In with Petraeus, out with McChrystal. That’s been the buzz the last 48 hours inside the beltway. If one had lived in a cave for three years, you would think General Petraeus was the greatest thing since sliced bread according to the media. Here is what is being said about Obama’s decision to put him in charge of our Afghan forces:
Wolf Blitzer, CNN: “He showed he is the Commander-in-Chief”.
Michael Scherer, Salon: “Obama’s done very well at asserting himself as the Commander-in-Chief.”
David Gergen: “I would rate this as one of the best decisions he’s made as president. He managed a brilliant choice in General Petraeus.”
Wolf Blitzer, CNN: “A very brilliant move to tap General Petraeus.”
Chip Reid, CBS News: “It sounds like a pretty brilliant decision.”
Chuck Todd, NBC News: It’s going to be seen as a brilliant choice by the president.”
Chris Matthews, MSNBC: “The recruitment of General Petraeus for this new assignment is brilliant. It’s perfect.”
Wow. Sounds like the left has finally found a war hero to their liking (sorry John Kerry – you’re old news!). And we know that it is just mere coincidence that they ALL chose the EXACT same description in their news coverage.
By inference then, we can assume that Petraeus is well respected and thought of in the media and on Capital Hill.
That assumption would be wrong, however. The current fawning is not really over Petraeus, it is an attempt to promote a positive image of President Obama.
Back in 2007 the New York Times ran a full page ad (paid for by moveon.org) with the headline ‘General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”.
The rest of the mainstream media and Democrats in the Senate attempted to discredit General Petraeus’ testimony, proclaiming the surge a failure and the war in Iraq lost (including current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton). Senator Obama had this to say:
“This continues to be a disastrous foreign policy mistake. And we are now confronted with the question: How do we clean up the mess and make the best out of a situation in which there are no good options, there are bad options and worse options?”
So a mere three years later, the same man who designed the plan for the successful surge in Iraq – which was opposed by Senator Obama for being disastrous – is being given the command of Afghanistan by President Obama? Is Obama’s foreign policy so desperate that he has to turn to a former Bush commander that he once considered a failure? And since Obama is being hailed as brilliant by making this choice, wouldn’t that make President Bush brilliant as well?
As Dan Rather once quipped, trying to figure that out “would give aspirin a headache”.
For the Democratic base it’s more like a migraine.