In his second day of testimony before Congress Tuesday, Gen. David Petraeus made perhaps the most incredible statement by a U.S. military commander since the war began in March 2003. Under intense questioning on the Hill over the war's progress or lack thereof, Petraeus buckled when asked by Republican Sen. John Warner (VA) whether the war has made the United States more secure:
Warner: "Are you able to say at this time, if we continue, what you have laid before the Congress here as a strategy, do you feel that that is making America safer?"
Petraeus: "Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objections in Iraq."
Warner: (sternly) "Does that make America safer?"
Petraeus: "Sir, I don't know actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind what I have focused on and been riveted on is how to accomplish the mission of the multi-national force in Iraq."
Holy shit! Did we just hear that correctly? What an unbelievably damning confession. Think about the magnitude of his statement. The General who commands the multi-national force in Iraq cannot say whether or not this immensely costly war is actually making us safer? That 4 1/2 years of battle, 3800 dead U.S. soldiers and $500 billion spent may have been for nothing? I'm astounded. Speechless. Give him credit at least for being honest. And for being focused on successfully doing the job he's paid to do. And also give him the most credit for not allowing our cowardly and delusional president to successfully hide behind his general, who he had hoped would do his selling of the war and, thus, his dirty-work.
Despite all this, and not to his credit, the General still believes we should continue fighting a war whose mission he himself is unsure of. That we should continue to keep sending our young men and women to die quite possibly for nothing. This is an absolute travesty, and an irresponsible, reprehensible use--or misuse--of our troops. After today's testimony, I wonder just how much more insane this military debacle can get.
One thing's certain: President Bush was probably cringing while listening to his General declare that our soldiers might very well be dying in vain. That kind of brutal honesty--a virtue foreign to Bush--surely won't help him with his smoke and mirrors speech to the nation Thursday evening. And it'll be interesting to see how the Busheviks attempt damage control over the next 24 hours. I suspect the spin-machine will be in high gear...