They have 2 COA. COA-1 is to have by September a situation where their undermining efforts at home and their Islamist allies in Iraq have given them what they need to declare defeat. COA-2 is that progress is made in spite of their efforts. In that case they still need a defeat. How will they get one? Simple, make one up. Discredit General Petraeus.
Korb lays it all out; starting with the first paragraph.
Political leaders from both parties now agree that the American people need to know by September whether the latest escalation in Iraq is working. Many lawmakers will formulate their position on the basis of a coming report from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force, to the president. Unfortunately, based on behavior in his last command in Iraq and the manner in which he received his current position, Petraeus is not a reliable source for an unbiased assessment.First, state that he is unreliable - then attack the core of any General Officer, his integrity.
...Lt. Gen. Petraeus published a misleading commentary in the Washington Post....Because, you see, GEN Petraeus is just a Republican operative. He is fair game.
If Petraeus wrote on his own initiative, he was injecting himself improperly into a political campaign. If he was encouraged or even allowed to do this by his civilian superiors, he was allowing himself to be used for partisan political purposes.Yes, you need to notice the two "If"s and the "even." It is amazing what those little words will let you make up and make it sound like fact.
If Phibian was the Fairy Godmother, even Skippy could be a Princess for a night and have a romantic evening of dancing and stolen glances with BadBob.Wow. That is just too fun.
Anyway, back to the Korb. Then you need to state that GEN Petraeus is incapable of telling the truth.
...can we really expect him to be objective about the current situation when the president consistently reminds us that the surge is Petraeus' strategy? In a speech in early May defending the surge, President Bush mentioned Petraeus by name no less than 12 times and stated that the "best messenger for the surge" is David Petraeus.Then set the stage so that even his provable statements are not worth listening to.
Asking Petraeus to assess the situation in September might be asking him - if the evidence pointed in that direction - to say that his whole counterinsurgency strategy was wrong.
...he would most likely cherry-pick data...You also need do conduct a little PSYOPS against Gen. Petraeus now, let him know he can't win in Washington even if he can win in Baghdad.
Most likely, Petraeus would say that he needs more time, that not all of the extra troops arrive until June. He already has indicated that he will not have anything definitive by September. In fact, Petraeus and his commanders have said the surge must last until spring 2008. Moreover, the Pentagon has alerted four National Guard brigades and 10 more active brigades for deployment to Iraq, so that the escalation can be maintained through the end of 2008.Defining preemptive failure? So what does Lawrence offer?
The answer is to have an independent assessment by an outside group, like the Iraq Study Group, but not including members of that group who might also have an ax to grind. The House and Senate each should appoint one member and the administration another. Only then can we be sure that we will get an unbiased assessment, and that this country will come to grips with the real situation in Iraq.Very nice. Another Study Group. And who will appoint this Study Group? When will they provide their report? Does he really think such a panel would provide a more honest and clear-eyed report on Iraq than the Commander in the Field? Of course he doesn't. This isn't about truth. This is about score settling, politics and power. Imagine someone writing something like this about Pershing in early 1918, or Eisenhower in 1943. Hard to, isn't it? Not unprecedented though, we have seen this kind before. Will the Democrats do what Korb outlines? From the cheap seats, looks like a good bet. Standby DUSTBIN.