Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quote of the Day: on Gen. Petraeus

From Peggy Noonan's column this morning, on the general's testimony earlier this week (italics in original, boldface mine):
In a way, David Petraeus won the day when MoveOn.org came forth with its famous "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" ad. They shot themselves in the foot and deserve to be known by their limp. Republicans enacted fury (Thank you, O political gods, for showing the low nature of our foes!), and Democrats felt it (Embarrassed again by the loons!). No one--no normal American--thinks a U.S. Army four-star came back from Iraq to damage our democracy by telling lies.
Which makes virtually every single Democrat in Washington an abnormal American.

However, two other thoughts from Noonan were right on the money, albeit not supportive of this administration:
Thus a seeming illogic in the general's presentation: For the first time in years we're making progress, therefore we should reduce troop levels to the same point at which we made no progress.
As for the president's speech on Thursday night, it managed to seem both wooden and manipulative, which is a feat.
I support the idea of leaving our troops in Iraq until the Iraqi government and law enforcement can take care of themselves. But I also love the idea of troops coming home because their success in Iraq has created an atmosphere that makes such a withdrawal feasible. However, President Bush's speech came across as a schoolboy who sees the popular kid do something that gets a laugh, so he tries to duplicate it and gets laughed out of the room. ("Petraeus was a hit -- I need to capitalize on that good buzz!") I hope he isn't doing that with the troop withdrawal -- grabbing onto this idea simply to go along with the tide -- or his previous stumbles in Iraq may pale in comparison to what happens in next few years.



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