From Gen. David Petraeus' opening remarks to the US Senate Armed Services Committee:
Security in Iraq is better than it was when Ambassador Crocker and I reported to you last September, and it is significantly better than it was 15 months ago when Iraq was on the brink of civil war and the decision was made to deploy additional forces to Iraq.
Last September Democrats were frothing at the mouth as they looked for reasons to declare "The Surge" in Iraq an abject failure.
Unfortunately for the MoveOn.org wing of the Democratic Party, General Petraeus proved to be the military equivalent of Chief Justice John Roberts - intellectually honest and factually powerful.
Democratic Senators - whose staffs had labored for weeks to develop the "killer question" which would embarrass Petraeus - only served to expose the Senators to be the self-promoting, ill-prepared, unproductive academic pygmies they are.
Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had to sit through hours of political theater - mostly amateur political theater - while the Senators postured and the two men at the pointy end of the sword patiently parried.
At one point in the proceedings, Petraeus tried to explain to the Senators that they shouldn't look at the up-tick in violence over the past few weeks in isolation to the overall improvement of security in Iraq.
A significant percentage of Middle Eastern men have attended college in the West. It is not at all unusual to ask someone where he went to college and have him answer something like Colorado State.
The point here is, the bad guys understand the nature of the media. Over the past few weeks they have returned to their first principals: If you want to influence the Western press, toss rockets and mortars into the Green Zone where the Western press will report it.
The bad guys knew that Petraeus and Crocker would be testifying this week, so they increased their bad behavior to attempt to influence policy.
Obviously the American media were specifically interested in the questions posed by the three remaining candidates for President, John McCain, Hillary R.(!) Clinton and Barack H.(!) Obama.
On Fox yesterday morning, I suggested that Obama needed a map to find his way to the hearing room.
This is the actual transcript, according to the Washington Post, of Obama's first question:
Should we be successful in Mosul, should you continue, General, with the effective operations that you've been engaged in, assuming that in that narrow military effort we are successful, do we anticipate that there ever comes a time where Al Qaida in Iraq could not reconstitute itself?
Read it again.
See? You can read that as many times as you like and it will not make any more sense than it did the first time.
Now say these words to yourself: President Barack H.(!) Obama.
Make you feel comfortable?
Later in his questioning, Barack H.(!) Obama asked this of Ambassador Crocker: Can you respond a little more fully to Senator Boxer's point?
Let me tell you: If it weren't for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) would be the dumbest member of the US Senate. So Obama depending upon anything that Boxer asked is an open admission of his lack of preparation.
The Democrats in Congress must take care that they are not seen as rooting for failure in Iraq.
Americans are, by our nature, optimists. We may be exhausted by this war, but we will never be so weary that we want our military personnel to lose.
General Petraeus is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have answered the call to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Given that, it is politically very dangerous for Democrats to try and paint Petraeus as anything other than a patriot.