This past week, General David Petraeus gave his assessment of the troop surge in Iraq. Much to the chagrin of many defeatist Democrats, Petraeus indicated in his report that the “military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met.” Naturally, this was met with much skepticism and downright cynicism from the left as well as many in the mainstream media.
On MSNBC’s Hardball Thursday evening, show host Chris Matthews has this exchange with NBC news’ Tim Russert regarding President Bush’s claim that the war will continue when he leaves office in 2009:
MATTHEWS: Did Bush give you any indication how many troops he would use to support the commitment as he described to you today?
RUSSERT: No. But Chris, to give you a sense of his mindset, when he is asked to talk about common ground -- "I want to find common ground with the Democrats in Congress" -- and asked what that means, the response is: accepting the Petraeus report.
MATTHEWS: So that's the common ground?
RUSSERT: That's how he views this.
MATTHEWS (incredulous): Wow.
What I don’t understand is why this seems to be such an outlandish compromise. It was primarily the Democrats who demanded a status report on the surge. Furthermore, Petraeus was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to be General of the military operations in Iraq. If the Democrats were willing to entrust Petraeus with such a prominent leadership position, why are they so quick to reject his report? That is obviously a rhetorical question when dealing with a party so heavily invested in defeat.
As we learned from the 2004 nominee for President, when it comes to Iraq the Democrats are unable (or unwilling) to stick with the courage of their convictions.