August 16, 2007

Reality, Schmality. Let's write it ourselves.

The lies and double-dealing is so common as to almost be boring anymore, but in the latest bit of pure BS from the White House, the long awaited and much ballyhooed "Petraeus Report" is about to be issued as promised.

Well almost.

General Petraeus you'll recall is the guy held up by both sides of the aisle as a man beyond reproach, a stand-up guy, a gifted military leader, who, if anyone could, could finally get things together in Iraq.

He was pointed to over and over and over by the White House as essentially the guy running the "surge". Bush referred to him countless times, sometimes daily, as the guy in charge, the guy he was relying on in Iraq, making it clear that this was going to be Gen. Petraeus' report. He clearly gave the impression that he, Bush, had almost nothing to do with it.
As the Los Angeles Times, which broke the story today, suggests, this revelation is at odds with "Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker." In other words, the White House has repeatedly said that this report will represent the Gospel According To Petraeus -- except, of course, that it won't. At the White House gaggle today, deputy press secretary Dana Perino was asked to confirm or deny this -- and she dodged the question.

IN trying to sell his doomed surge idea, he'd throw Petraeus' name out like some sort of magic incantation to prove that it was a smart and needed thing to do. To critics, the White House would insist that this was Petraeus' plan, not Bush's, and that he should be given a complete chance to succeed.

And above all, Bush AND congressional members of both parties, relied on hiding behind Petraeus for cover and to avoid having to make any judgement on Iraq at all.

They were all waiting until September, we were told repeatedly, until Gen. Petraeus would give the report on the progress or lack thereof in Iraq, as congress had mandated.

As a matter of fact, that was the entire crutch that congress had hung it's approval of yet more hundreds of millions for the surge. "We'll see how it goes and get a report in September", was the political cover adopted nearly across the board.

Well, now the day is drawing near and we learn that the critical report, the one analysis that literally the future of our involvement in Iraq is supposedly hinging on, the vaunted Petreaous report so often and loudly referred to by George W. Bush, isn't going to be a report by Gen. Petreaus at all.

It's going to be written by the White House itself.

OH. I see.

It won't be known how much, if any, of General Petraous' observations or analysis will even be included.

So now, after the lives of hundreds of troops have been ended forever, their families devastated, and millions upon millions expended in Iraq since this "surge" was announced, after Bush and so many politicians hid behind Petraeus as the person who would give it a shot and then give an honest, unvarnished assessment of our course in Iraq and the success or failure of the surge, the White House tells us now that THEY'LL handle the "Petraeus" report, thank you very much.

The White House spokesbot tried to defend this saying that Congress ordered the White House to give the report, not General Petraeus.

But anyone who has watched TV or had the stomach to listen to Commander McFlightsuit and his mouthpieces in and out of congreass in the past few months has clearly seen and heard how Bush has made it appear that the report was going to be by and from General Petraeus himself, the guy who he's esssentially hidden behind for months now.

What does it say when such blatant bullshit and deception by this administration (in this instance in the cause of keeping the war going, no matter what) is so widespread and common that what would have been an absolutel national outrage a decade ago is now hardly noticed?

And what does it say when the fact that this won't be the Petraeus Report at all, but what it looks like once the White House gets done with it isn't mentioned in reporting on this story until near the bottom of the second page of the piece? Including the fact that (duh) people in the White House want to outright lie about so-called "progress" in Iraq?

From the LA Times:
Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.

The senior administration official said the process had created "uncomfortable positions" for the White House because of debates over what constitutes "satisfactory progress."

During internal White House discussion of a July interim report, some officials urged the administration to claim progress in policy areas such as legislation to divvy up Iraq's oil revenue, even though no final agreement had been reached. Others argued that such assertions would be disingenuous.

"There were some in the drafting of the report that said, 'Well, we can claim progress,' " the administration official said. "There were others who said: 'Wait a second. Sure we can claim progress, but it's not credible to . . . just neglect the fact that it's had no effect on the ground.' "


At 8/16/2007 3:38 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Regardless of who ends up writing the report, liberals will complain. Instead of this long rambling post pondering the the authorship of the report, why don't you just cut to the chase and come out and admit that: 1) you want Petraeus's report to be 100% bad news
2) you want Petraeus's report to say the surge doesn't work
3) you want America to fail.
Then you can sit back and smugly say "told you so". By the way, Are you ever wrong about anything??

