Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Petreaus report as brought to you by...

I am clearly a little stupid. I had thought that General Petreas would come to the US and present Congress and the American people with a report of the positive and negative outcomes of the infamous "surge" that was supposed to make Baghdad safe for Democracy or, at least, safe. Of course, that hasn't worked and we all know it.

The other day we learned that Congress in its lack of wisdom had demanded of the White House a report on progress in Iraq in mid-September. And that seems to be what we will get. Petraeus will report to Bush and Bush and his political hacks will tell us what they want us to know and will call that "the Petraeus Report." It will be "The Petraeus Report as written by George Bush," as when a book about some NBA players life and loves comes out under his name with, below it, the phrase "as written by ..." Some sports writer will have written the book. So, General Petraeus's report will be ghosted by the White House. None of this is new. Generals do what they are told.

General Petreaus will also testify before Congress. What will he do? Testilie? Will he craft all his replies so they are consistent with the White House interpretation of his views? Or will he tell the truth? General Petraeus can be a great war leader only if he wins the Iraq war, whatever that might mean. What we can be sure of is that he doesn't want to be the General in power at the time that we "cut and run" as we surely will some day.

Bush has run out of options. He has played the "Wait until the September Petreaus Report" card and can't play the Petreas card again, especially now that we know that it won't actually be a Petraeus report. What matters now is what the Republicans in Congress will do. Will they work with Democrats to craft an end the war policy or not. Interestingly Deborah Pryce, a powerful House Republican is cutting and running. And this morning I learned that Dennis Hastert, the former leader of House Republicans is also cutting and running. I thought that Republicans are against cutting and running.

Maybe they will give the country a nice going away present by working with the Democrats to end this stupid war. They know that the Demos will take over the House and Senate and the Presidency unless they screw things up, as so many of us fear they will do. Who should be the Demo candidate? Hillary has real positives to go with her "negatives." Despite my opposition to the Iraq war, I am not a dove. In fact, IMO, we should have stayed in Afghanistan until every last Al Queda and Talliban member was dead or had cut and run. And then we should have chased them to wherever they set up their camps and bombed the living crap out of them. Just no stupid wars. Or should it be Obama. He has the virtue of having lived as a child in a Muslim country. That has surely given him a good perspective on the world. Unfortunately, a buddy called Obama "Obambi" in an email to me. This renaming, unfair or not, has colored my perception of him since.

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Blogger concerned citizen said...

what? now i have to look in the urban dictionary for the definition of words on your blog? Since when do linguistics professors have to rely on slang definitions? :)

"cutting and running." IMO that's politics at it's worst & a logical conclusion to this fiasco. I've had a problem all along with this whole idea of sacrifice. We have to stay & sacrifice because people are going to die... but because we stay & sacrifice people are going to die.
No matter what, people are going to die. For me, the problem seems to be in politicians presuming to predict how many people are going to die.
Predicting the outcome of conclusions to wars is best left to generals. But, who predicts the outcome of abandoning wars?

The appeal of Obama is that he represents more of humanity then just the status quo. Unfortunately for Hillary she represents status quo. If Obama could get beyond Bambi he might get somewhere. Choosing to to appear on the Tyra Banks show is not a good move IMO

1:16 PM

Blogger Bilbo said...

I, too, am appalled that the long-awaited "Petraeus Report" will actually be a White House spin of the real Petraeus Report. I can't believe the President and his supporters think we are that stupid. I have complained often in my own blog about the lack of willingness of both parties in congress to work together to end the useless war in Iraq and get down to the real business of turning Osama bin Laden and that hectoring moron Ayman al Zawahiri into smears on a cave wall. Like you, I am not anti-war, but anti stupidity, and unfortunately there's plenty of stupidity to be anti lately. Bilbo.

8:46 PM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Great comments from both of you. Bilbo, running up to an election people will vote in the way that they think will help them get elected with the proviso that they don't want to make the other party look good. If there is cooperation it will involve a bipartisan bill (no party gets the credit at the expense of the other) and this will happen only if a lot of Republicans decide they are doomed if they don't vote for a draw down of some sort. That is what I expect to happen. That way neither group looks like they are abandoning the Iraqis to their own devices and also satisfy the voters.

The key question as Kerry noted (a borrowed quote I think) is who wants to be the last to die in Iraq. I don't think the Bush administration thinks they are fooling us but Bush is also not going to admit that things are going to hell in a bread basket. The general, for that matter, will not say anything like that because that makes him the losing general.

The American people learned never to trust what Generals say during the Vietnam war. Then they forgot what they had learned and are back believing generals. Never believe a word the military says. They are the biggest butt protectors we have.

9:46 AM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

Well, having the option to not believe what any politician or general says about the war. It leaves us to deduce for ourselves what is going on.
Applying what I've got so far out of the latest audio course on Argumentation & effective reasoning(which is very complicated BTW, for someone who freaks out when thought processes start to resemble mathematics) & thinking about what this war is really about. If the General, as you say, & the President refuse to admit defeat then the only winning proposition in their argument to the American people will be to stay in the war. For them then there can only be two alternatives, stay/win or leave/lose. The opposing political side argues to the American people for a stay/lose or leave/win (for obvious reasons) situation. I tend to see this war as a stay/lose or leave/lose situation, because IMO the American people have already lost. If as you say, the powers that be are looking for a way to turn this fiasco to their advantage, because, they've known for a while the real truth of the situation, which it seems to be what I & most of the American people have figured out.(70% of us anyway)
That is of course, if the war is about what we are being told it was & is about. Was the war about saving America from destruction by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction? Is it about bringing democracy to the Middle East? Is it about winning "the war against terrorism"? It seems to me winning "the war against terrorism" is the only justification of the original three I can think of for staying in it at this point. But hey! the reasons given to the American people for staying have not so subtly changed into staying for the sake of the telling quote, "who wants to be the last to die in Iraq?"

After all of that, What do YOU think this war is really about?

2:08 PM

Blogger مارية said...

The typo in your post title is killing me. Put the "u" in his name!

Anyway..."testilie" is the best new word that should have existed but didn't until now..ever...

4:18 PM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Thank you, akinoluna. Would you like a job as my editor. I desperately need one. Your pay would be $1 per year. I didn't invent "testilie." It has been around a long time.

7:45 AM


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