Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Two Fronts For General Petraeus


As if facing a determined enemy in the Middle East with goals of global domination isn’t difficult enough for the General, he also must face disputatious politicians in Washington D.C. who desire his leadership and efforts to fail.

Facing anti-war hecklers and contentious Democrats, General David Petraeus returned to the capital to give the second congressionally mandated report on the progress of the fighting in Iraq. Particularly touchy for the General was the fact that he was facing his next boss, whichever Senator wins the 2008 Presidential election.

Prior to the beginning of his testimony, it became obvious that several Democrats had decided days before that his efforts have failed, regardless of previous admissions from fellow Democrats of remarkable success in the “surge” just months ago.

Republican presumptive nominee, John McCain led of the questioning by reminding all that they owed both General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker a “debt of gratitude for their selfless service.” Pointing out the many successes in the past year, McCain concluded his statement with, “the Congress must not choose to lose in Iraq. We should choose instead to succeed.”

Democrat Senator Clinton also opened her statements with, “Thank you… for your long and distinguished service to our nation,” followed immediately by, “I just want to respond to some of the statements… that it is irresponsible or demonstrates a lack of leadership to advocate withdrawing troops from Iraq in a responsible and carefully planned withdrawal. I fundamentally disagree.”

Unlike the September 2007 hearings with the General, she did not this time claim his testimony took a “willing suspension of disbelief” to accept, in spite of her critical assessment.

She continued, “… it might well be irresponsible to continue the policy that has not produced the results that have been promised time and time again,” adding shortly, “Our troops are the best in the world, and they have performed admirably and heroically in Iraq,” before going on to claim the purpose of the “surge” was for the Iraqi’s to reach political reconciliation and they have not solved all the political problems in the country.

Senator Clinton claimed that even General Petraeus himself said, “… the Iraqi government has not made sufficient political progress,” drawing a correction from the General of, “What I said {in the article} was that no one was satisfied with the progress that had been made, either Iraqis or Americans, but I then went on and actually ticked off a number of the different areas in which there had been progress…”

Rich Lowry, of National Review Online also seems to have easily found the success Senator Clinton failed to see in his article, Beyond ‘Benchmarks.'

Senator Barack Obama opened his questioning also with, “I want to thank both General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker for their dedication and sacrifice. And obviously our troops are bearing the largest burden for this enterprise.”

Sounding somewhat less contentious than other Democrats, Senator Obama after making the point that “Al Qaeda was not in Iraq before we went there,” asked the General, “Our goal is not to hunt down and eliminate every single trace, but rather to create a manageable situation where they're not posing a threat to Iraq or using it as a base to launch attacks outside of Iraq. Is that accurate?”

General Petraeus replied, “That is exactly right.”

Turning his attention to Ambassador Crocker, Senator Obama sought more information on Iran and their support of insurgent forces and even the visit of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq, eliciting the comment from the Ambassador, “Iran and Iraq are neighbors. A visit like that should be in the category of a normal relationship,” after making the point that Iraqi President Maliki is making efforts at securing the border with Iran to stem the flow of Iranian Quds Force support.

Throughout the questioning by other Senators, anti-war critics interrupted testimony, some being ejected and others just being told to “cool it.”

Both General Petraeus’s and Ambassador Crocker’s testimony was interrupted several times by Democrat Senators, most notably by Senator Ted Kennedy who took some two minutes to ask a question about bilateral agreements between the US and Iraq and then tells Ambassador Crocker to hurry up and answer before he had a chance to. He then asked a question of General Petraeus about Basra but cut him off as he tried to answer.

Senator Obama also raised the point, “We still don’t have a good answer to the question posed by Sen. Warner the last time Gen. Petraeus appeared: How has this effort in Iraq made us safer and how do we expect it will make us safer in the long run?”

Perhaps Senator Obama hasn’t noticed there has been no terrorist attacks upon American soil since that horrific attack of September 11, 2001 or fails to see that if radical Jihadism can be confronted strong enough to reduce their number and democracy takes hold in the Middle East, they won’t be able to launch significant attacks upon America and elsewhere again.

