Imagine if General Petraeus said:
"Senators and distinguished guests, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to testify in respect of progress in the Battle of Iraq. Before I do however, there are a few things I'd like to get off of my chest. Although your house of Congress confirmed me as commander by a unanimous vote, some of you have made it a point to undermine me as I lead our soldiers in battle. Even as we are fighting the battle, some of you have declared it lost. That was also the plain meaning of the House and Senate resolutions passed in March and April, as we were fighting the war. You have sought to undercut my own report to you with the guess work of the General Accountability Office, an office that lacks professional intelligence analysts and access to the data of our military.
"So I would like to begin by asking you to stop all of this. Our country is at war, and I am reporting to you that the enemy views the Congress of the United States as a theater. When the enemy heard that you intend to end our military strategy irrespective of the outcome of the surge I was sent to lead, the enemy became emboldened and persuaded that he could wait us out. Our future allies, whom we are bringing over to Iraq's side against the terrorists every day, will waver or defect if they think there is a chance you here in Congress will call the soldiers home before we finish clearing and holding the provinces and neighborhoods.
"I commend those of you who have come to see me in Baghdad and toured Anbar province with me to see the war for yourself. It's no accident that many of the lawmakers who have made it out to Iraq have tempered their rhetoric, and I appreciate your honesty. I also share your concerns about the efficacy of the current national government. But I can assure you that any chance of national reconciliation will require our sustained fight against an enemy that abhors little so much as it abhors the idea of national reconciliation. We will need now to commit to securing the country at least for another national election.
"What I cannot countenance is for you today to commend my skill and bravery in Anbar and Baghdad and then tomorrow to hold votes on how futile this struggle is. So let me make this choice easy for you. I believe we have a good chance to drive Al Qaeda and Iran's network from Iraq and stand up in due time a functioning democracy in Baghdad. I am prepared, even eager, to command our forces in this battle Â-- but only on one condition: That you signal that you share my goal of victory. If you think I am mistaken and wish to continue your efforts to undermine me, then I cannot command. Absent that signal, I will resign, effective immediately, and take my case to the voters in a run for the presidency on a campaign to finish the work of winning the war and redeeming the sacrifice of so many Iraqis, allies, and our own GIs."
As The New York Sun acknowledges, General Petraeus won't give this speech, but he truly should, on national television.
That's the speech we'd like to see General Petraeus deliver to Congress on the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. No doubt he has another speech in mind. For he understands that he stands a better chance of getting the support he needs from Democratic leaders in Congress if he gives them a chance to save face and reverse course.
Tell me you wouldn't sit there cheering him on television if he got up and said those things... I certainly would.
Debbie at Right Truth has a wonderful piece out today, discussing the Move America Forward's Victory Tour and how that message, of support for our troops, resonates through those that are attending the rallies.
Yes, pro-victory forces have already won, because at rallies that have already happened, the pro-victory crowds were huge, proud, smiling, full of hope and visions of success for America. The end-the-war protesters were small in number, small in spirit, small in love for America and the troops, and lacking in any vision of a bright future for the United States of America.
Go read her whole piece, it is wonderful, as usual.