I’m glad that President Obama has appointed Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. McChrystal, but I can’t help wondering whether Obama himself feels any discomfort at turning to the hero of the Iraq surge to try to bail the administration out in Afghanistan. After all, Obama opposed the Iraq surge before it happened, and after the fact claimed that it had made only modest gains and was not responsible for the most significant improvements in Iraq. This video from September 2007 reminds us that before Obama became a lousy President, he was a lousy Senator. Watch as he badgers Petraeus and ambassador Crocker and belittles their efforts in Iraq; almost eight minutes go by before either witness gets a word in. Petraeus never does talk:
It would be nice if Obama were to acknowledge that he was wrong about the surge and unfair to Petraeus, but that won’t happen. Like MoveOn.org, he prefers to let the past slide down the memory hole.
PAUL adds: After that exchange in 2007, it’s difficult to believe that Petraeus holds Obama in higher regard than McChrystal and his staff do. Petraeus is far more savvy, and will almost certainly keep these views to himself. But it’s a measure of the General’s patriotism that he would accept this assignment from Obama — not because of the way Obama treated him in 2007, but because he surely understands the odds against succeeding in a difficult war that requires great patience, under a president like this one.
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