Perhaps the Democrats should pay close attention to Senator McCain’s words, “Congress must not choose to lose in Iraq. We should choose instead to succeed.”

History has shown the high cost of abandoning struggling allies.

UPDATE 1: Amy Proctor, of Bottom Line Up Front, has video of a protester interrupting General Petraeus's testimony and of Senator Levin badgering the General.

UPDATE 2: 5 Reasons America Must Win In Iraq

UPDATE 3: US Senator John Cornyn, What I Heard at the Petraeus-Crocker Hearings

15 comments:

Roger W. Gardner said...

Great post Lew. problem is, Liberals don't accept history.

Lew Waters said...

You're right, Roger. They don't accept it, they revise it to deny their duplicity in it.

Rightwingwacko said...

Ten Questions for Gen. Petraeus:

1.Prime Minister Maliki launched an offensive to defeat the Mahdi Army in Basra. He was forced, despite U.S. logistical and air support, to sue for a ceasefire. President Bush declared during the fighting that this was a "defining moment" for Iraq. Why shouldn't the American people view this "defining moment" as exactly what it was: a defeat for us, the Iraqi government and a victory for radical Shiite militias?

2. If the U.S. military cannot adequately defend the Green Zone from missile attack from Shiite militias, why should the American people believe that the surge has achieved tangible, and not momentary lulls in violence?

3. General Petraeus, you are proposing that the current level of military forces remain static longer than planned. Isn't this proof that the amount of troops in Iraq will never be enough to adequately reduce the level of violence against U.S. and Iraqi forces?

4. Define "victory" within the context of the current Iraqi political and military environment? Why should this not be a recipe for disaster given the inability of the Iraqi military to meet its training goals and objectives?

5. America has now suffered the loss of over 4,000 soldiers and tens of thousands wounded. How willing, General Petreaus, are you prepared to stretch the military's capability to sustain troop levels at even the 100,000 level beyond the summer and what are your specific goals and objectives?

6. If the next American president planned a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops within 16 months of assuming office and within the context of such a withdrawal, was able to negotiate a responsible regional initiative to pacify Iraq, why wouldn't this approach achieve "victory" by creating an environment on which the future was not dependent on either U.S. troops or intra-Shiite reconciliation?

7. Incubating Iraqi political reconciliation was supposed to be one of the byproducts of the surge. Yet, the Iraqi government is as dysfunctional and disunited as ever -- and our forces are now caught not just between Sunni and Shiite, but between one radical Shiite faction and another. If we are not fighting principally Al Qaeda, but one Shiite faction against another, isn't this just "mission creep" with no end in sight?

8. How much will this war cost the American taxpayer in 2008? Has the Iraqi government contributed any oil revenue to offset the cost of this war to the American taxpayer? Please explain where Iraq's oil revenue is going?

9. The Iraqi government continues to embrace anti U.S. policies and U.S. adversaries. Isn't it an insult to those killed and injured in Iraq that Prime Minister Maliki rolls out a red carpet to Iranian President Ahmadenijad whose Revolutionary Guards, by your own account, is sending arms and funds into Iraq to kill and injure U.S. troops?

10. If Al Qaeda's threat has been substantially reduced, why shouldn't we more expeditiously draw down our forces in Iraq to facilitate a transfer of American forces to Afghanistan where the real struggle against Al Qaeda must be waged?

By Amb. Marc Ginsberg

Rightwingwacko said...

These are questions that will never be answered or repeated in the media. During the 60s and the Vietnam War when I realized as a college student that our government openly lied to us about what they were doing in Southeast Asia, that was a major tipping point for me and millions of others.
Now another tipping point is that our representative government no longer works. We've got an administration in power that does what it wants, lies about it openly, and suffers no recourse.
The so-called checks and balance system innate in our Constitution no longer works, since the opposition party responsible for the checks and balances does not have the political guts to uphold their oaths of office and hold this administration accountable for it's criminal and un-Constitutional abuses of power.

In the 60s there was an old saying "power to the people". Well we no longer have any power. Our votes are wasted on spineless opposition candidates, and the occupation and unnecessary deaths and waste of our tax dollars goes on and on in Iraq.

