I find it amusing that folks at QandO and the others on the right accuse us of questioning the credibility of Gen. Petraeus. I’m sorry but the general has done that all by himself by saying little that wasn’t administration spin and being proved wrong over and over again. His appearance on the Hewitt spin machine was just icing on the cake.Paul Krugman discussed General Patraeus in his column All the President’s Enablers and said this:
Thanks to that vote, nothing will happen until Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, delivers his report in September. But don’t expect too much even then. I hope he proves me wrong, but the general’s history suggests that he’s another smart, sensible enabler.Here is the op-ed article Krugman refers to:
I don’t know why the op-ed article that General Petraeus published in The Washington Post on Sept. 26, 2004, hasn’t gotten more attention. After all, it puts to rest any notion that the general stands above politics: I don’t think it’s standard practice for serving military officers to publish opinion pieces that are strikingly helpful to an incumbent, six weeks before a national election.
In the article, General Petraeus told us that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously.” And those security forces were doing just fine: their leaders “are displaying courage and resilience” and “momentum has gathered in recent months.”
In other words, General Petraeus, without saying anything falsifiable, conveyed the totally misleading impression, highly convenient for his political masters, that victory was just around the corner. And the best guess has to be that he’ll do the same thing three years later.
Battling for IraqI'm not going to reprint any of it here, Krugman gives a good summary above, but go read it and encourage everyone you know to do the same. It will be much easier to put whatever Petraeus says this September in context. Although the timing of the September, 2004 Op-Ed is suspicious I don't want to assign motive but it does question his credibility. Three years later we have not turned the corner and in fact things are much worse than they were then and the US is even deeper in the desert quagmire. You have two choices when you listen to the Generals report in September, it's political spin or he simply doesn't know what he is talking about.
By David H. Petraeus
Sunday, September 26, 2004; Page B07
Cross posted at The Gun Toting Liberal