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                                       politics + culture

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Petraeus and GOP hypocrisy

From a must-read Ann Scott Tyson interview with General Petraeus in the Washington Post:

It is virtually impossible to eliminate the suicide bombings, the commanders acknowledged. "I don't think you're ever going to get rid of all the car bombs," Petraeus said. "Iraq is going to have to learn -- as did, say, Northern Ireland -- to live with some degree of sensational attacks." A more realistic goal, he said, but one that has eluded U.S. and Iraqi forces, is to prevent the bombers from causing "horrific damage."

Presidential Candidate John Kerry was eviscerated for expressing a much more sane version of the same sentiment during the 2004 campaign. From a 2004 New York Times article entitled "Bush Faults Kerry on Iraq Remarks:"

The senator said that for Americans to feel safe again, "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance."

Mr. Kerry went on to draw a parallel to his experience as a prosecutor, suggesting that it was impossible to eradicate prostitution, illegal gambling or organized crime, but that they could be contained so that they did not threaten people's lives....

In New Jersey, Vice President Dick Cheney called Mr. Kerry's view of terrorism "naïve and dangerous." In a conference call with reporters arranged by the Bush campaign, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, mocked Mr. Kerry for comparing terrorism to gambling and prostitution. "The idea that you can have an acceptable level of terrorism is frightening," Mr. Giuliani said.

In addition to embracing base hypocrisy, an emerging theme of the GOP's ever-evolving rationales for the Global War on Terror in 2007 is now simply telling others to "learn to live with it."

What else can we expect from Bush's war in Iraq but more Hypocrisy, Incompetence and Lies?

Read the whole of the Petraeus piece. It is chilling. The entire thing is written from the point of the view of the General flying high above Baghdad in a helicopter...

On Friday night at dusk, Petraeus boarded a helicopter to look for scenes of normalcy and progress from above the maelstrom of the capital.

"On a bad day, I actually fly Baghdad just to reassure myself that life still goes on," he said, leaning back and propping his legs on the seat in front of him.

The aircraft banked right and Petraeus caught sight of a patch of relative calm. "He's actually watering the grass!" Petraeus said with a laugh, peering down at a man tending a soccer field, with children playing nearby.

Seconds later, the aircraft pivoted again, exposing boarded-up shops on a deserted, trash-strewn street. A bit farther, along the Tigris River, a hulking pile of twisted steel came into view -- the remains of the Sarafiya bridge, blown up April 12 amid a series of spectacular and deadly suicide bombings.

It's April of 2007 and our top General in Iraq is reduced to flying above Bagdhad and pointing to someone watering a field as progress.


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