At 8/17/2007 5:49 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Though you obviously are nearly demanding that I "admit" those things, I can't. Because it's all bullshit.

Anyone that relies on the tired old bullshit that somehow critics of the war "want" America to fail is nuts.

Seriously, do you actually believe that?

If so, you're too far gone to be taken seriously.

The fact of the matter is, Nico, that we've ALREADY FAILED, and failed miserably.

The invasion of Iraq was a failure before it began, due to the entire plan being based on pure ideological crap and the lust of Bush and Cheney to get their hands on some Arab oil and provide billions in profits to their cronies in the defense industries (and those others who instantly founded companies just to cash in.)

Every syllable uttered saying anything otherwise has been pure B.S. and everyone with a funtioning mind knows it.

The rationale has changed so often everyone's lost count.

No one wants America to fail, and to even think so is despicable and lame-brained.

But I for one, and millions of others as well, are damn pissed off that these moron Republicans have drug this country through the mud and mired it in an unholy mess which will damage America for decades and generations to come.

And I'm not exactly concerned about what the content of this report is, as everyone knows that it's not going to be good news.

The war is a failure, the surge is a failure, and any good our presence there is doing doesn't come close to the price we're paying in blood, money, and global instability. It's impossible to justify unless you want to go through the looking glass and start beliving utter non-sense, such as you put out.


Right wingers have bawled and bitched and the ONLY thing that they can come up with to attack the opponents of this war is the ridiculous notion that they somehow want America to fail??!!

Like much of right wing rhetoric, that sounds straight out of 5th grade, for God's sake!

At 8/17/2007 6:15 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And here's something for you to consider.

You repeat the cockamaimy notion that Democrats want the U.S. to "fail". Pretty outrageous charge, to be sure, considering what a failure the Republicans have been.

But what about this notion...

President Bush is more than willing to cost the lives of American men and women in Iraq, perhaps hundreds of them, for his own political benefit.

We know that Bush long ago learned to put people to death for his own political benefit, having executed more people in Texas than anywhere else in the world. He didn't even read the appeals, but would have some staffer read the cliff notes version and then sign off on the execution without a thought.

A defendent's attorney slept during trial? Too bad. See ya.

And he seemed absolutely ... excited.. about going to war, and seemed determined to have his war, no matter what. He didn't even want to take a chance that any other avenue might work out. He absolutely did NOT want any inspections, the UN, etc. to work, he wanted a war and he wanted it now.

He's milked the war for two terms now, and caused the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

And now it's been said for some time now, that Bush's sole goal is to run out the clock, and keep the war grinding along until he can dump it in the lap of his successor.

What do you think about that?

There's every reason to believe that it's true.

This Petraeus bait and switch is a perfect example of how he has simply dithered and created diversions without doing anything at all to change course in Iraq.

He's playing for time... time to get out of office.

That seems pretty clear, doesn't it?

And if it is the case, what does that make Bush?

What do the families of all the people who will lose their lives, or lose their eyes or legs in the meantime feel about this?

Bush can't admit a mistake, and can't draw down troops, lest it be taken as a reversal.

So he allows more people to die, purely for his political ends.

What about that?

What does that make him?

I'd say that's a little worse than Edwards expensive haircuts or bitching about people who actually want to reverse course on a failed "war".

At 8/17/2007 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nico, you are dead on. Liberals care only about hate. If American failure advbances their cause - so be it!

At 8/18/2007 6:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:31

Did you attend our last meeting? The one where every liberal on the planet got together to decide what we all think?

A better and more convincing case could be made that it's you troglodytes on the right that want America to fail.

After all, isn't it you that insists on going down with a doomed strategy in Iraq?

Isnt' it you who insists on continuing to send troops to their deaths with no descernable benefit to anyone?

Isn't it you knuckle-draggers who believe, against literally EVERY indicator out there and every person knowledgeble about the situation on the ground in Iraq, that we can somehow "win" there?

Isn't that really the course which is nearly assured of failure?

