Tuesday, June 05, 2007

To Trust or Not To Trust: General David Petraeus

General Petraeus stood out early in the Iraq war because he seemed to understand the need for cooperation with locals, understanding of their customs, and the creation of meaningful programs which improve the lives of the citizens in his area of operation. Schools, sewage-treatment plants, that sort of thing. Medicine, dental care. You know, the stuff we used to export a lot of before we started exporting Bush-style Democracy in its unalloyed, pro-Halliburton, pro-mercenary, corporate form.

I liked him then and I think I still do.

But whether or not he can fix the mess made by the Bush administration's incompetence, their arrogance, and their stubborn, ideologically-based refusal to listen to experts from not only the reality-based community but from within their own party, remains to be seen.

As I said, I think General Petraeus may be, if not a good guy, at least a not-so-bad guy. Only time will tell.

But listen. He is starting to backtrack on his claims that we will know whether the escalation of the occupation is a success by September. Is this a genuine statement, that he needs more time? Or is he part of the "fifty years in Iraq" crowd, throwing meaningless sound bites out there for the mollification of those of us foolishly hoping to save lots of people from lots of death and suffering, and hoping to not bankrupt our nation fiscally and morally.

Petraeus has demonstrated that he has respect for the people he is (ahem) "liberating."

Is that enough?

Is Bush + Cheney + Rumsefeld - Petraeus a zero-sum game?

1 comment:

exgrad said...

I don't know if we should trust him... there's an adage; don't trust anyone in the military with a rank of colonel or above; I believe you need to trade your soul for that sort of position.

The same seems true in the corporate world (do not trust anyone with a rank of executive VP or above).

Both seem to need to be willing to sacrifice humans for some "higher ideal"