Reading between the lines of the Petraeus report

for months the Petraeus report had been mentioned by everyone; from the blog-o-sphere to prime time it was the “real” report from a man who was untouchable, a man with pride and an impeccable reputation that would tell us, finally, what was happening in Iraq and what should be done. well the bomb dropped yesterday with Petraeus walking a very thin line between telling the voting public that they are wrong, or telling the President the same thing. all in all, it was deft maneuver for a man with an impossible job.

you see, what is important is not the report itself, but rather what it means that this one is the “real” one. never mind the reports that have come out of other government agencies, think tanks and non-profits. never mind all those reports about a failed police force and failing political process. no, the report that really matters comes from a military man from a military standpoint. why?

now, this is interesting. why would it be advantageous to focus on this report? that answer should be plain to see: this report is the only one that actually shows some progress. this report is essentially nothing but a review of the surge and nothing more. the message I take from this is that all the other shit that is going to hell in Iraq is inconsequential to us, the stupid public.

the people want our troops out right? the administration wants to walk out of the situation with its head held high, blessed with the indignation of righteousness, right? what better way to change the subject and just hype the only report that says the Bush policy is working. what is else did he come out and say?

quoting the NY times, Petraeus said that “pulling out 30,000 troops could probably be done without jeopardizing the hard-won progress made in Iraq”. progress? PROGRESS? again, as far as i can tell, we moved more men in and things in those areas changed. nothing more.

so let me wrap it up for you. we moved more men in. it worked (sort of). this is a victory and we can now bring those men back. but, bringing them all back would be a bad idea. the area is still, how do you say, a bit unstable.

tonight the President will hold this report on high and urge us to “stay the course.” are we all reading the same thing here?

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