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September 12, 2007

He's Human After All
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Ezra Klein writes more about General Petraeus's exchange with Senator Warner regarding America's strategic interest. 

He may as well have begged, "Please, senator, I am only a man." And that he is. If David Petraeus is recusing himself from the question, "does this make America safer," then what do we care for his testimony? After all, the broader war we're fighting is not the global "War on Terror" or the surge in Iraq, but the war to make America safer. And Petraeus is advising us to look elsewhere for the answer to that question. Which makes his advice on Iraq next to useless.

The question in Iraq is not what the best pacification strategy is in an alternate universe when men are unlimited, money is no object, and the country's success is of preeminent importance, but how to balance its likely prospects of success, ceaseless chaos, and material demands in this universe. And that is a question Petraeus has said he will not answer, and indeed, has not thought about.

He's right.  This whole set of Congressional hearings is incomplete if Secretary Gates, Admiral Fallon and General Pace don't testify about whether or not staying in Iraq is America's strategic interest.


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. . . also Secretary Rice and Director McConnell. Make these people earn their pay. Stop picking on Petraeus for stuff outside his job description (but not otherwise).

So the author is suggesting that Pace, Petraeus, et al should be setermining policy now?

You may want to re-write the Constitution in your spare time

Not determining policy, but testifying.

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