The sad thing for the American people is that we have no commander in chief anymore, framing our real situation and options. The president’s description on Thursday of the stakes in Iraq was delusional.He goes on:
We also do not have a commander in chief weighing the costs of staying in Iraq indefinitely against America’s other interests at home and abroad. When General Petraeus honestly averred that he could not say whether pursuing the surge in Iraq would make America safer, he underscored how much the war there has become disconnected from every conceivable worthy goal — democratization of Iraq or spreading progressive governance in the Arab-Muslim world — and is now just about itself and abstractions of “winning” or “not failing.”Remember, this is from a guy that has been asking for "six more months" in Iraq for several years.
It's hard to disagree with Friedman in this case. Gen. Petraeus was used by Pres. Bush almost as badly as by moveon.org. Probably worse. Bush is hiding behind Gen. Petraeus rather than fulfilling his role as Commander in Chief. Bush would likely say he is only taking the advice of his general. But we know what happens to generals that do not give Bush the type of advice that Bush wants to hear.