Rich Galen

The New York Times accepted a full page ad by the extreme Left-wing organization, which called General David Petraeus "David Betray Us."

General David Petraeus, PhD testified before the appropriate House and Senate Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees over the past two days and, as expected by anyone who has ever been in the same room with him, bowled them over.

Not everyone, of course, because some Members of the US Senate like Chris Dodd of Connecticut are running for President and therefore were not prepared to listen to a single word Petraeus said.

According to the Hartford Courant, Chris Dodd, who is attempting to break away from (Yikes!) Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel at the bottom of the Democratic Presidential barrel said he had been to Walter Reed Army Hospital where he had visited a wounded soldier:

"The veteran said an hour and a half after the military left, 'things are right back where they were before."

Again, according to Dodd's hometown paper, Dr./ Gen. Petraeus "calmly replied"

"There's 165,000 different views on the ground."

That, I think, is the issue. While my service in Iraq has long since passed its half-life (I was there from November 2003 through May 2004) I remain in contact with enough of the young people I served with to understand their point of view: We fight and defeat these people here and now, or my grand-daughter will be fighting them in Des Moines forty years on.

That wasn't something that they were reciting from some basic training manual; it was the cool, determined position of young men and women - active duty, reserves, and national guard.

Petraeus was such a powerful force that even Carolyn Lochhead wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Political analysts had predicted for months that Republican congressional support for the war would crumble come fall, as the election season begins in earnest [but] the testimony by Petraeus and Crocker before a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees showing a decline in violence appeared to be a successful plea for more time."

Because of the power of the testimony by Gen. Petraus and US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, the Washington Post suggested "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."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at