Gen. David H. Petraeus had not even had the chance to present his case to Congress before some otherwise thoughtful folks were moving to undermine his ability to implement his plan for stabilizing Iraq — a thing he’s shown in the past he know how to do.
Nevertheless, he went on to present it, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, today.
I truly believe it would have been worth waiting to hear him before judging his chances.
On past occasions, the trio of John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Warner has been a bulwark of sanity, courage, and principle in the U.S. Senate. They stood together to move the Bush administration on the treatment of enemy prisoners, for instance.
But now they’re parting ways on Iraq, and I see it the way Sen. Graham does:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Wes Hickman or Kevin Bishop
January 22, 2007
(202) 224-5972 / (864) 250-1417
Graham Statement on the
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the Warner-Collins-Nelson Iraq resolution.
“Unfortunately this new Iraq resolution, no matter how well-intentioned, has the same effect as the Biden resolution. It declares General Petraeus’s new strategy a failure before it has a chance to be implemented.
“Any resolution that could be construed by American forces that Congress has lost faith in their ability to be successful in Iraq should be rejected because it rings of defeatism at a time when we should be focused on Victory.
“Success or failure in Iraq will spread throughout the region creating momentum for moderation or extremism. Petraeus’s new strategy is our best hope for success, acknowledges past mistakes, sets benchmarks for Iraqi leaders, and provides needed reinforcements in all areas: militarily, politically, and economically.
“I urge my colleagues not to try to micromanage the war, but instead listen to General Petraeus and fully resource his proposal. We must stand behind him and the brave men and women who will execute this new strategy, as the successful outcome in Iraq is essential to winning the War on Terror."
Of course, one of the virtues of independent, thinking, honest people is that they are free to disagree, rather than being mindlessly bound to ideology or party.
But I’m sorry to see Sen. Warner go the way of the crowd on this one. Men such as Sen. Graham and especially Gen. Petraeus need support on this. The stakes are too high to play resolution games that will weaken the general’s position before he and his new troops even get their boots on the ground.