September 12, 2007

"The slaying of a beautiful deduction by an ugly fact..."

Peter Wehner on Iraq:

General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, testifying before the House and the Senate during the last two days, did what many people thought was impossible: They reset the Washington clock. These good men, by what they have achieved in Iraq and by the force and power of their testimonies, have recast the terms of the debate. They will now have until next summer to build on their successes, which in turn could eventually lead to a decent outcome in Iraq. To appreciate how extraordinary this is, it’s worth recalling how far we have come....

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...The effort to besmirch the good name of David Petraeus is politically insane. The claim by anti-war critics that they oppose the war but support the troops is a lot harder to make when those in their ranks maliciously attack the commander of the troops, who happens to be succeeding.

And for those of us who have watched much of the hearings on television, one could not help but be struck by this contrast: Petraeus and Crocker in command, unflappable, professional, radiating competence and confidence, respectful but never allowing themselves to be intimidated. Many Democrats, on the other hand, appeared angry, agitated, long-winded, and out of their depth. General David Petraeus is the military analogue of Justice John Roberts, and their critics looked equally foolish going after both men.

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“If ever (Herbert) Spencer wrote a tragedy, its plot would be the slaying of a beautiful deduction by an ugly fact,” Thomas Huxley wrote. It is an odd situation indeed to find members of America’s political class greeting demonstrable evidence of progress in Iraq as ugly and inconvenient facts. But fortunately we seem to be past the danger point, when Members of Congress can recklessly undo what General Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker, and the remarkable men and women of our armed forces have achieved. Now Members of the House and Senate are simply left to posture, rage against the wind, and passionately insist, against a growing body of evidence, that a war that might be won is hopelessly lost.

I can understand people opposing the Iraq Campaign because it seems to be going badly, but when certain people clearly hate the thought of getting good news, or hearing that it is going well....I say they are insane. Evil and insane.

(Opposing a military campaign because it seems to be going badly is not insane. It is however really STUPID. If you bother to read history you know that every war we have ever fought has had periods where things are going badly. And most wars and campaigns tend to look their ugliest and most brutal just before the end, just before one side collapses. This is reason #387 why liberals oppose the study of history.)

Posted by John Weidner at September 12, 2007 8:46 AM
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