out in bits and peices, without seeing the entire report is suspect at best. 

                      No, Bush is not the only authority.  I trust Petraus, who’s report is independent of the White House. 

                    3. Petraeus pretty much shilled for Bush in public before the ’04 election; he’s about as independent as a tapeworm in someone’s stomach – a separate entity, but completely unable to separate himself from his host.

                      If all I can get is leaked, non-denied bits and pieces of reports because I’m not privileged enough to see the full version, I’ll take bits and pieces over nothing at all.  If you want to live in permanent denial land, please try not to take others down with you.

                    4. Petraeus, a military general who, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice is prohibited from political activity is “about as independent as a tapeworm in someone’s stomach”, but David Walker, a Clinton apointee is completely nonpartisan?

                      I don’t want to live in denial land, but going off of bits and peices is dangerous.  For example, lets say you heard about a book called the Bible, but never read it.  You hear it will change your life, but you only get some bits and peices, say Acts 1:18 and Luke 10:37.  Would you act on these verses or would you want to read the whole thing to understand the context of the book?

                    5. Petraeus has been blatantly political in op-eds in times past when they were important, and against the general military policy.  Walker is doing the job he was assigned to do – oversee research on topics of interest to the Congress.

                      I’d love to see the entire NIE or DIA analysis.  I don’t have clearance to either.  So I’ll go back to the part of that paragraph you overlooked: I’d rather go on the pieces that have been revealed than nothing at all.  Those pieces point to formal disagreement within both the NSC and the DOD at the least, and a breaking with the Administration (and Petraeus) at the worst.

                    6. Petraeus agrees with the Bush administration on the military policy in Iraq, so he is being “blatantly political”, while Walker disagrees with the Bush administration so he “is doing the job he was assigned to do…”, and he is not biased.  Got ya.

                      As for the NIE and DIA analysis.  Again, I think it is dangerous to go on “pieces that have been revealed than nothing at all.” because you ahve no idea what the rest says. 

                      Just like the Biblical example I gave you.  the first verse says:

                        “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

                      The second verse says

                      “The one who showed mercy toward him.  Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

                      I would hate to see someone just get those two verses and then hang themselves. 

          1. However, the statements he’s been making about reduction in violence and progress appear to come straight from the White House Department of Talking Points.

            Is Gen. Petraeus doing good for this country by twisting facts and words to match the goals of Mr. 25%?

            Betrayal is a harsh word, and completely unacceptable if you still believe Bush and buddies are trying to do well by this country.  But if you place the office of President above the officeholder, and the country above the person representing it, then supporting an occupation that really doesn’t seem to be progressing at the expense of your fellow citizens’ lives and the economic well-being of the country could be construed as betrayal.  I won’t be using it; I think it’s the wrong word for the discussion.

            How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? –Lt. John Kerry

            1. I do believe that Bush is trying to do good.  You may not agree with that, just like I wouldn’t agree that Clinton did good for the country.  But I would never say that Clinton betrayed his country. 

              And Bush’s ratings are very low, but not 25%.  More like 33% according to the latest USA Today/ Gallup poll.

              So much for doing what you think is right, should we only elect presidents who rule by the poll? 

              1. One of the few things I actually agree with the President on: we don’t elect our representatives to do what we think should be done – we elect our representatives because we trust their evaluation of issues which most of us have little time to understand.

                To my mind, Bush not only doesn’t show good skill at evaluation, he actively overrides evaluation with stubbornness and incuriousity on a regular basis.  I am willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt and say he was at least partially snowed by Cheney and his stovepiping operation in the rush to the Iraq war, but maintaining the war now in the face of continued negative feedback is strictly stubbornness, or at best a refusal to take a fresh look at the facts.

                I’m an optimist at heart – I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps Bush really is trying to do good by the country – but his actions speak to his trying to do good to a much smaller set of people and not those of the country, and I’m not so stubborn an optimist that reality doesn’t eventually intrude.

