A few observations on the testimony today of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. I listened to some, watched a bit on TV, and based on what I saw:
1. If the White House communicated as well as these two fellows (heck, half as well), these hearings would not be happening – because the Democrats would not be in charge of Congress.
2. The moveon.org ad in the NYT brings rational discussion to a new low. To refer to General Petraeus as General Betray Us not only gratuitously insults someone who appears to really care for our country, and obviously works hard at his job, but it demeans the debate over the war. Shame on them.
3. The Democrats are really scared, because they see that if they do indeed win the White House next election and keep control of Congress, any pullout from Iraq will be their decision – and they could well be in a position of explaining to their supporters why we have to stay in even longer. Political posturing is cheap for them now, but they realize that if they were actually in control, they would be making the same decisions.
4. I never understood why “exit” is valued so highly, even if we succeed in stabilizing the situation. I see tremendous value in having, say, a US military base on the Iran/Iraq border – something widely reported today. What, strategically, is bad about having 100,000 well-trained and well-equipped troops on the borders of Iran, Syria, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia?