color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Almost Farcical If It Were Not So Deadly Serious

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Almost Farcical If It Were Not So Deadly Serious

It would be an understatement to say that I was disgusted and appalled at the behavior of most of the Senators and Congressmen towards General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. It took very little time to see that most of the people in attendance had no intention of asking appropriate questions or any desire to listen to the answers. It was almost farcical if it were not so deadly serious.

And just to clear up all those that were confused as to why testimony was occurring on Sept. 11 (attention Sen. Obama, Sen. Byrd, et al.): Congress said by Sept. 15... and since Congress does not usually work on Mondays (Sept. 10) and Congress is on a break for the observance of the religious holiday of Rosh Hashanah for three days (Sept. 12 - 14) ... that left 1/2 day on Sept. 10 and more than 11 hours of testimony yesterday -- Sept. 11.

After watching the hearings yesterday, I was especially shocked by the angry and/or condescending tones used by Kennedy, Clinton, Hagel and Byrd (to name just a few) -- regardless of all the self-serving (it looks good in print) "Thank you both for your many years of service" and "all due respects" flung about.

Here's some of what I blogged yesterday while live blogging the hearings on Milblogs:
... and I used to be impressed with the soldiers' constraint boots on the ground... just not sure how Gen. P doesn't let loose with an occasional "oh, STFU... do want to make speeches or get answers from someone that knows?"
And I was almost apoplectic this morning watching the "hearings" in Sen. For. Rel. [Senate Committee on Foreign Relations] when -- after every Democrat pontificating for their entire allotted time -- and BBoxer WITH full blown up pictures -- and then asking a loaded question and telling the General to please submit his response in writing -- Biden told General Petraeus (and Amb. Crocker) that "it would be in your best interest if you could shorten your answers a bit"... WWWHHHHHHAAAAAATTTTT????!!! aaggghhhhhhh

Update: onto the Armed Services Committee... and Levin is quoting Ralph Peters for a guide on foreign and military policy???!!!! I repeat: AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH
[Auth. note: I actually agreed with much of the OpEd Peters wrote... it was its use to open the hearings that set me off...]

Update2: and now Levin (after any number of speeches and not one single question 30 minutes in... ) is quoting a NYT article????? aaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhh basing his questions on "the NYT reported...???!!! (weep... weep... this is the best he can do??? ) time for a drink... thank God... it's McCain's turn... and BE STILL MY HEART -- he just asked a question of Gen. P!!! and now Crocker... REAL questions... on Iran.. on the contribution of the Surge to the turn in the tide in al Anbar... on soft partitioning... Iraqi police as failure... replication of Anbar success throughout Iraq...
And before I start on the next rant, a little background on the Clintons' attitude towards the military -- I mean, in addition to dismantling the military and slashing its funding: did you know that during Bill's years in the White House that the Clintons were so appalled by the "image" military uniforms presented that military members were forbidden to wear their uniforms at the White House??? So now let me ask whether anyone else sucked the air out of the room or lost their breath (gasp!) when Hillary called Petraeus and Crocker liars? Actually, the words she used to once again show the Clintons' absolute disdain for the American military was "the reports that you provide to us would require the willing suspension of disbelief"... I don't suppose that anyone else was not surprised that after the first 15 seconds, she didn't (or couldn't) look Petraeus or Crocker in the eyes?

If you missed it, here's
"Hilary Questions the General" at Tank at NRO

It was really quite clear that most of those doing the pontificating questioning over the last two days had no idea that the CIC (that would be Commander in Chief) told Petraeus, "Take that hill," and the General said, "Yes, sir."


The General has a mission and it is his job to accomplish that mission in the least amount of time possible using the resources he has available and with the least loss of life -- American and Iraqi -- as is possible. Period.

Gen. Petraeus can not testify to what the President considered when he gave the order although the CIC may have shared his considerations with the General... but Petraeus does not make the decisions on dwell time... he does not make the decisions on which units will rotate in... He may have opinions or thoughts on some or all of those things given his more than three decades of military service, but it is not his place to testify to Congress on his thoughts and opinions.

The General was required to assess the mission given by the President (and Congress when they UNANIMOUSLY confirmed him)... assess what he needed and will need to complete the mission... to assess what is working and what is not... He has assessed whether the mission can be accomplished and what is required (e.g., men, equipment, timing) to do so; it is his job when asked by his CIC to truthfully tell him those things. Then the President decides policy. In this case, the Congress legislated that the General (and the Ambassador) also report his assessments and recommendations to them by September 15. That is what Petraeus and Crocker did. And did well.