If you watch the HBO special on John Adams and the birth of our once great country and the courageous politicians and populace, you can't help but wonder how could we get to where we are now, with crimes being committed in our names and with no recourse?

Lew Waters said...

Try thinnking for yourself, wacky, you might mature.

As to "power to the people," have you missed the government is predominantly left any more? Wake up, son, they are he ones who have been taking most all of your liberties as they slowly transform us into the Union of Socialist States of America.

Sadly, moonbats like you just blindly go along with the leftists as they rob the people.

Rightwingwacko said...

Following are examples of freedoms which President Bush and his fellow Republicans in Congress have already expunged (as reported by the Associated Press):

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigations.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records questions.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.

Lew Waters said...

Spare me the moonbat rhetoric and talking points, wacky.

List people you personally know that have lost any thing under the Patriot act, or what you personally have lost.

You whine about "maybes" while ignoring what really has been taken away from you.

Take a look at what you are paying in taxes and get ready to pay more.

Try to buy and wear fur in Portland (whether you like it or not, it is a legal product).

Try allowing smoking in your private business.

You worry about "free speech," but can also justify Hate speech laws? Unless, of course, it is against Bush or conservatives.

Try riding your motorcycle or bicycle without a helmet or seat belt in your car. While they are a good idea, do we really need government mandating them?

Try protecting your property or family against an interloper by shooting him in self defense. While you may be found "justified," what all do you go through first?

By a piece of property and try to cut down trees or build a structure as you see fit. Better not have water on it, wetlands, you know. You'll pay taxes on it, but your use will limited by government.

Want to buy a luxury vehicle to indicate your success? Get ready to pay extra punitive taxes on it.

Deny to rent to a "minority" or "gay" if you own rental property and be prepared to face litigation for discrimination, even if your reason had nothing to do with discriminating.

Try raising your children with Christian values and morals and discipline. Get used to CPS if you do.

Soon to come will be government mandated food choices, some are already in place, with banning trans fats and Mississippi trying to ban state licensed restaurants from serving who they deem "obese."

Let your child do a school paper on "Illegal Immigrants" and be prepared for her/him to be assaulted.

This is but a small example of some of the "real" liberties and freedoms you have lost, given up willingly because government said it was for your own good.

Sorry, wacky, but I don't deal in "what-ifs," "maybes," and "could be's," I deal in what is real.

Eileen said...

Blanket statements like "Liberals don't accept History" seem pointless and I suspect untrue.
Relevance of History is seen differently.

Lew,
You probably should check out the truth related to the supposed assult on the student for their stance on illegal immigration.
What does this say about the values being taught to kids of people who are strong against illegal immigration?
Should my application of this "single incident" to a larger thought group; be any different than those who were quick to point this out as more than a single incident when they believed the girl?


Moving on,
Lew, how about addressing the following questions in rightwing's initial entry to this thread:
4, 8, 10

Pogue Mahogue said...

Wacko,

In the '60's I was in Southeast Asia as an agent of our government (MOS: 0311). I saw firsthand what was happening there. Tell me, as a college student, just what was it you "realized" we were doing there that tipped you over the edge? And do you now realize how badly you were duped?

Lew Waters said...

Eileen, the questions weren't posed to me, they were a copy & paste of an article written by former Ambassador Marc Ginsberg of 10 Questions neither General Petraeus nor Ambassador Crocker supposedly could answer. It orignally appeared at the Huffington Post.

That is why I didn't address any of them. Wacky never supplies a thought of his own unless it is to denigrate conservatives. But, since you ask,

#4 is a loaded question designed to implant in people's minds that any victory is unattainable. Victory has been defined and denied by the left. Regardless of definition given, the question is designed to be argumentative and plant doubt.

#8 Funny question from the left, who also says we should not be "nation building."

What price can you place on a war? Once reached, what then, walk away and abandon another ally in their time of need?

As for their oil revenues, this too is aloaded question designed to instill seeds of doubt, much like was done to the Vietnamese when htey were labeled as cowards not willing to fight for their own country, even though over 500,000 South Vietnamese gave their lives for their country.

Proof of that is in that the actual answer has been available to any who really desire it all along.

