Petraeus Returns to War That Is Now His Own
By Peter Baker and Thomas E. Ricks Washington Post Staff Writers Thursday, September 13, 2007; A01
He sat absolutely still as members of Congress discussed his credibility and patriotism. His face did not twitch. He did not nod or frown or smile. Not a single muscle moved. He was as impassive as a boot-camp recruit resisting a drill sergeant's provocations.
. . . But when he returned to Capitol Hill this week for marathon hearings and a media blitz, the general labored to retain that image. Partisans sought to portray him either as a politicized officer carrying water for the White House or as the only possible savior of an increasingly unpopular war.
The war in Iraq has diminished the reputations of many of its generals. As Petraeus returns to Baghdad to continue carrying out President Bush's strategy, his image has changed as well. Like it or not, he has become a political player, and more than ever before, the U.S. venture in Iraq has become his own. . .
Nice try, Mr. Baker and Mr. Ricks, but we know whose war this is. I'm not at all happy with it either, but those who would try to denigrate a highly capable field officer by painting this as 'his war' are playing right into The Decider's hands.
Bush has strived to make this anyone's war but his. He has determined to hand it off to the next president, no matter how many American kids die in the process, just to not have it fail on his watch.
As we know whose war it is, we know whose failure it is as well. So do the maimed and dead and dying--on both sides.