When we went to war at the beginning, we were fully unprepared. We went
from peace to war overnight. Our army under Tommy Franks and the
administration with Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush had no hands-on
experience, and Congress was made up of peacetime people concerned with
housekeeping issues. Not until Defense Secretary Robert Gates came to
the position did a steady hand come to policy in the Middle East
conflicts. But Gen. David Petraeus also brought stability and success to
a mess he did not create. At his confirmation hearing today to become
the next CIA director, he should speak plainly about his assessment of
the situation as we enter the post-Gates period.
Because President Obama can no longer be trusted on this issue. Drawing down 30,000 troops in opposition to the voice of his military advisers appears to politicize the situation to fit not the needs of the troops on the ground in harm’s way and our allies and friends abroad, but the upcoming presidential election. The wisdom of his recent Libya incursion is questionable as well.
Every historical period ends with a military general and a philosopher politician. Rightly so, as a military officer on the ticket symbolizes the first and foremost job of a president: to lead the armed forces. In our history, Jefferson/Washington, Lincoln/Grant, Roosevelt/Eisenhower. There is no reason why our time should be any different. It has been said that Gen. Petraeus would like to seek the presidency, and he could well be chosen vice president in 2012 or 2016.
It has been 10 years since 9/11, and we are ready now to listen to mature and honorable voices, be they Dennis Kuchinich’s or Wesley Clark’s or Jim Webb’s. Americans tend to trust Gates and Petraeus, likely more than they do Congress or the press or the president today. Let’s hear what Petraeus has to say.