IMF Helps Monitor Iraq Oil Money

#10 Al Qaeda isn't the only enemy, radical Jihadism is. It is as much a fallacy as believing terrorism will end if Bin Laden is caught or killed.

Our presence there also prevents Iran from marching in and taking over.

Rightwingwacko said...

You did not answer the questions. You failed the test. Go to the back of the class and study some more. I believe in second chances

Lew Waters said...

Wacky, you arrogant little pissant, you don't give me tests on my blog.

Eileen said...

So I don't understand the goal, or what "win" really means.
I don't understand it no matter how much I read.
I don't consider myself stupid (although this does fall into the type of concepts I am not especially good at either).

In this case we are not looking for a surrender, if we are, who from?
The group that attacked us, does not seem to be the group we are waging war against, at least not directly.
It is no longer popular to just do occupation type campaigns, where we go into someone's country and just occupy. (Or is it, but it has to now be disguised as something else).

It doesn't compare well to Vietnam, because there is no trying to take over Iraq, that we are trying to stop.
But I see this comparison over and over, and this anger about leaving Vietnam, that people don't want repeated.

Lew Waters said...

You've worn out your welcome, wacky.

Lew Waters said...

Eileen, many people can’t understand. Mostly because they are thinking in terms of past wars that had a clear enemy, wearing a uniform and representing a country. That is how most of us have been conditioned.

One mistake many make is that we are only fighting Al Qaeda, since they get all the press. They are but one portion of radical Jihadism and a relative newcomer to the game.

While the fighting and dying is the same, the war itself is different in that we aren’t fighting a country, but within countries. In this case, Iraq and Afghanistan are on our side, but have many radical Jihadists within their midst.

Saddam was supporting terrorist groups, even though he had no direct link to 9/11. Since nearly every intelligence agency in the world reported he still have mass WMD’s, he was given several chances to open up and come clean about them, where they were or where and how they were destroyed.

After 9/11, seeing to what lengths terrorists were willing to go, we could not take the chance that such weapons wouldn’t fall into the hands of the radical Jihadists. Saddam was given an ultimatum and he didn’t comply, so we invaded and deposed him.

Al Qaeda and others flooded into Iraq, thinking we would tuck tail and run, like was done before so many times. Bin Laden and Zawahiri both have said Iraq is the central front in the war, desiring to defeat and embarrass America there. And yes, they do have plans to take over the country if they can and create a Caliphate with Baghdad as the center.

Like the North Vietnamese did long ago, they are not engaging our Troops directly, but in small skirmishes, IED’s and such, all designed to inflict casualties and wear Americans down, so we just give up and walk away before the new Iraqi government can adequately defend and protect itself.

That we are an occupying force there today is a canard. If you recall, the Iraqi we wanted to see as president didn’t make it in their elections, Maliki did. How do we declare ourselves an occupying force and at the same time, complain Iraqi’s aren’t doing what we want?

In both Viet Nam and Iraq and Afghanistan too, there is a force desiring to take over the countries, just not another country.

The wanton slaughter of the South Vietnamese people after we abandoned them and cut off all aid to them, while the Soviets heavily supplied and rearmed the communist north, is what we don’t want to see again. These radical Jihadists are much more gruesome than were he North Vietnamese and the slaughter they will inflict upon our hasty exit will make the millions dead after we abandoned Viet Nam and her people look like nothing.

Don’t forget, these are people who would kill a woman for wearing lipstick or finger nail polish. The stone teenage girls to death for the crime of being raped, considering them damaged, or for riding in a car with a man they aren’t married to. For gays, they hung!

What do you think they would do with any Iraqis who sided with America, if we left the country to its own devices and repeated denial of all aid, as we did with Viet Nam?

One thing that has hurt and cost many lives was for those who voted for the invasion to begin politicizing it for political gain. This isn’t a game and it isn’t the first time a radical sect has felt they had the right to rule the world granted them by their God.

It is totally naïve to believe if we just leave and let them be that we are safe. It is much like a schoolyard bully. They don’t leave people alone that leave them alone, do they? No, it takes someone or a group of someone’s standing up to them and if need be, punching them in their nose.

Iraq’s National Identity Is Alive and Growing