Alexander's Column

More Demo-gogue "Retreat and Surrender"

Mark Alexander · Sep. 14, 2007

In January 2007, at the end of his second tour in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus was nominated for promotion from Lieutenant General to General. His confirmation made him Commander of Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I). The Senate vote recorded no dissenters, and for good reason: Petraeus is the best commander for the job.

Gen. Petraeus is a USMA graduate (1974), and he has an outstanding career record as an infantry officer. His professional and academic-advancement record is also exceptional. He earned the George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (1983) and later earned master and doctoral degrees from Princeton. Notably, the subject of his doctoral dissertation was, “The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam.”

I suppose his vita makes him the poster boy for those who Jean-Francois Kerry claims are “stuck in Iraq” because they are too dullard for a “real” job like Kerry’s.

In his eighth months in command of MNF-I, Gen. Petraeus was called to Capital Hill this week (the sixth anniversary of 9/11) to testify before Congress about progress in Iraq. Ahead of that testimony, he said, “I’ve tried to spend the last 33 years going around minefields instead of through them.” Monday and Tuesday, he successfully marched through the most contentious minefield of his career.

Those mines were planted months ago when plans for Gen. Petraeus’s testimony were announced. Democrats, who have bet their 2008 election prospects on failure in Iraq, began a campaign to undermine anything positive Gen. Petraeus might report about Operation Iraqi Freedom, because good news is bad for retreat and surrender Demos.

Here are a few representative comments from Democrat Senators who voted for Petraeus’s confirmation and command of MNF-I made before his testimony:

“[Petraeus has] made a number of statements over the years that have not proved to be factual.” –Sen. Harry Reid

“I expect the ‘Bush report’ to say, ‘The surge is working. Let’s have more of the same’.” –Sen. Dick Durbin

“I was against the war, I continue to be against the war, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to bring American troops home at the earliest possible time.” –Sen. Ted Kennedy

“President Bush’s war strategy is failing and the top military commander in Iraq is ‘dead flat wrong’ for warning against major changes. … The fact of the matter is that American lives remain in jeopardy and … if every single jihadi in the world was killed tomorrow, we’d still have a major, major war on our hands [in Iraq].” –Sen. Joe Biden (And we would be fighting whom?)

“I don’t think General Petraeus has an independent view in that sense. … You can be sure we’ll listen to it, but I don’t think he’s an independent evaluator.” –Sen. Dianne Feinstein

“I was against the surge when it was first proposed. And I believe that nothing which Petraeus or Crocker or anyone else coming before the Congress will say next week will in any way undermine the basic problem: There is no military solution.” –Hillary Rodham Clinton

While John Kerry abstained from voting on Petraeus’s nomination, he did get Hillary’s ditto-Demo memo on “military solutions” and declared, “We should not be fooled into this tactical success debate. … There is no military solution.”

For his part, Gen. Petraeus sat stoically before Demo-led panels Monday, prior to delivering his remarks, as they questioned his credibility and patriotism. His face and stature did not betray any degree of contempt for the politicos slandering his character. He is a good soldier.

Rep. Tom Lantos began the hearings by declaring that Petraeus would be doing nothing more than reading White House talking points: “We cannot take any of this administration’s assertions about Iraq at face value anymore. The fact remains, gentlemen, that the administration has sent you here today to convince the members of these two committees and the Congress that victory is at hand. With all due respect to you, I must say: I don’t buy it.”

In response to this backhanded nonsense, Gen. Petraeus opened his remarks saying, “At the outset I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by nor shared with anyone in the Pentagon, the White House or the Congress until it was just handed out.”

Much to the consternation of Democrats and Leftmedia defeatists, Gen. Petraeus did not suggest the U.S. retreat and surrender, but rather declared, “The military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met.”

In fact, since additional forces were committed to Iraq (“The Surge”) in June, and tactical constraints were loosened, the number of “security incidents” has “decreased significantly” in eight of the last 12 weeks; civilian murders have dropped 45 percent and “ethno-sectarian deaths” (Shi'ite vs. Sunni) have dropped 55 percent. For the year, IEDs targeting civilians are down 49 percent, and the U.S. has captured or killed more than 1,000 key al-Qa'ida insurgents and more than 2,500 other al-Qa'ida fighters.

