He was clear, concise and did not shy away from the difficulties that face him and our troops in Iraq as well as being clear about the progress being made.
There are many that will attempt to challenge his information, many that will act like they know more, but the fact is he is the expert. He is the man in charge in Iraq. He is the man that has implemented the new counterinsurgency strategies that have been working in the areas they have used it. He has the expertise and the impressive credentials to back his testimony up. Those trying to challenge his testimony have no credentials that give them any backing.
They don't like it and they believe that trying to challenge the General simply with "opinion" gained from news articles and reports from stringers could in any way compete with his professional analysis.
He has 30+ years of experience, they do not. He wrote the manual on counterinsurgency, they did not. He has devoted his whole life to protecting and defending this country, they did not.
Thomas Sowell calls these people "Amateur Experts". Good name, they are Amateurs and the do think they are experts in military affairs.
Despite over the top rhetoric from Democratic politicians before the General testified and despite attack ads from groups like Move on and verbal attacks while he was testifying from the code pink group, he made his points as well as one of the most important one:
At the outset, I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress.
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- General David Petraeus's four-star credibility has bought President George W. Bush more time to pursue his military offensive in Iraq.
The testimony yesterday of the U.S. commander in Iraq, along with that of U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, resonated with the two groups of lawmakers whose support Bush needs to keep his strategy going: wavering Republicans and a small band of supportive Democrats.
Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia, who last month called on Bush to begin withdrawing some troops by the end of the year, called Petraeus's testimony ``powerful, compelling and credible.'' Warner is a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Representative Jim Marshall of Georgia, one of 10 House Democrats to vote in July against setting a timeline for withdrawal, called Petraeus's testimony ``powerful and persuasive.'' And Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, also said after the testimony that he remained opposed to a congressionally mandated pullout.
Others tried to challenge his testimony, but again, they also have no expertise in the area of military strategies and have done nothing but make themselves look as uninformed as they sounded.
In the words of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
"I resent the comments of those who have sat comfortably in their air-conditioned offices thousands of miles away from the firefights and the roadside bombs and tried their Washington best in recent days to impugn the general's good name".
Judging by the relatively mild congressional reaction in a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, Petraeus and Crocker may well succeed this week in deflecting Democratic demands to bring the troops home sooner rather than later. They are likely to face tougher questioning -- and stiffer challenges to the emerging trends they described -- from two Senate committees today. But by the time President Bush speaks to the nation later this week, September's much-anticipated battle over Iraq policy may be all but over.
Petraeus refused to take the partisan bait from either side, taking a classic soldier's stance of just giving the facts as he sees them. He did not seek to defend the much-debated reasons for invading Iraq or the conduct of the war before he took command of U.S. forces in February.
Nor did he cast the war in terms the White House is fond of using -- a global fight against terrorism, where failure would threaten the U.S. homeland. Iran and al-Qaeda in Iraq are both problems, Petraeus said. But "the fundamental source of the conflict in Iraq is competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources."
The attack efforts:
The attack efforts of Move on, as well as the preemptive attacks on General Petraeus' character from the Democrats in the weeks before he testified, seem to have backfired.
Here is a few small example I have run across and that was without even looking, just browsing around, I will bring more as I search them out.
Move on and code pink attacks against Petraeus backfires:
The Detroit Times:
I, like many Americans were sickened and disgusted by the of the far left, in particular. Code Pink, being escorted out of the hearing on the Status of the Surge in Iraq.
I also, like many Americans were sickened and disgusted, by the full page ad, ran by the Political Organization called MoveOn.Org. My friends, this defeatist mentality and attempted "Swift boating" of the man who was given the mandate of telling us if the surge was working or not, was, to me, the absolute end.
Henceforth, I will never, ever, run another Ad, Announcement, or video of any sort here on "The Detroit Times" or at http://www.thepopulistblog.com from Moveon.org, for as long as I own this domain, nor will I ever participate in any of their petitions. I will be removing my e-mail address from their mailing lists.
Code Pinks' antics also backfire:
The Moderate Voice:
I was listening to the testimony of Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on NPR while running errands. Several times I heard interruptions by spoiled, bratty girls masquerading as responsible adults. I’m appalled to think that I might actually have once been friends with some of them. You know who you are, and you bring only shame to this lesbian feminist.
The most surprising and hypocritical of those that are calling Move on's attack ad "over the top" came from John Kerry, the man that has, himself, slandered our troops said "I don’t like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general,”“who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country.”
Kerry called the MoveOn.org ad “over the top” and specifically noted that he did not like the wording in the text.
“I didn’t like the terminology,” he said. “I didn’t like it.”
Just examples there of how the far far left liberals went over the top and alienated the more moderate supporters, as well as John Kerry, a very far left Democrat.
The extent of the backlash against the Democratic party as a whole, will not be known for a while, but after doing a few searches, it has already started and because Move on has stated clearly that "we own them", referring to the Democratic party, those that do not separate themselves from Move on, will be associated with them in the minds of the American people.
From the Opinion Journal:
Can this really be the new standard of political rhetoric across the Democratic Party? There was a time when the party's institutional elites, such as the Times, would have pulled it back from reducing politics to all or nothing. They would have blown the whistle on such accusations. Now they are leading the charge.
Under these new terms, public policy is no longer subject to debate, discussion and disagreement over competing views and interpretations. Instead, the opposition is reduced to the status of liar. Now the opposition is not merely wrong, but lacks legitimacy and political standing. The goal here is not to debate, but to destroy.
Today General Petraeus testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Its Democratic Members include Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer and Jim Webb. This would be the appropriate setting to apologize to General Petraeus for the MoveOn.org ad. Or let it stand.
In the mind of the American people, there is no middle ground, you either agree with Move on or you do not. It is not an issue where silence separates you from that mindset, only denouncing them will allow the American people to separate you from their over the top rhetoric and lies.
In a December 9th e-mail signed by “Eli Pariser, Justin Ruben, and the whole MoveOn PAC team,” the Soros front group stated: “In the last year, grassroots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the Party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive. Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.”
General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will continue testifying today before the Senate and while the presidential candidates "pretend" to actually ask questions, but instead take more time making their own "statements", more interested in their next election than actually getting any real answers....they should understand that those of us watching, know what they are doing and that they are "politicians, not military experts like Petraeus.
The more they try to challenge the Generals testimony, the more people will be comparing their military expertise to his and finding that they fall far short on military credibility while his is indisputable, despite the Amateur experts attempts to dispute it.