Posted by: edshannon | September 11, 2007

Fileted Petraeus for Dinner Anyone?

To me, the most troubling aspect in the Petraeus report, is that it really didn’t matter what he said.  The anti-war response was going to be the same.  In fact, liberals spent a week planning ways to discredit Petraeus’ before he even left Iraq! Now, the ‘spin doctors’ in the mainstream media will have a heyday with the report no matter what it contains or how presented.

Case in point, before the General and the Ambassador were finished, CNN and MSNBC they were playing and replaying the Warner and Petraeus exchange. Senator Warner asked, “Are you able to say at this time, if we continue what you’ve laid before the congress here as a strategy, do you feel that, that is making America safer?”

The General’s reply was less that satisfactory, “Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objectives in Iraq.” It was a measured response, perhaps rehearsed, so the Senator asked his question again a little more directly to which the General replied. “Sir, I…I don’t know actually. I have not sat down and sorted that out in my own mind.  What I have been focused on and riveted on, is how to accomplish the mission… ”

If Petraeus had said, “Certainly, this will definitely make our country safer,” the media would rip him apart as ‘spouting the party line,’ or being in ‘Bush’s hip pocket,’ especially since the question was asked by a Republican. Petraeus, in my book, did a superb job of not taking the bait dangled before him on several occasions. What else could he say? How could he, or any of us, know what effect a strategy will have?

What the General did not say, because he wasn’t asked, is what has been done already made America safer? Are we to believe that the war has had no impact on Al Qaeda’s capability? That somehow the FBI, CIA, and the newly born Department of Homeland Security has miraculously started working overnight with such precision that we’ve not had a successful attack in six years, especially when they were so broken and fragmented before?

Petraeus was asked to speculate on something that God can only know. He was asked a question that a field commander shouldn’t be grappling with. General Petraeus doesn’t set policy or belong to a think tank. As a field commander, he should be ‘riveted’ on the mission given by Washington policy makers.

Chris Matthews, on MSNBC’s Hardball,” says he’s deeply disturbed by a General who doesn’t know if what his troops are doing will make America safer. Does a cop hitting the street every day “know” if their sacrifice will reduce crime and make the city safer? Matthews goes on to say that General George Washington knew, as did General Eisenhower knew. Really Chris? Even if those Generals’ context were the same, how do you know what Washington or Eisenhower ‘knew.’ They didn’t know if what they were doing was going to work or not, put they did fight against an enemy.

It seems like we Americans demand foolproofing everything. This is evident in the way we file lawsuits over everything. Or rush to pass a new law when something catastrophic happens.  It may be therapeutic, but it won’t foolproof anything.  What we want is utopia on earth.  I’ll bet I know one man that will be glad to get back to Baghdad.


  1. […] In Iraq Agree With Petraeus Report Al wrote a great article about the Petraeus Report and how the left is scheming their way to further undermine our military […]

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