Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So…Why are we waiting for Petraeus?

You know how the Resident keeps saying that we should sit back on our heels and wait for what Petraeus and Crocker have to say come September?

Yeah…about that…Petraeus and Crocker aren’t even writing the report that will bear their names.

Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.

So someone tell me again why we are waiting for Petraeus and Crocker to deliver Georgies foredrawn conclusions?

One “senior administration official” – speaking on condition of anonymity, of course – said that the process had put the administration in “uncomfortable positions” because they can’t decide what constitutes “satisfactory progress.”

In July, when the interim report was being written, some officials were encouraging the telling of blatant lies, by claiming progress where none existed. They urged the administration to claim success on the Exxon-Mobile Enrichment Act er, Oil Sharing Law, in spite of the fact there had been no agreement reached.

At least some insiders argued against telling the big lie, claiming it would be disingenuous. "There were some in the drafting of the report that said, 'Well, we can claim progress,' " the administration official said. "There were others who said: 'Wait a second. Sure we can claim progress, but it's not credible to . . . just neglect the fact that it's had no effect on the ground.' "

A DoD official who has been skeptical of the escalation from the outset said he expects Petraeus to emphasize military progress, such as “improving security in Baghdad” and a reduction in the number of suicide attacks. But how does that translate to political progress? How does that improve the day-to-day lives of the Iraqi people? "Who cares how many neighborhoods of Baghdad are secured?" the official said. "Let's talk about the rest of the country: How come they have electricity twice a day, how come there is no running water?"

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