"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"General" Andrew Sullivan Dishonors General Petraeus

Well, to be candid, that’s a hypothetical that I’m just not prepared to address. We are determined to do all that we can, while we’re given the opportunity to try to bring this to as successful as reasonable a conclusion as is possible, and that is really what is just what I’m devoting all my intellectual energy and physical energy to at this point in time, not thinking about what the implications of not getting it right are.

-- spin from one on the side of Cheney and “extremist, Republican partisans,” General Petraeus in response to Hugh Hewitt’s question of what we might expect as the consequences of defeat in Iraq.

It is unfortunate; though not surprising that Andrew Sullivan would have qualms about General Petraeus’ interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday and chose to pre-emptively judge the move on the part of the general as “working from the agenda of extremist, Republican partisans.

This, he believes “renders Petraeus’ military independence moot,” but before passing judgment he’ll “wait for the transcript,” wee bit late on the withholding of judgment already. Believing Petraeus a willing cog or just allowing himself to be used by the “Republican propaganda machine” are charges of a partisan crime that leave Sullivan believing the he now knows “whose side” the general “seems” to be on.

I don’t blame the rising of anyone’s hackles when something they believe in the success of (losing Iraq in this instance), may be thwarted by someone in the top tier, someone whose judgment we should all be able to trust. I do however, question their judgment when they lay it all on the line and plant the seed, so to speak, for forwarding the argument of doubt for September based in part on an interview unheard or transcript unread (unavailable at the time of Hewitts post regarding the interview, therefore unavailable to Sullivan as well).

Sullivan inserts the next piece in the puzzle that is the Democrat propaganda plan of attack for the general’s report in September on the progress in Iraq.

Accusing someone of Hugh Hewitt’s caliber of being a tool of “extremist, Republican partisanship” is a sad statement just because you disagree with his views on various issues. A more “moderate” voice in the media to Sullivan is what or who; CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN or any of the rest? Interviewers from these fonts may well be more to Sullivan’s liking, they would however ask more leaning question, the answers of which they would use to spin the continuing tale of utter desperation, abject failure and to quote the Time’s editorial board, the “colossal waste of the nation’s blood and treasure.”

No, we hear from these purveyors of “selective prescience” much too much these days and take what they feed us as reality; when the reality is it offers a very incomplete and unbalanced diet in its best of reporting. An interview by Hugh Hewitt, whose questions you can listen to or read, combined with the answers to these questions as provided by someone in a real leadership position should be viewed as the least of the partisan means of getting the information.

To believe the General Petraeus as partisan when his life’s work has been dedicated to the defense of his nation and now the protection of the soldiers under him as well is to take the chance of dishonoring someone that likely has more honor in one finger than many can hope to have in their entire being. Not withstanding this syrupy judgment of a man I do not know; regardless of the interviewer, someone in Petraeus’ position should be provided with a modicum of the benefit of the doubt; it is after all the general whose judgment we will need to rely upon come September.

Based upon how things are going now, I expect to hear that things are looking up (up from where of course is another question) and that likely more of what has been taking place with the “surge” offensive will be necessary. I will look upon this as hopeful and positive while others will see it as proof our entanglement in Iraq does not have a set date, time and second for completion; they will want and require that. If the threats we face are to be driven back we cannot let them have what it is they want as it’s an excuse to accomplish nothing.

Having read the transcript I think it high time that Sullivan and Harry Reid start believing the general and considering what he sees. I don’t think it has a whole lot to do with anything November 2008 related.

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