Sunday, April 13, 2008 The Detroit News
No, it's not your imagination: The "debate" about Iraq, and I use the word loosely, becomes ever more surreal as the occupation drags on.
I don't blame Gen. David Petraeus or Ambassador Ryan Crocker for their stay-the-course recommendation this week on Capitol Hill. Generals and diplomats should do what our elected leaders tell them to do -- having covered South America, I can attest that the alternative is not pretty -- and George W. Bush is indeed the Decider when it comes to Iraq policy. For now, at least.
Of course, Bush long ago lost any credibility with Congress and the American people on Iraq. It's understandable that he hides behind Petraeus' breastplate of medals and Crocker's thatch of gray hair, sending these loyal and able public servants to explicate the inexplicable: What realistic goal is the United States trying to achieve in Iraq? And in what parallel universe is this open-ended occupation making our nation safer?
Even the most basic question of any war is undefined: Who is the enemy? It was almost painful listening to Petraeus as he faced reporters Thursday and was asked whether Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army were friend or foe. His tortured answer, translated into English, was yes. Read On