                Finally: Does which end justify the means?  Does the installation of a U.S. puppet regime in Iraq with attendant permanent military presence justify the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the displacement of millions more, the sacrifice of 4,000+ U.S. soldiers, and the long-term insolvency of the United States of America?  Not even close.

                1. As for your second, I admit that Bush seems stubborn at times, but I think it is because he has evaluated the situation and made a decision, and he stick to his guns.  Does that mean that he is right all the time?  No, but Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Truman, FDR were not right all the time either.

                  Can I ask what “smaller set of people” your are speaking of?

                  I just don’t agree on your last comment, but I know that I will never convince you otherwise. 

                  1. My guess is, somewhere around 1999.  He wanted war with Iraq before getting into office – that’s a documented fact.  Cheney, Feith, and others gave him the “intelligence” he needed to act on his evaluation.  Since then, I doubt very much that Bush has re-evaluated the situation using a fresh set of eyes.  No person is perfect; Reagan realized he’d made a mistake with his tax cut policy and reversed some of it; Clinton admits the Telecomm “reforms” were probably the worst bill he signed into law… It’s just that they realized the error of their ways; Bush hasn’t.

                    By “smaller set of people” I mean those that are specifically benefiting from his administration – corporations who didn’t need help in the first place and other interests specifically targeted.

                    If you could provide me with a list of benefits you see, you might convince me.  While I completely disagree with the war, I am not blind to the fact that a successful prosecution of it could have given us an immense influence on the region; that time, IMHO, has long past and we are now left with a raft of bad choices.

                    1. I am not blind to the fact that a successful prosecution of it could have given us an immense influence on the region; that time, IMHO, has long past and we are now left with a raft of bad choices.

                      I opposed the war from the get-go because I was able to discern from the facts reported in the media that a) there was no credible evidence of a WMD program in Iraq; b) there was zero evidence, credible or otherwise, that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11; and that c) Iraq posed no threat to our national security and was not about to disrupt the order in the Middle East any time soon (despite some saber-rattling on Saddam’s part it was clear that he had learned his lesson in Kuwait; and if you study dictators you know that they won’t risk their power for nothing, which disrupting the order would have amounted to).

                      But when the war actually got underway, I told my wife that if Bush did it right he’d be revered and I’d be right there to express my admiration because I think it would have been a good thing to get rid of Saddam anyway, despicable as he was and also as good as increasing our influence and promoting a true Middle East democracy would be for the region. But my fears, based on how Bush had fucked up on the diplomacy front, came true – they bungled it by relying more on technology than on sheer numbers of troops and there’s no end in sight. I’m not on board with the “bring them home NOW” crowd because I don’t want them to leave Iraq in a complete state of chaos, but I fail to see how we can possibly prevent that without a decade-long commitment and who knows how many trillions of dollars spent on it. (So much for fiscal conservatism and living within our means, right?)

      1. This is Petraeus’ defining moment, and he chose to blow smoke like Colin Powell.  Powell betrayed all Americans by saying things he knew were untrue and by trumping up every “possible” into a “definitely.”  General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker did the same today.

        MoveOn’s ad is harsh, but true.

        I’m sure a couple years from now we’ll get to read Petraeus’ memoirs where he talks about how he really, really tried to point out the problems to GWB.

        1. At least according to this article, the derogatory nickname “Betraeus” came from a retired colleague of General Petraeus, who was interviewed about a month ago.  Not that it was appropriate, but MoveOn didn’t invent the term, just FYI.

      2. When General Stilwell completed his retreat in front of the Japanese he said (paraphrasing) they kicked our ass. HE then turned around and over the next 3 years fought back very effectively.

        On the flip side when General Mark Clark went for Rome to have the glamour of capturing an enemy capital rather than cutting off the Germans lower down the peninsula, he arguably delayed the end of WWII into 1945 which gave the Russians time to take over Eastern Europe (Poland & the 3 baltic countries Russia would still have gotten).

