Petraeus and his Kitchen Knives
A raft of newspaper stories and a sprinkling of admittedly flawed or narrowly focused reports: that is the evidence put forth by a well-known anti-war group against the impending report by General Petraeus about the status of the surge. To them, everyone except the man behind crafting the surge strategy and now charged with implementing it is right, he is a servant “cooking the books” to help justify a lost cause. Why would a man who came up in an institution sworn not to repeat the mistakes of Viet Nam behave this way?
The short answer is that he’s not.
This campaign to discredit the man behind the surge, and those that serve along side him, shows a staggering lack of understanding of the military heart and mind. One need only look at pictures like this and reports like this and note that they are the rule, not the exception. To risk death and endure extreme sacrifice and hardship in order to ensure a liberated Iraq stays that way is something almost everyone who is knowledgeable of and engaged in the effort is prepared to do again and again and again. Detractors tend to resort to slander or fraud. These tens of thousands are not a political conspiracy: they are the embodiment of liberty in action.
Those who deny what success the surge has brought (an admittedly limited result from a limited campaign) and deride those who are behind it either fail to see the long-term consequences of their actions, or simply don’t care. Either way, they end up exposing us to more frequent and potentially greater threats both domestically and abroad. Post-war Iraq will not be post-war Germany or Japan, but leaving it in a state like post-Soviet Afghanistan will produce predictable results.