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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-13-07 09:05 PM
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The General As Salesman

Not surprisingly, Petraeus performed smoothly in his testimony to Congress. But an internal Pentagon report is expected to 'differ substantially' from his recommendations on withdrawal from Iraq, NEWSWEEK has learned.

By Michael Hirsh

Sept. 10, 2007 - Lets not mince words: David Petraeus may be the only thing standing between George W. Bush and total failure in Iraq. And its apparent that most of the Washington power eliteas well as the rest of the countryunderstands that. All of which helps to explain the extraordinary spectacle on Capitol Hill on Monday, when Gen. Petraeus, the commander of multinational forces in Iraq, delivered a mostly positive report on Bushs surge in Iraq, as anguished antiwar protesters shouted and screamed imprecations from the back of the packed hearing room before being led out by security guards. (Among those arrested: Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq and later became a leading activist against the war.)

But it is not so much Petraeus the general that Bush is depending on right now, it is Petraeus the politician. Most of the media coverage of the 54-year-old four-star officer has focused on his intellectual brilliance (top 5 percent of his class at West Point; Princeton Ph.D., counterinsurgency expert). What Bush needs out of Petraeus now, however, is his lobbying acumen, namely his ability to persuade the Democrat-controlled Congressin particular, the growing number of Republican war doubters thereto give him the time he says he needs to rescue some measure of stability out of the chaos of Iraq.

Not surprisingly, Petraeus performed smoothly on the political front on Monday. In testimony he insisted was his own frank assessment and not cleared beforehand with the White House (however, it was briefed up the chain of command, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe told NEWSWEEK), Petraeus delivered an early Christmas present to legislators who are desperate to show their constituents that they are working toward withdrawal. Petraeus said he wants to bring home a U.S. Army combat brigade in December, and that by July 2008 he hoped to remove five more combat brigades and two Marine battalions, reducing the U.S. presence from about 168,000 now to pre-surge levels of about 130,000 troops.

But it's questionable whether even the smoothest-talking salesman could appease public opinionor Petraeuss Pentagon detractorsat this point. NEWSWEEK has learned that a separate internal report being prepared by a Pentagon working group will differ substantially from Petraeuss recommendations, according to an official who is privy to the ongoing discussions but would speak about them only on condition of anonymity. An early version of the report, which is currently being drafted and is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year, will recommend a very rapid reduction in American forces: as much as two-thirds of the existing force very quickly, while keeping the remainder there. The strategy will involve unwinding the still large U.S. presence in big forward operation bases and putting smaller teams in outposts. There is interest at senior levels in getting alternative views to Petraeus, the official said. Among others, Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon is known to want to draw down faster than Petraeus.


end of excerpt.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-13-07 09:09 PM
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1. No, let's not mince words:
General Petraeus: "Ass-kissing little chicken-shit" according to Adm Fallon.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-13-07 09:18 PM
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2. This is just another Bush dog and pony show
And it is way past time for him and those enabling these lies to be called on them.
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