To Hilary, Teddy, Chuck, et al.: It is not General Petraeus's fault that you do not like the President or the President's policy or even that you do not like that the General's answers are not working to your political aims. It is what it is. This is the number of troops, this is the number of wounded, this is the number of casualties. He can tell you how many Iraqis have "stood up" and he can tell you based on what we know NOW how many he expects will volunteer in the future, how long it will take for training and when they might be capable to stand alone.

The General can tell you that the Iranians are supplying arms and fighters and that these actions are costing American lives in Iraq; he cannot tell you whether we should attack Iran for these acts. And if he could predict with complete accuracy when all the fighting will end, I'd tell the General to work on Wall Street and make far more than they pay him to take the abuse he suffered at the hands of insufferable people these last two days. As an American citizen, I want to apologize to General Petraeus and to Ambassador Crocker for the misbehavior of our elected officials. There is certainly little honor or decency among those thieves.

So where does that leave us? Petraeus and Crocker said there has been progress... measurable progress... and that it was likely that it would continue. They each testified that there is a real chance to stabilize Iraq and allow the Iraqis to continue making steps toward reconciliation and the establishment of a true democratic state that would not fail.

They each warned in no uncertain terms that failure would allow Iran to assume control of Iraq and to use the revenues and resources to fight against America's interests... including a base for al Q'eda and other terrorist organizations to train, plan and execute attacks against America and her Allies. There was no waffling on that. In fact, there was no waffling by either the General or the Ambassador throughout their marathon sessions before Congressional committees. They did not waiver in their testimony or their conclusions. It is the recommendation of a distinguished career military officer -- who serves the American people regardless of who is President -- and an equally distinguished career diplomat -- who also serves the American people no matter who sits in the White House -- that we continue in Iraq.

Finish the Mission.

11 Comments:

At 9/12/2007 2:27 PM , Blogger Army Wife said...

I have not been able to watch most of the "report". What I have been able to hear, and see, has been very frustrating for me.

 
At 9/13/2007 10:19 AM , Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/13/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

 
At 9/13/2007 7:44 PM , Blogger Sue said...

Why do people who are supposed to be educated show absolute disrespect for the people who do all the work?
The total disrespect certain senators had for General Petraeus and the Ambassador make me ill. And the restraint the General and the Ambassador both showed in answering the questions of these people just reinforced why I am so proud to be a military mom.
I agree...finish the mission.

 
At 9/14/2007 3:41 AM , Blogger ragingmom said...

Very Well said. I was home sick on Tuesday watching this fiasco, and nearly threw something at the TV.

 
At 9/14/2007 4:03 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

Well said!
I also can't believe the coverage of it. There was a NYT article the other day that more-or-less said "Most Americans want to bring the troops home, but unfortunately some jerkwad named Petraeus is in charge and he doesn't want to listen to all of us." That was seriously the gist.
Unbelieveable.

 
At 9/14/2007 10:16 AM , Blogger kbug said...

Well said, fellow military mom. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the "gutless wonders" on capital hill insult our military leaders and insist that we cut and run. We need to finish the job!!!

 
At 9/14/2007 10:35 AM , Blogger Snog Dot said...

Outstanding article and discussion. There's absolutely nothing in your post I can disagree with. Thanks.

 
At 9/14/2007 12:04 PM , Blogger joyce said...

I lost it when two of the senators questioned the General about his son's Airborne school. That was too close to home. How dare they. I hope General Petraeus got to pin on his son's Airborne wings, but that is none of the senators' business.

But I loved General Petraeus' sense of humor in front of the press when he threatened to read his opening remarks for the fourth time.

 
At 9/14/2007 6:14 PM , Blogger Fred said...

hought you might find this video interesting. It made us Cry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOoqBl3gCx0

It's called "What I'm Fighting For"

 
At 9/14/2007 7:45 PM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

I cannot imagine why it made you cry, fred, unless it was because the music's not very good... but no accounting for taste...

the "I'm only fighting for the guy next to me" is a little callous... and the bushcheneyhilterwediditfortheoil theme is a little dated... and I find it offensive to use soldiers to sell songs that do not celebrate the soldier... if the songwriter has a problem with the war, he should say so and not use soldiers to try and make the song "relevant" heh

 
At 9/14/2007 8:54 PM , Anonymous john a said...

The mother of my Marine, and my 82nd Paratroper currently in Baghdad, called me at work, about an hour after Lantos opened the hearings on Monday. Her anger was still papable over the phone.
Latter,when I rasied the issue of the MoveOn ad sliming Gen. P over supper, I thought I was going to have to peel
her off the kitchen ceiling.
Being a Mom id tough enough. being a Military Mom is tougher still.
God Bless you all

TopGun

 

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