Sure He Was "Overly Optimistic," But Don't Mess With Petraeus

Via, Atrios and Yglesias, one of the Fox News liberal types, Michael O'Hanlon, writes a "stirring defense" of General Petraeus:

Sen. Harry Reid's recent statements questioning the forthrightness of Gen. David Petraeus in reporting on conditions in Iraq are unseemly and unfair. . . . It is true Gen. Petraeus was too optimistic about the training program of Iraqi forces when he was in charge of it. But he was not alone in having undue confidence about the course of events in Iraq at that point. . . It is also true Gen. Petraeus chose to highlight the "normalcy" of much of Iraq in recent comments about how things are going there. Such comments were indeed a bit forward-leaning . . .

Forward-leaning? You mean rose-colored glasses? The notion that Reid demanding candor from someone who has been "overly optimistic" as bad is just bizarre. I hope General Petraeus is more forthright than O'Hanlon has been, for he is one of those folks who believes in extended Friedman Units:

Although it has been said before about previous new years, it seems very likely that 2007 will be make or break time in Iraq.

Is it ok if we demand a little candor from Mr. O'Hanlon and would he please be forthright in telling us how and why he has been wrong on EVERYTHING about Iraq?

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    Dear Mr. O'Hanlon, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:06:22 PM EST
    General Petraeus careth not and needeth not your defense any more than he careth for or needeth my understanding of his current positioning and trained mentality in the military life that is currently his.  He is creme de la soldier in the middle of his mission his Command gave him!  He will preform this mission even if Commie Pinkos take over the media and the air waves too and call him everything but legitmately born of a human being.  Dear God if only I could convince myself to just be a media whore instead of an American civilian who needs something to really happen in this democracy to set matters to right!  Everything could be so easy and I could just buy my friends and they might even prove to be worthy of friendship!

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:15:14 PM EST
    But more than that, I bet Petraeus sees part of his mission as selling his team on his mission, which means that "candor" is not part of the job description necessarily.

    Politicians have to end the war (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:18:00 PM EST
    because, generally speaking, generals will do what they're told. (Isn't that supposed to be a redeeming feature of American Democracy?)

    Yep (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:19:56 PM EST
    You couldn't be more right on! (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:37:23 PM EST
    He sees his soldiers first.  They are his adopted children and everything his real children never became!  NOT KIDDING!  That whole leadership brotherhood and each other's keeper survival thing during combat, you can't even describe it but you can sit there among it and feel your exclusion.  That combined with the mission and his sworn oaths are the main factors that will shape his "candor".  Petraeus brings something extra to the stew with being some sort of  soldier humanist (really weird when it comes to being in uniform) plus ginormous civilian education, and he excreets this "exotic aroma" descretely from his soldier pores.  Because of this some politicians have mistaken him for a civilian and hoped to exploit him as some sort of wanna be peer they allowed into the CLUB. Like he was a janitor getting a foot in the door or something and he always had much bigger guns thousands of pounds of muscle more than any of them and he doesn't even live in their world.

    As 75 more Iraqis perish in Baghdad today alone. (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:48:16 PM EST