09/11/2007 08:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Petraeus' Pullout Politics

Today's Washington Post headline reads, "Petraeus Backs Initial Pullout." That is pathetic. The headline should have read something like: "General dons rose-colored glasses in report to Congress."

The idea to 'propose' withdrawing some troops is a mere political ploy to continue funding the war with the least pushback possible from Democrats in Congress. General Petraeus' intention remains to stay in Baghdad for the long haul.

The general asked Congress to defer decisions on further reductions until March to get a better sense of the political and security situation.

Like Ambassador Crocker, I believe Iraq's problems will require a long-term effort," Petraeus testified before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees. "There are no easy answers or quick solutions. And although we both believe this effort can succeed, it will take time. . . . A premature drawdown of our forces would likely have devastating consequences.

Nonetheless, the Republicans jumped all over the latest gamesmanship being offered up to them by the top military brass in Iraq.

Republicans, by contrast, seized on the plan as a political lifeboat after months of being forced to vote against measures repudiating Bush's policy. "Let the generals in the field dictate," said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (N.C.). "We would support it," said Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), a member of the Appropriations subcommittee on defense.

Meanwhile, Democrats huddled in Speaker Pelosi's office to "plot" their next step. What the hell are they doing trying to figure this out now? Where were they in August when the White House was in full PR mode in preparation for this debate? It seems to me like they have been asleep at the switch.

Glenn Greenwald of has teamed up with Fire Dog Lake and Open Left to create a petition to send to the Leadership. Please watch Glenn's video, which puts General Petraeus' testimony in proper context. Also, please take a moment to sign the petition and share it with a few friends.