        It’s a harsh way of putting it but making a decision for ones own advancement at the cost of the country is a betrayal of the country. Petraeus is either stupid (and I don’t think he is) or he is putting his career first.

        – dave

        1. It not factual, and it’s offensive.  They bought into Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy when they confirmed him.  He told them what he was going to do, and they confirmed him.  Now, the surge is doing what it’s supposed to and more and the Dems are in big trouble.  Apparently nobody told the Sunnis in Anbar that the war was ‘lost’ four months ago.

          I also think it’s total horseshit that another commander called him ‘betray-us’.  Name him and I’ll bite.

          Thank God there was no MoveOn during the Normandy landings.

              1. …was much further left on a number of issues than it is today.

                Hitler and Japan were real threats and even normally non-violent Quakers signed up for the war effort.  There was little controversy over the action and much of what there was came from the business community and a small band of isolationists.

              2. is that the Axis powers posed a threat to the free world while Iraq posed a threat to W’s manhood and our ability to exploit their oil reserves. The American left knows when to band together for the good fight and when to not go off on a fool’s errand, at least when it comes to war.

                  1. and I’ll point out that LB was speaking about moveon.org (and by proxy those who opposed the war from the outset) and not the Democrats in Congress. Not that I’m moveon’s biggest fan but we ought to point out fallacious comparisons when they arise.

          1. Is that because you haven’t fact-checked Petraeus’s charts?  Petraeus cherry-picked months for comparison, excluded some figures for violence, and said he’d have a solid progress report a few months after the surge started.

            Since then his initial evaluation was postponed until September at his recommendation – and he still didn’t give a solid assessment on progress.  His report says we can’t draw down troops until Summer of ’08 – three months after the military says we can no longer sustain the surge.  And the DIA, GAO, LA Times, NY Times, and even a poll of Iraqi citizens all say the surge isn’t working in various combinations of facts on the ground and observations.

            Petraeus was supposed to be the amazing last hope for Iraq; he would be, if he could follow his own counter-insurgency guidelines.  But since we don’t have the number of troops he recommends – and which was the number recommended by many in the Army before the war – Iraq’s “progress” will be the same as it has been for the past 4 years: another 6 months in perpetuity.  And that is reason enough for Congress to begin questioning him.

  3. From Americablog.com:

    The Senate Democrats did a fact check of the testimony delivered by General Petraeus. It’s a very good and thorough rebuttal to today’s presentation — and because of its relevance, we’re posting the whole document:
    Today in his prepared remarks, General Petraeus made the following statements regarding sectarian violence in Iraq. Unfortunately, his remarks raise as many questions as answers.

    General Petraeus Claimed the Pentagon’s Methodology for Tracking Sectarian Killings Was Reviewed By Two US Intelligence Agencies, But Did Not Name Them. In his prepared remarks, General Petraeus argued, “We endeavor to ensure our analysis of that data is conducted with rigor and consistency, as our ability to achieve a nuanced understanding of the security environment is dependent on collecting and analyzing data in a consistent way over time. Two US intelligence agencies recently reviewed our methodology, and they concluded that the data we produce is the most accurate and authoritative in Iraq.” [LINK]
    However, U.S. Intelligence Officials Questioned Pentagon’s Methods of Tracking Violence in Iraq. “The intelligence community has its own problems with military calculations. Intelligence analysts computing aggregate levels of violence against civilians for the NIE puzzled over how the military designated attacks as combat, sectarian or criminal, according to one senior intelligence official in Washington. ‘If a bullet went through the back of the head, it’s sectarian,’ the official said. ‘If it went through the front, it’s criminal.'” [Washington Post, 9/6/07]

