Iraq and Petraeus Spin Out of Control
In what the GOP hopes will be a boost for next year's elections, General David Petraeus has broadly hinted in the wake of the worst massacre of the war that the U.S. will be able to start withdrawing troops from Iraq next summer.
What spin. Petraeus has always been used for such purposes. Early in the war, he took a spin over Iraq (right) with Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state who ensured George W. Bush's 2000 election. Years later, he can spin by himself. Yes, the guy is trying to bring good news, but is that what he should be doing? No, we need information that may be hard to hear, instead of information that he thinks his bosses want to hear.
Like Colin Powell at the U.N. in early 2003, Petraeus is being a good and loyal soldier. After the war, Petraeus will no doubt tell it like it was. Who can wait that long?
Unfortunately, the story in today's Times (U.K.), a morsel of good news for the White House and the frantic legacy-building of Bush's handlers, hints that master builder Karl Rove hasn't left the building yet.
But hundreds of Iraqis have left this mortal coil, as the Times (U.S.) reports:
The New York Times story simply included a statement from Petraeus condemning the bombings. The Times (U.K.) story went deeper, putting Petraeus's broad hint in the context of Tuesday evening's horror:
Petraeus praises the involvement of Sunnis in the battle against terrorists. But for a more objective appraisal — and details beyond Petraeus's pap — read the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's package on "Security in Iraq," which I mentioned in an earlier post. Those stories make clear that this is a Sunni vs. Shia civil war. Throw in the Kurds, assorted holy wars, mix with oil from southern Iraq, and you've got an explosive mixture—and fires that won't go out.
The question is when we're going to get out. Petraeus's latest hint of pullouts is nothing more than al-yada-yada-yada to placate the American public.