“Additionally,” said Gen. Petraeus, “in what may be the most significant development of the past eight months, the tribal rejection of al-Qa'ida that started in Anbar province and helped produce such significant change there has now spread to a number of other locations as well.”

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker corroborated Gen. David Petraeus’s testimony and spoke about the significant improvements to Iraq’s economy, noting they “are neither measured in benchmarks nor visible to those far from Baghdad.”

Unfortunately, in 2003, nobody thought it would take longer than five years to fend off attacks from Islamic jihadis while trying to undo generations of Ba'athist tyranny and establish a Republican government in the heart of the Islamic world.

If the OIF campaign continues to improve at this rate, Gen. Petraeus said the 168,000 troops in Iraq now could be reduced to 130,000 troops by mid-2008.

On that note, President George Bush insisted later, “[W]hen we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from a position of fear and failure. To do otherwise would embolden our enemies and make it more likely that they would attack us at home.”

Still, Gen. Petraeus’s remarks fell upon deaf ears in Congress.

“Clearly, continuing to pursue the President’s flawed escalation policy until at least July 2008 is not in the national interest of the United States,” protested Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“There is a big disconnect between the truth of the matter and the reality. I mean, the truth of the matter is that … the administration’s policy and the surge are a failure,” concluded Sen. Joe Biden.

The dizzy Leftcoast House Speaker, Ms. Nancy Pelosi, issued a press release after Petraeus’s testimony with the lead, “Continuing Failed Surge in Iraq Until at Least Next Summer Is Unacceptable.” Pelosi insists, “The facts are self-evident that the progress is not being made. … It is time to change the mission of our troops … so that the numbers … can be reduced on a much more aggressive timetable.”

Yeah, like the 2008 election timetable?

Of course, doing the bidding of al-Qa'ida, the Democrat’s Internet lapdog, Moveon.org, paid $65,000 for a full-page ad in Monday’s edition of The New York Times with the caption, “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” and the subheading, “Cooking the Books for the White House.” What followed was a rant impugning the trustworthiness of OIF’s commanding officer, which is a shot at all uniformed Patriots.

Among the many facts omitted by Moveon in the ad was that The Times gave them a 60 percent discount from the standard rate for full-page ads (likely an FEC violation). According to the New York Post, “If a company sells an ad worth [$181,692] for $65,000, then, that would be an in-kind contribution of [$116,692]. Corporate contributions to PACs are illegal under the campaign-finance laws The Times itself has long championed: ‘Corporations and labor organizations are prohibited from making contributions in connection with federal elections,’ according to the FEC.”

Frankly, I’m surprised The Times charged the pantywaists at Moveon at all, but I suppose it had to look somewhat legitimate.

Downwind from the billowing fumes of these Demo-gogue traitors and their surrogates, one is left to ponder, as I have previously, what has happened to the Democrat Party of Roosevelt and Kennedy – which championed our national security and honored Patriots? It is now infested with hypocritical, nescient, impotent, reprehensible, gutless, half-witted, asinine, obsequious, meretricious, pusillanimous, indolent, imbecilic, pompous, retromingent, ignominious, duplicitous, ungrateful, socialist, sycophantic prevaricators, who flippantly exploit Operation Iraqi Freedom, as political fodder for their next campaign.

If the Democrats force a retreat and surrender from the Iraqi front with Jihadistan, we will have to contend with jihadis on our own soil – again – and return to the Middle East at what then will be a much higher cost of life and resources.

Oh yes, lest we forget, Iran’s resident psychopath, President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, recently said of the Democrats' plan to retreat, “Soon, we will see a huge power vacuum in the region.”

Iran, handing off nukes to al-Qa'ida or other jihadi proxies, is going to offset that “huge power vacuum” with a huge power detonation somewhere close to home. This is the terminal objective of jihad. Nineteen terrorists killed 2,996 civilians. There are thousands of jihadi terrorists yet to be captured or killed. Do the math.