    A Military Spokesman Admitted It Did Not Track Shiite-on-Shiite or Sunni-on-Sunni Violence. “According to a spokesman for the Baghdad headquarters of the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), those attacks are not included in the military’s statistics. ‘Given a lack of capability to accurately track Shiite-on-Shiite and Sunni-on-Sunni violence, except in certain instances,’ the spokesman said, ‘we do not track this data to any significant degree.'” [Washington Post, 9/6/07]

    And, the GAO Found Claims of Decreased Sectarian Violence Could Not Be Verified. “On trends in sectarian violence, we could not determine if sectarian violence had declined since the start of the Baghdad Security Plan. The administration’s July 2007 report stated that MNF-I trend data demonstrated a decrease in sectarian violence since the start of the Baghdad Security Plan in mid-February 2007. The report acknowledged that precise measurements vary, and that it was too early to determine if the decrease would be sustainable.” [GAO Report: Securing, Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq, September 2007]
    General Petraeus Claimed the Number of Car Bombings Has Come Down. In his prepared remarks, General Petraeus argued, “The number of car bombings and suicide attacks has also declined in each of the past 5 months, from a high of some 175 in March, as this chart shows, to about 90 this past month. While this trend in recent months has been heartening, the number of high profile attacks is still too high, and we continue to work hard to destroy the networks that carry out these barbaric attacks.” [LINK]
    However, The Military Does Not Include Car Bombings in Sectarian Violence Statistics. “According to U.S. military figures, an average of 1,000 Iraqis have died each month since March in sectarian violence. That compares with about 1,200 a month at the start of the security plan, the military said in an e-mailed response to queries. This does not include deaths from car bombings, which the military said have numbered more than 2,600 this year.” [LA Times, 9/4/07 ]

    And, The Number of Car Bombings In Iraq Was Five Percent Higher in July 2007 than in December 2006. The number of car bombings in July actually was 5 percent higher than the number recorded last December, according to statistics given to the McClatchy news organization, and the number of civilians killed in explosions is about the same. [McClatchy Newspapers, 8/15/07]
    General Petraeus Claimed the Number of Ethno-Sectarian Deaths Has Come Down By Over 55 Percent. In his prepared remarks, General Petraeus argued, “The number of ethno-sectarian deaths, an important subset of the overall civilian casualty figures, has also declined significantly since the height of the sectarian violence in December. Iraq-wide, as shown by the top line on this chart, the number of ethno-sectarian deaths has come down by over 55%” [LINK]
    However, The Overall Death Toll in Iraq Has Risen. According to Iraq’s Interior Ministry, which provided figures to The New York Times 2,318 civilians died violently in the country in August, compared with 1,980 in July. Statistics compiled from Iraqi government sources by Reuters and The Associated Press also showed significant increases, although the precise figures varied. [New York Times, 9/2/07]

    And The Comptroller General Said There Were Various Sources of Violence Statistics in U.S. Government Which Did Not Agree. “Others who have looked at the full range of U.S. government statistics on violence, however, accuse the military of cherry-picking positive indicators and caution that the numbers — most of which are classified — are often confusing and contradictory. ‘Let’s just say that there are several different sources within the administration on violence, and those sources do not agree,’ Comptroller General David Walker told Congress on Tuesday in releasing a new Government Accountability Office report on Iraq.” [Washington Post, 9/6/07]

    ***********************************
    Petraeus is more politician than General. I found his answers to tough questions (fielded 100% from the left side of the aisle)to be rambling, off-topic and, overall, non responsive to the questioner.

    1. why are the Democrats now checking facts …

      They needed to do a basic fact check 4 years ago, but didn’t, ’cause the political winds were blowing in favor of pre-emptive strike against Iraq.  Blame for the war in Iraq rests as much with the Democrats (and Republicans) who failed to grow a spine an oppose the war when it was proposedm as is does with the folks who now hawk it.

      In my book, a cowardly politician who fails to question or take a controversial stand for political convenience is just as much scum as a politician who lies.