And isn't it you righties who are, and have been, the biggest cheerleaders for continuing to feed men and women into the meatgrinder for no good reason whatsoever, other than to supposedly save face and cling to some ridiculous John Wayne ideal that America never loses, never makes mistakes, and never backs down?

Well, thank Bush for the fact that he lead America into a situation in which NO ONE could have possibly succeeded.

So if you want failure for America, if you want to continue to hemmorage blood and money in a pointless cause, if you want to drag this country down with you in an immoral effort to prop up Bush and refuse to admit a collossal mistake, then keep leading the war parade.

But don't look back. There's not too many people following you anymore.

The rest of us want America to succeed in this world, not to go from a beacon of freedom and example to all to being hated and feared around the planet.

At 8/18/2007 7:48 PM, Anonymous Saul said...

"Liberals want America to fail"? Unbelievable.

Bush has gotten everything he wanted for this war--there is not a thing he has asked for that he has not received. He has been able to completely devise his own strategy from start to finish without any interference from "the liberals," who have groveled and sniveled and signed on to every request by Bush to pour more and more taxpayer billions onto this inferno that he has created.

AND YET, when Bush's strategy is revealed as resulting in an utter and complete catastrophe that has plunged Iraq into a far worse nightmare than Sadaam ever did, somehow, some people have got to find a way to blame the liberals.

You've got to have your head pretty deep in the sand to think that "Petraeus" might give us some good news, and that, if only we keep at it, we can "pull it off." Sorry. The plan to liberate Iraq and replace Sadaam with a pro-American government has proven to be an utter and complete disaster, and has only succeded in destroying the Iraqi economy and society. That has been obvious for years, and can't get any more obvious, and nothing that Bush or any general can say is going to erase that fact.

Bush has failed in Iraq, not America. The war was Bush, from start to finish, not America. The only way he got America into it was by lying us into it--by making us so afraid that we'd go along with his plan.

At 8/19/2007 11:26 AM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...


I watched a great Frontline episode last night online titled "the End Game" that put a whole new perspective on how things in Iraq got all f-ed up from the outset.

It blamed everyone to some degree, notably (and rightfully) the generals. The one aspect that I hadn't known was the chasm in policy differences between what Rumsfeld and the generals saw as the strategy and what the President was spewing during speeches.

Here's the link, and it's well worth the view.

If the authorship of GEN P's document is in question, one only need to view this before reading the final report to be able to read between the lines and understand who spun what.

- Huck

At 8/19/2007 3:02 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Glad you mentioned that.
That particular Frontline ran sometime last month and I taped it. It was so important and revealing that I haven't had the heart to delete it yet, thinking I'd like to burn some copies and hand them out.

I debated mentioning it on the blog, but figured no one would give a damn. Those opposed to the war would find it confirming everything they'd suspected or known, and those who cheerlead the needless violence would likely dismiss it all, as they so conveniently do when confronted with facts or reality, as the work of some "liberal" media, which of course, this show is not.

Frontline also had a show about the selling of the war that was quite disturbing and revalatory... at least to the many who weren't already aware of just how cynically the rush to war was marketed much like laundry detergent.

Frontline is always worth watching. I've never seen a bad or dull one yet, and they usually dig into a subject that no one else has bothered to work on or that no one else has the guts to cover.

At 8/19/2007 4:13 PM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...

Regardless of the politics, the show was also VERY good from a military perspective. It was interesting to see how confident they were that they'd leave by Sep '03 as the war began, which is why LGEN Sanchez found himself in charge of MNF-I and why Casey (a 4-star who never commanded troops in combat) became CENTCOM. It was also interesting to see the analysis on the battle of Falluja, and how "Clear, Hold, Build" came into "vogue." Great stuff.

What I'm hoping about the Petraeus report is that both political sides understand the ugliness of the situation there, and let his report stand as "the word" on how things are/aren't progressing strategically. I also hope that's why we're seeing folks leaving the Adminstration at this point in time--to have a fresh set of folks fielding the political responses to the report, so that any deviations from previous spin are less "awkward" politically. I wonder what LGEN Lute's role has been in all of this.

It's one thing to run an oil company into the ground. It's another to run a country into the ground. Let's hope he's finally seeing the damage he's done.


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