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When not in court, I usually keep one of the two cable news stations on in the background of the office, just to keep the little finger on the pulse of this place.

Today, General B Petraeus managed to tie up cable news with a marathon performance so substance free, so spin-fully delectable, so adverse fact free that several beverage companies were seen lurking about, trying to capture his ability to remove the slightest hint of caloric impact on the recipient.

Sure, there were some good times, Senators Dodd, Biden, Obama, and even a republican or two. But for the most part, all we learned (with all news to the contrary being diced, sliced, saute'd and broiled into nothingness) was that THE SURGE IS A SUCCESS.

Yep, you can stop reading here. Just to repeat the Big Message, THE SURGE IS A SUCKCESS.

OK, he did admit a slight uptick in violence in Basra,and even hinted at a complete lack of political gain, although he spun that as a natural result of great gains on a broad measure of goals, and he even went so far to claim that we have reached 6-7 out of 10, on meeting all of our goals, which presumably would permit us to leave that poor, destitute, destroyed, sorry land. (even those minor admissions seemed to take a team of dentists, armed with a 6 story monster crane, using stainless steel chains super-glued to a reluctant bicuspid, and twin diesel engines pulling at pesky tooth to extract even that much)

What is fascinating is how he managed to avoid his original statements concerning the "surge" many, many months ago, its intent, its temporary nature, and the intent to secure political results, and replace it with his willingness (?) to draw down troops until July, leaving MORE TROOPS THAN BEFORE THE BLOODY SURGE!
Yippee! We will only leave 140,000 troops in harms way, smack dab in the middle of a bloody, nasty civil war in which we have only temporary allies, and only as long as we look the other way when they disobey, and so long as we continue with massive bribes.

I did feel shock and awe, though. The General uses his tongue better than a central Illinois truck stop hooker. (no offense to truck stop hookers. Their profession is even older than the General's and I almost regret the unfortunate comparison) He spins words better, with more talent and delicacy, than most politicians, including most of the past and present presidential candidates. He managed to take more time, use more fillers, and say less than any uniformed person ever testifying before congress. Watching old pros like Biden, Hatch, Dodd and others grit their teeth, yet remain polite was almost refreshing.

If this general represents the new Army, god forbid we fight a real war. With a chestful of medals so shiny and colorful that even ex-Soviet Generals would feel jealous, he appeared every inch the Modern Military Man. A New Age Leader. Form meet substance. Guess which won?

It was not that Petraeus was totally lacking in substance. He was too cool a political cat for that. It was the incredible way he mixed metaphors, meta-twos, and more, including the slightest bit of fact, then managing to take it away with truly superb allegorical, grammatically correct, and ever so balanced non-content, perhaps, anti-content, that was the story.

Of course, given this administration's utter lack of even a passing acquaintance with truth and veracity,
it is fitting that their military face is represented by a polished pol like General Petreaus. He is, in every sense of the word, a Bush man first, a politician second, and perhaps, between one-armed push-ups and TV appearances, a general.

So this was a completely wasted day. Most of the Congress pretended to ask hard questions, and he did not even pretend to give hard answers. Still, this very performance tells us something. The fact that he spent more than 6 hours on the hill, most of it televised, tells us just how bad the reality in Iraq is. Otherwise, they would not be spending the time to cover it up, to bore us with platitudes, or to spin it into something it is not - namely a success.

I suspect that this last ditch effort will backfire. Three years ago, the MSM would be cheerleaders, racing against other outlets to show their pride and excitement at what fine leadership we have in Iraq. Today, that no longer works. In fact, I suspect that this performance will only cause more curiosity about the truth in Iraq. We will see more family loss stories. We will see mental injury follow-ups. We will revisit the torture issues, the Blackwater rapes and murders, and more. Maybe, just maybe, this smooth, fact-free performance will ignite America's attention to back where it belongs. When that happens, it will be summed up in one question: WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING THERE?

Originally posted to agnostic on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:36 PM PDT.

Poll

Will Petraeus' performance help or hurt the Bush Occupation?

0%0 votes
9%3 votes
43%14 votes
12%4 votes
21%7 votes
0%0 votes
12%4 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please don't say General Betrayraeus (4+ / 0-)

    Now you will have silly season congress moving to condem Dailykos. I can see Bill O'Reilly now harping it on fox.

    When we are together it isn't me who matters, but the other person

    by AHiddenSaint on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:39:08 PM PDT

    •  petrayus (0+ / 0-)

      is a good man.  he is a general.  it is bad politics to political smear a general, especially during wartime. the people that deserve our disdaine are the congressional pigs who voted for this mes and the inept president who waged it.  The General was a fierce critic of Bush for many years.  He is a prinston scholar and is trying to do the best he can with the shit sandwhich Arbusto has handed him.  You will not be winning any votes with smearing this guy!

