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Parsing Petraeus: More of the same

So now with all the pomp and circumstance gone, what exactly is news here?

“Did you like the one where I told them we made actual progress?” Gen. Petraeus told Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker after testifying before Congress today. (attempt at humor… not actual quote)

We waited. Biting our nails and sitting on the edge of our seats, we waited. We waited to hear what Mr. Petraeus, the all-knowing, all-powerful Wizard or Iraq was going to announce today. And since we all know that statistics are a joke; especially when used by the crafty, we waited to hear the evidence from the surge. And this is what we got....(link)

Ugh.

He used phrases like "in large order are being met" and "enormous challenges" and "improvements have been uneven across Iraq". What does that actually mean? It means nothing. It's noise. It's blather. It's clutter.

"in large order are being met" ?
What that may mean is that at a macro-level the objectives are being met, yet at the micro, the objectives, like we hear on the news reports, almost, every hour, are failing. So is this a true statement before Congress or is this a spin of the data?
"improvements have been uneven across Iraq".
Yes, yes they have. It's safe to say that there are areas, say... the Kurdish part of Iraq, that haven't seen the same amount of violence as the al-Anbar province.

Let's get back on topic, shall we? We mustn't forget the objective of the 'surge'. It was billed as 'The New Strategy'; the savior, the answer to the Democrat's 'cut and run' strategy. It was supposed to fix the current strategy and get our brave men and woman home.

Did the new strategy work, Mr. Petraeus?

Did it?

Posted by john trevisani at September 10, 2007 3:00 PM
Comments
Comment #232492

john, is that quote: “”Did you like the one where I told them we made actual progress?”” verifiable and truthful? If not, your article is not honest by its inclusion. If it is verifiable and truthful, please provide your source. Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 10, 2007 8:58 PM
Comment #232522

Petraus is an impressive individual. The Rep spin machine will use up every ounce of his esteem,much like they did Powell,and spit him out.
Watch. The Rep rote buzzword for the next week or so will be that we should leave decisions of war to the generals.This will get a lot of traction as there is a great need for strong leadership. Americans are hungry for it. We must remind them that in this country generals listen to the civilian authorities. They are not empowered or expected to make decisions of war and peace. To the contrary.Fine generals have been fired for attempting to do so.

Posted by: BillS at September 11, 2007 2:54 AM
Comment #232529

BillS, yes, thank history for Truman, eh? Or we might still be fighting the Chinese in a century long war.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2007 5:18 AM
Comment #232538

David,

C’mon, he even said the quote was a joke, lighten up! If we can’t take serious matters lightly in Cyberspace, where can we? Loosen up that tie, old chap, it’s cutting off circulation to your funny bone.

All in all, I love the fact that the Right was saying “wait for the Petraeus Report, wait for the Petraeus Report”, when in truth, there is no actual Petraeus Report. The general reports to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and they issue a statement to Congress “based” on what he says. The closest thing we have to Petraeus’ own words is his letter to the troops and the partial transcript above. Now let’s see how hard the White House spins this one.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at September 11, 2007 9:36 AM
Comment #232550

The joke about this surge is that if it’s not a success in the next few months, it never will be, because whether or not it works, we have to start letting the brigades go home, come April.

The Bush policy has left literally no other choice to us. This is why you don’t start things like this four years into a war. It’s like deciding to take a trip cross country without stopping for gas when your tank is on empty.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 11, 2007 12:04 PM
Comment #232584

Damn. That Crocker is a bore.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 11, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #232586

leatherankh:
Nope. David was right. i posted the (not a joke) disclaimer after David didn’t get the joke. Since the parody wasn’t clear, i added the disclaimer.

Posted by: john trevisani at September 11, 2007 6:03 PM
Comment #232607

It’s completely obvious that it was a joke—a quote that goes along with that photo.

Far more egregious, however, are the mischaracterizations of the surge that follow the joke.

It’s surprising that someone would ask for a source for that caption and not for the idea that the surge “was billed as ‘The New Strategy’; the savior, the answer to the Democrat’s ‘cut and run’ strategy. It was supposed to fix the current strategy and get our brave men and woman home. Did the new strategy work, Mr. Petraeus? Did it?”

It was NEVER promised or even suggested that “the surge” was going to end the war and bring home the troops by early September. This is a far more serious error than any joke.

Posted by: Liam at September 11, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #232629

Liam:

It was NEVER promised or even suggested that “the surge” was going to end the war and bring home the troops by early September.

Where exactly did i say that the troops would come by early September? Don’t bother… i didn’t say it.

To address the other issues, the “surge” most certainly WAS billed as the new strategy by the President and his administration. For months, as the casualty numbers increased (both Civilian and Military) the stock answer from the President’s administration was: let the new strategy work.

If you recall, it was shortly after the Republicans lost the Senate and the Congress, the Democrats, lead mostly by Murtha, let the charge to reduce American forces by moving the forces to Kuwait. The Republicans countered by blathering on and on about ‘cut and run’ strategies yet offered nothing as a way out of this quagmire. Then the Bush administration offered up this “New” strategy. They pushed back that the Democrats should let the Military run our Iraq strategy and that they needed a surge of troops to maintain the security in order for the ‘roots of democracy’ to take hold.

Posted by: john trevisani at September 12, 2007 6:28 AM
Comment #232648

John - This dog & pony show could not even offer

the Country any new Tricks, (Shame on Them) an may

they be infested with all the flies from the Camels

backs! I believe this show was so bad, that these
shape shifting tricksters will need another trick

before the next Election.

