Today on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace and Bill Kristol had themselves a tidy little conversation on an Iraq War. I say "an" Iraq War, because whatever this Iraq War they were talking about bore very little resemblance to the one the rest of us have come to know and love. Allow us to provide some annotations.
WALLACE: Now [Petraeus is] expected to report some progress, call for a pause in July after the troop surge drawdown, and after he makes his report, to head back to Baghdad.
You have to love how Wallace glosses a "progress report", a "drawdown" and a "pause." So much mythmaking and dishonesty! When Petraeus last testified, he blew smoke up everyone's behinds about the "Surge" working, and said, "Guess what! It's been so great, we're going to withdraw some troops!" But the troop withdrawal he spoke about had nothing to do with the success of the "Surge." It was a drawdown that could not be avoided because our forces were so overextended. Bad enough that Petraeus tried then to pass off being hamstrung as a sign of "progress," here we have Wallace, glibly conflating the coming "Pause" - a halt to even necessary drawdown - as a function of "success."
Bill, why is it so less of a pressing story, so less of a headline news this week than it was in September?
I love it when the media pulls out their looking glasses and starts directing their queries to them, don't you? "Wow. Why aren't we covering this story?"
KRISTOL: Well, because it's more evident that the surge has worked and we're on course to a satisfactory outcome of the war, first of all.
In a perfect world, some giant cartoon stamp would have sprung from the side of the screen and branded Kristol an idiot. The "surge" has been a non-factor and the events of the previous two weeks have been a sad, but clear sign of this, as Mudtada al-Sadr effortlessly disrupted the peace, exposed the central government as inept, and helped to strengthen the regional position of Iran in one fell swoop. It simply cannot be credibly said that Americans are having any meaningful influence over the "outcome" of Iraq, and frankly, we're long past being able to consider any likely outcome "satisfactory," unless the whole idea behind the Iraq war was to install a Sharia regime that would be both permanently dependent upon our largess and poisonously resentful of it.
Secondly, because the Democrats made fools of themselves when they attacked Petraeus, and the most famous one, of course, was Hillary Clinton, who said it would take a willing suspension of disbelief to believe what General Petraeus was saying.
If anything, the Democrats were foolish to show as much deference to Petraeus as they did! They were put in office to steer us from this disastrous path!
And of course, what he was saying was true. And General Petraeus is an honorable man. And Hillary Clinton should be the last person to talk about willing suspensions of disbelief, I would say, in light of recent stories she's concocted.
Indeed. I forget how many soldiers died because Clinton lied about what happened in Tuzla. Could someone please remind me?
So I think Petraeus will do fine. And for me, you know, what's impressive about Petraeus and Odierno and Ambassador Crocker is this -- people worry, I've worried, can our government even function.
Ha. I think Kristol is just projecting his own self-doubt, here.
And we're so bad at doing a lot of things, it seems, these days. And here we have people who've come up through the military and through the foreign service doing really an exemplary job. I mean, this is not politics. This is just taking a very tough situation when they went over there over 1.5 years ago and really turning it around.
Naturally, the "very tough situation" that existed a year and half ago was built from the ground up by people like Bill Kristol. I don't hear a whole lot of taking responsibility here, just a whole lot of denial. Eternal sunshine of the spotty mind.