      •  I runneth not for office, ergo, (3+ / 0-)

        I have no votes to win. And if elected, I would refuse to serve, being too curmudgeonly and sarcastic to be fit for office, or even to be fit to be tied.

        His performance was just that, a performance.  

        To fully understand Christianity's duplicity, first recognize that the Vatican's St. Peter's Square is actually an oval.

        by agnostic on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:46:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the guy is a top notch General (0+ / 0-)

          it is stupid to attach military tactians serving in the threatre of war.  its just cowardly and bad politics.  for all you know the guy is a democrat. As a said he was a fierce critic of the bush administration prior to getting the ob.  thats why so many people bugged out when he got it

        •  Still laughing (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks; I missed the whole thing, but adored your comments, especially:

          If this general represents the new Army, god forbid we fight a real war. With a chestful of medals so shiny and colorful that even ex-Soviet Generals would feel jealous, he appeared every inch the Modern Military Man. A New Age Leader. Form meet substance. Guess which won?

          "He is the very model of a modern major general" n'est-ce pas?

          Did he have any comments--did anyone even ask--about the mortar fire into the Green Zone?

          Our economy is a house of cards. Don't breathe.

          by Youffraita on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 04:19:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, there's plenty of disdaine to go 'round, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, agnostic, DixieDishrag

        but the General deserves his fair share.  Bush has winnowed he field of field managers to one who will put his prinston education toward keeping our troops mired in the shit sandwhich.  I for one heep disdaine upon him.

        Honest Republicans are not very bright. Bright Republicans are dishonest. There are no intelligent, honest Republicans any more.

        by ajbrown on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:49:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A prinston scholar, oh my! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DixieDishrag, The Distillery

        My inferior intellect withers in shame!

        Betrayus explicitly participates in the political realm when he shills for the Bush/Cheney administration the way he does.  No ethical commander was going to be appointed by this bunch of war criminals.

        Petraeus could have stuck to the facts and either gotten fired for telling the truth or resigned because he wasn't allowed to.  But no, his shilling continues.  He is betraying the army under his command by prolonging this unwinnable empirical occupation, he is betraying his oath to the Constitution by conducting this illegal war, and consequently, he is betraying every American, never mind the Iraqis.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 04:11:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is bad generalship (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, agnostic

        to not speak the truth, or not withold comment.  It is bad generalship, to sacrifice the troops you lead and serve, for any other purpose than accomplishing the mission.

        He could have been a great leader.  Now he is part of the compromised political apparatus, to the detriment of the institution of the US army, the troops he purports to lead, and the citizenry that paid dearly for his training and education.

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 04:12:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, my! Bill-o will condemn Daily Kos! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, agnostic

      Say it isn't so!

  •  Read the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eiron

    U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual if you want to know what he is doing and what he intends to do. It's all there.   This guy is a student of history.  Read the historical vignettes that he cites.   He intends to stay there a while.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:49:06 PM PDT

  •  Sorry you wasted your afternoon. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic

    Watching so we don't have to.  Thanks.  I've never had much patience for bad theater.

    Honest Republicans are not very bright. Bright Republicans are dishonest. There are no intelligent, honest Republicans any more.

    by ajbrown on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:50:51 PM PDT

  •  I gotta agree with the Diarist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, kimoconnor, DixieDishrag

    it was a rather disappointing bit of testimony in terms of content, canned evasive and duplicitous, he may not have betrayed us, in that, "a cadet does not lie, cheat or steal", but they sure pressed the boundaries of forthright and honest testimony.

    I used to admire Petreus, and moreso, Ryan Crocker.  In some way, we have 2 more casualties of otherwise talented, gifted, and worthy men, now reduced to pitching  shit as shinola on behalf of a secretive, inept, and posibly incompetent administration.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 03:55:03 PM PDT

    •  Looking at their bios they could be fantastic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eiron, agnostic

      But they are going along with Bush (Cheney). I don't understand how such educated men can end up with these comments and public opinions.

      01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

      by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 04:52:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and extend this (0+ / 0-)

        through the rest of the departments and agencies, , Justice, Commerce, Ag, State .  How many of the talented folks we've developed for so long are compromised careers now.  That is the legacy.  

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 05:11:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And also (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DixieDishrag

    for all us Mil guys and gals.  I am sstill surprised that the theater CinC and the CJCS aren't at the table.  We got a subordinate speaking, actually for them, or rather for the administration.    

    This is bad broken, folks  

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 04:07:16 PM PDT

    •  that issue has not bubbled up (0+ / 0-)

      thru the MSM. at least, not yet.

      Because he appears, is telegenic, sticks to the script, the MSM are satisfied. They have nicht clue about the way the chain of command operates. They ignore that his superior was removed, and ordered NOT to testify.

      fuck this all. it is bad broken.

      To fully understand Christianity's duplicity, first recognize that the Vatican's St. Peter's Square is actually an oval.

      by agnostic on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 05:57:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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