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I listened to most of the testimony.
It was astonishing, listening to Petraeus before the Senate. Alleging that sectarian violence dropped since the surge, he actually claimed that it had dropped before any more troops were actually deployed, based simply on the effect of the annoucement of the surge. With that sort of logic, all the general staff would have to do is to issue regular announcements that the U.S. is going to try really harder with more and more troops and equipment, and in no time it will be able to withdraw all its troops without any Iraqi or Kurd ever noticing they were gone.
Petraeus was once stationed in Kansas for training. Apparently he learned his tactics from the man behind the screen.
General Petraeus has been "making a good case for progress" unremittingly for the past four years. In retrospect he'll always say, "Things were bad then but they're better now and should be very acceptable in the near future." The problem is that he is thoroughly politicized, evidenced by his timing of his Iraq estimate before elections (such as Oct. '04), on the anniversary of 9/11, etc.
He allows himself to be used as a stage prop. It is much as when the military allowed the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln to be used as a stage prop, manuvering it for the best lighting and to conceal the City of San Diego in the background as Karl Rove engineered the multi-million dollar "Mission Accomplished" photo-op.
Petraeus, like all the others who have been feeding us this line even before Congress was stupid and timid enough to be stampeded into giving Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Powell, Perle, Feith, Rice and all the other scoundrels, an yellow, if not a green light, is like them a liar. That's it. Sorry if some LJW readers can't accomodate themselves to understanding that they're all liars.
I was shocked when Eisenhower lied to us about the U-2 incident. He lied once, as far as I can recall. I'm not sure that Bush has told the truth that often about anything important.
But he did save Terri Schiavo, of course.
How could Petraeus made a "good case for progress in Iraq"? The longer we stay, the deeper we dig the hole. It's like saying we're making progress in filling in the hole at the same time we're still digging it out. (These metaphors are ridiculous, especially when they're not necessary for people who have sense.) We should never have been there in the first place. If we could correct the damage we've done, it would certainly be our obligation to do so, but we can't. The Iraqis know it, all sane people here know it, and the rest of the world knows it. Staying is only an attempt to conceal the miserable human catastrophe we've helped to precipitate. At some time we simply have to back out, let it begin to heal, and admit we were WRONG. We won't be any less wrong later than we are now; probably wronger. How many people have to die to postpone our acknowledgement of poor judgment and guilt?
How many people actually listened to the entirety of both days of testimony and cross examination? Certainly, no one who reads this newspaper did. None of us is qualified to answer this ridiculous poll.
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