Dissenting View on Petraeus Testimony
Interestingly, Col. Pat Lang, a staunch opponent of this war for as long as I can remember, offers one of the most generous assessments I’ve seen of General Petraeus’ testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. Contrary to the prevailing notion — mine included — that nothing new has come out, he found Petraeus deflecting credit that has been given to him on some key points and fighting against some of the conventional wisdom of the GOP hawks.
Beyond that, there’s no way to excerpt or summarize without simply pasting the whole post here. Just go read it instead.
Perhaps the problem is that the hype that presaged these hearings built up expectations to ridiculous levels. As Phil Carter puts it, “we basically thought Moses himself was bringing down the word of God on a set of tablets.” Perhaps disappointment was inevitable.
Phil’s right here, too:
Instead, we got a very workmanlike report from two men who remain incredibly, almost impossibly optimistic about the situation. I think their optimism is natural; a commander must project such confidence to his troops if he hopes to inspire them and lead them into harm’s way.
The idea that Petraeus and Crocker are lying administration shills is silly; optimism is just in their job description. But wishing doesn’t make things so, either.