*Scroll for updates*
Say what you want about McCain, but he’s definitely not backing down on his stance that we need to win in Iraq. And Lieberman, of course, is still standing strong against the army of wimps in his on party who want to cut and run. Via the WSJ:
Today, Gen. David Petraeus–commander of our forces in Iraq–returns to Washington to report on the war in Iraq and the new counterinsurgency strategy he has been implementing there. We hope that opponents of the war in Congress will listen carefully to the evidence that the U.S. military is at last making real and significant progress in its offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq.
Consider how the situation has changed. A year ago, al Qaeda in Iraq controlled large swaths of the country’s territory. Today it is being driven out of its former strongholds in Anbar and Diyala provinces by the surge in U.S. forces and those of our Iraqi allies. A year ago, sectarian violence was spiraling out of control in Iraq, fanned by al Qaeda. Today civilian murders in Baghdad are down over 50%.
As facts on the ground in Iraq have improved, some critics of the war have changed their stance. As Democratic Congress man Brian Baird, who voted against the invasion of Iraq, recently wrote after returning from Baghdad: “[T]he people, strategies, and facts on the ground have changed for the better, and those changes justify changing our position on what should be done.”
Whatever the shortcomings of our friends in Iraq, they are no excuse for us to retreat from our enemies like al Qaeda and Iran, who pose a mortal threat to our vital national interests. We must understand that today in Iraq we are fighting and defeating the same terrorist network that attacked on 9/11. As al Qaeda in Iraq continues to be hunted down and rooted out, and the Iraqi Army continues to improve, the U.S. footprint will no doubt adjust. But these adjustments should be left to the discretion of Gen. Petraeus, not forced on our troops by politicians in Washington with a 6,000-mile congressional screwdriver, and, perhaps, an eye on the 2008 election.
The Bush administration clung for too long to a flawed strategy in this war, despite growing evidence of its failure. Now advocates of withdrawal risk making the exact same mistake, by refusing to re-examine their own conviction that Gen. Petraeus’s strategy cannot succeed and that the war is “lost,” despite rising evidence to the contrary.
The Bush administration finally had the courage to change course in Iraq earlier this year. After hearing from Gen. Petraeus today, we hope congressional opponents of the war will do the same.
I don’t hold out much hope that they will, because for so many of them, they know if they don’t, they’ll feel the wrath of their rabid anti-war, Bush-hating base, and we all know how most Democrats react when faced with pressure from the ‘bats. And speaking of, MoveOn.org has placed an ad in the New York Times that essentially calls Petraeus a traitor to his country. Pete Hegseth, executive director of Vets For Freedom, has the details on how MoveOn and Democrats are covertly working together to cast doubt on Petraeus report before he’s even had a chance to give it:
General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is “cooking the books,” then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, ‘betray[ing] us.’
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership –as an article in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday’s Politico: “‘No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,’ noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. ‘The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.’
Read more on how Dems have been trying to undermine Petraeus in advance of his report here.
Isn’t that just typical? Congressional Democrats don’t have the courage of their convictions to say that they think the General is a liar themselves, so they let their far left groups speak for them, thinking that somehow people won’t put two and two together and understand that those groups are working together to undermine the Commander in Chief and General Petraeus.
And how is the media already spinning Petraeus’ viewpoint on the surge? Take a look at these two headlines:
—- The surge must go on, Petraeus to tell Congress (The Guardian)
—- Petraeus says US surge has ‘not worked out’ (Africa’s Mail & Guardian)
And, of course, blogosphere is abuzz with discussion about Petraeus upcoming report today before House and Senate committees. I’ll try to post a transcript and/or video snippets, as soon as they become available.
Last but not least, NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez delivers some bad news for the anti-war left.
PM Update I: Michelle Malkin is liveblogging the Petraeus/Crocker testimonies. The money quotes:
In long-awaited testimony, the commanding general of the war said the objectives of last winter’s buildup in U.S. troops were “in large measure being met.”
As a result, he told a congressional hearing and a nationwide television audience, “I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level … by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains we have fought so hard to achieve.
And here’s more on that MoveOn.org ad, complete with pictures and transcript.
PM Update 2: The crazies from Code Pink had to be escorted out of the building. The video is here:
And Cindy Sheehan was arrested today. Again.
Moving on to more important matters, for those like me who couldn’t watch the speech today, Kathryn Jean Lopez has key points from it here. Michael Yon wrote a piece for NRO in which he urged people not to ask him what he thinks about Petraeus reports, but instead the battalion commanders.
And the left’s assaults on Petraeus continue – in between the serious, thoughtful commentary at this link, you’ll find several links where liberal know it all bloggers are accusing the General of essentially being a Bush shill – that is, in addition to being a “traitor.”