Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Petraeus and Hillary

I almost don't even want to write this because it's so totally and completely unsurprising to me. The ultimate reason I'm doing it is because I want to gloat.

Remember, if you will, when Hillary Clinton censured Gen. David Petraeus with these words, lecturing to him as if he were a child:

"...You have been made the de facto spokesman for what many of us believe to be a failed policy. Despite what I view as your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.

In any of the metrics that have been referenced in your many hours of testimony, any fair reading of the advantages and disadvantages accruing post surge, in my view, end up on the down side."
She then proceeded to vote against the senate amendment that would have defended and honored Gen. Petraeus. Remember?

That was then, this is now:
As critical as she is about the Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq war, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a relatively rare shout-out to the military’s top man in Baghdad, General David Petraeus, calling him “an extraordinary leader and a wonderful advocate for our military.”
Extraordinary leaders aren't liars or shills for other politicians as she implied. And they're certainly not so stupid as to misrepresent (or misunderstand) their own two day long statistical presentations to congress.

I wonder if her sudden change of heart has anything to do with this?
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Force - Iraq, spoke with reporters accompanying Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is visiting the country.

The security trend lines all are favorable (still) , the general said. “Attacks have continued to go down. We’ve had a five-month period consistently of a level of attacks we’ve not seen since spring of 2005,” he said. “This past week was the fourth-lowest since October 2004.”

Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker will explain why they believe attacks have come down when they report to President Bush and Congress (again).

The general said he is encouraged by the statistics and what he sees around the country. “In fact, the level of attacks has come down in recent weeks below a level we thought might be the ‘irreducible minimum,’” he said.
Emphasis, and italicized comments mine.

I know the guy won't be snarky in his testimony; he's too much of a professional for that. But wouldn't it be wonderful if he was? I would love to be in his shoes at the end of the testimony, just to have such a legitimate excuse to smirk.