Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Speaking of the "Petraeus Report..."

It turns out that the eagerly-anticipated "Petraeus Report" will actually be written by the White House, so there is absolutely zero chance that it will fail to say what President Bush wants it to say.

Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.
Which raises the question: why issue the report at all? Bush's own White House staff will generate the report. Bush himself will decide what the report means. Why go through the kabuki of presenting the report to congress when any idiot can predict:

  • What it will say: We're makin' progress; the occupation must continue indefinitely; and

  • What congress can do about it: nothing.
It is clear that the entire academic exercise known as "The Petraeus Report" is, and has been, nothing but a marketing strategy to convince the American people that the occupation of Iraq is going well, and must be allowed to continue. That's it. It has nothing to do with conditions on the ground in Iraq. It is designed entirely for the consumption of whatever percentage of Americans remain open to persuasion about the occupation. Heck, it's probably already written.

If congressional Democrats have any sense at all, they will begin immediately knocking down the suggestion that The Petraeus Report is anything other than a Bush administration press release. They will begin a vigorous campaign to lower any and all expectations about what we are to learn when the report is made public. The president has spent the past several months lying to the American people, telling us that an honest assessment of conditions in Iraq was forthcoming in September. All along, all he planned to do was simply re-package his existing arguments with some new data and announce the same conclusions about the prospects of success.

What a horrible liar this man is.