      Unfortunately, we are where we are and we will likely be in Iraq for a long damn time.  Think Korea — 30,000 troops still stationed there 50+ years after the conflict officially ended.

      1. The people who voted to enable this Administration to prosecute this invasion certainly bear a lot of responsibility, but in the end it is the Administration itself which chose to do so despite the recommendation of the AUMF to exhaust all diplomatic efforts and seek out the approval of the UN before proceeding to war.  It is the Administration which chose to ignore the Army War College, Army Chief of Staff, State Department and others when planning the war and subsequent occupation.  And it’s the Administration that continues to push for war at all costs.

        War is a racket. –Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler

  4. This administration, the military and especially ambitious generals with green zone mentalities know exactly what success looks like, success is perpetuity, success is never admitting incompetence or immorality.  Success is the ability to change the goal posts, in the world of boating there is a saying, a boat is a hole in the water you pour your money into, think of Iraq and oil production as boat ownership, success is making boat ownership irresistible and patriotic.  Success is making 9/11 and Iraq synonymous. 

    Bottom line, the United States of America has never been and never will be good at war or peace.  We have perfected the art of overwhelming firepower and total war.  We have however neglected to practice the art of diplomacy or peace making.  The rest of the world looks at us with pity, has no desire for anything we have, just wants to be left alone, we are nothing more that the world’s #1 pest.  We are the world’s #1 arms maker and dealer, blessed are the peace makers, they shall have peace. 

    1. Jon Stolz of votevets.org and kos said it well.
      This is spin.  Petraeus says the surge is working but implies over and over this is just the “beginning”.  IF it is working, then WHY does he then say we are going to reduce the troops by 30,000.

      ANSWER:  Bush wants it both ways.  He (and of course since his ego is involved here) cannot stand to lose. There is no winning there, so no matter how many American lives have to be sacrificed for his ego, he will do it.  But then he has his general “spin’ about sending home 30,000….saying in a sense to those not paying attention : see, I am sending home troops when the #%^*(())s know they HAVE to send them back for the rotation laws.

      What absolute liars.  So yes, Petraeus is betraying all of us by colluding with the republican liars.  And naturally the republicans are all beside themselves with the “how dare they trash a man who served his country?”  HYPOCRITES.  Funny how they had no trouble mocking the service of John Kerry, mocking the notion of a purple heart.  But it’s OK when wingers trash those who served their country while hero worshipping the chicken hawks who love war but would never themselves serve.

          1. Way to go, general.  Your expensive West Point tax payer funded education sure was a waste, wasn’t it?  How many NV regulars and Cong did we kill per American soldier killed?

            Now, general, is my question, in case you missed it in WP:  Who won that war?

  5. Iraq’s Westmoreland. A highly respected general who’s reputation was totally destroyed by his final posting to Vietnam.

    He may walk out ok today but he joins McClellan, Fredendall, and Westmoreland as generals who failed this country.

    1. Pretty decent editorial in the NY Times written Sunday.

      http://www.nytimes.c

      Biggest laugh line: “Mr. Bush cannot once again subcontract his responsibility. This is his war.” (Want to bet?) They also bitch slap Petraeus for his complicity before the election in ’04.  They stop short of calling that a war crime, allow me to do that for them, besides if you have kept your mouth shut for the last six years as a general officer and remained in the Army, that pretty much makes you a war criminal.

      Speaking of showmanship, watching Duncan Hunter and the fat cow from Ohio (Ohio is a guess and she is not nearly as huge as Musgrave) up in arms over Moveon, some of the best entertainment of the day, glad it was early on.  Swift Boating can be a two way street, they call it the information superhighway when it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

      1. It really is all about the President’s ego.  Amazing that he apparently thinks his “legacy” is going to look better by prolonging the disaster and dumping it on the next Administration.  He is incapable of changing course — someone must do that for him, and so far Congress is failing in that responsibility.

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