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 12, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #232715

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, General Patraeus ran rings around them in congress this week; hell, the dems have been getting their a$$e$ kicked since March of this year with this “troop pullout (aka retreat and defeat)”. And, the dems getting their a$$e$ kicked means that the enemy is (certainly) losing; courtesy of our (all volunteer) military!!

Just take a look at this drudgereport headline:

Al-Qaida in Iraq takes heavy losses…
Frustrated Democrats mull strategy…

Now, that certainly puts it into perspective. That is funny as sh*t!!! Ha! Ha!

Posted by: rahdigly at September 13, 2007 12:48 PM
Comment #232765

rahdigly- Sounds like the great Chinese philosopher

Who-flung-poohs perspective of spots on the wall.

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 13, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #232962

leatherankh “there is no actual Petraeus Report.”

I believe Patreaus mentioned at the beginning of his testimony that he was reading from his report to his chain of command. I think you could classify his remarks as “The Patreaus Report to the Impotent Windbags of the Congress.”

Posted by: Snardius at September 15, 2007 11:09 AM
Comment #232965

john trevisani “Did the new strategy work, Mr. Petraeus? Did it?”

If you will allow me to paraphrase Gen. Patraeus, “Yes, John, it’s working…but this is not something that can be done in six months…your need for instant gratification notwithstanding.”

Can you allow him just a little more time before you, once again, demand we surrender?

Posted by: Snardius at September 15, 2007 11:16 AM
Comment #233018

john trevisani- The important statement to remember

in the Petraeus statement was when Sen. John Warner

asked the General, (twice) was America safer an

Petraeus answered, I do not know, an he had not

given the matter any thought!

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 15, 2007 6:13 PM
Comment #233058

David

Each time an al Qaida terrorist is sent on to Allah America gets a little safer. The general’s job is to kill insurgents in Iraq.

Senator Warner’s job (like all the other senators) is to help the general do his job and stop giving encouragement to our enemies while our troops are in the field.

Posted by: Snardius at September 16, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #233089

Snardius- An for each American killed in Iraq there

is an American family practically destroyed. An what

kind of life remains for all those thousands of

totally disabled soldiers an their families? John

Warner is not like the other Senators, in that he

happens to be one of the most knowledgeable Senators

on military affairs bar none. I believe that you

an your Republican counter parts, repetitive

talking point of “giving encouragement to the

enemies,” is just as harmful as was the whole

concept of going after Saddam instead of Binladin.

Wrong War, Wrong Place, an by refusing to gain the

support from the rest of the world. I think the

World is way too complex an eventually, will say

no, no more World Bullies, from any Country.

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 16, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #233090

Snardius- An for each American killed in Iraq there

is an American family practically destroyed. An what

kind of life remains for all those thousands of

totally disabled soldiers an their families? John

Warner is not like the other Senators, in that he

happens to be one of the most knowledgeable Senators

on military affairs bar none. I believe that you

an your Republican counter parts, repetitive

talking point of “giving encouragement to the

enemies,” is just as harmful as was the whole

concept of going after Saddam instead of Binladin.

Wrong War, Wrong Place, an by refusing to gain the

support from the rest of the world. I think the

World is way too complex an eventually, will say

no, no more World Bullies, from any Country.

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 16, 2007 2:56 PM
Comment #233091

——————-sorry for two posts, got caught
in the Preview————————-

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 16, 2007 3:02 PM
Comment #233097

DavidIt’s not a talking point. Each time a senator calls the war “illegal” or “a failure” or “the surge is not working” even before it’s begun, our enemies are encouraged and the soldiers risking their lives are placed in more danger. Each time there is an anti-war protest in this country our enemy is encouraged and our soldier’s job gets more dangerous. Like the NVA in Vietnam, our enemy knows they can’t defeat our soldiers but if they are patient, we’ll talk ourselves into surrendering to them.

Yes, you and your ilk have a right to speak your mind but just like it’s wrong to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, you don’t have the right to give aid and comfort to our enemies while we’re at war.

Bully? Who are you calling a bully? Saddam started a war with Iran, invaded Kuwait, butchered his own people, then defied the international community by disregarding 17 UN resolutions requiring him to disarm and show that he had no WMD. Had we not acted to enforce what the UN required of Iraq, the international community would have had even less credibility than it has now. Saddam was the bully.

Now, you want us to leave Iraq so al Qaida can declare victory and Iran can fulfill it’s dream to bully the region into establishing a caliphate from which they will destroy Israel and begin bullying Europe. Your party’s short term political gains are what’s driving their opposition to the war and in my opinion, senators like Leahy, Kennedy, Reid, Clinton, Dodd, and Schumer should be tried for treason, convicted, and hanged on mall in DC. They are putting our soldiers at risk for their own short-term political gain…and that’s wrong.

Posted by: Snardius at September 16, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #233395

john trevisani- A little humor is a good thing.

I thought about transposing a flight from Baghdad

with little smoke streaks passing a plane, with

the four congressmen in it, making the statement

about how much safer Iraq is now! Last week,

a military plane carrying four U.S. Congressmen

came under rocket fire, an had to drop deflecting flares and take evasive action. Later

the Congressmen made the statements that things

in Iraq were getting better. I could not help

notice that President Bush visited there but

his plane landed in a much more, secure place.

Better safe than sorry.

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 19, 2007 1:03 AM
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