But, no matter what anyone thinks, there's a truth to this. This person will say this and that person will say that. But somewhere in the cloudy midst of all this, there is a well-defined truth and it's doubtful if we will ever know in time to know what to do next.
Why do I say this?
Because, what one thinks now is based on what one has already heard.
If we read and give credence to John Kerry's latest entry at HuffPo, we will think that we have failed miserably. (The world has caved in, our complete handling of the war has been full of failures, and other things that make up the litany of complaints he leveled during the 2004 election.)
The escalation failed to do the one and only thing it was supposed to do. The entire Iraq policy of George W. Bush has failed since the fall of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad. No amount of parsing or spinning can change those simple facts: the escalation is and was the wrong answer.
Note the tone from the beginning, note the choice of words. Then, note how he opens the first sentence of the next paragraph:
I chaired a hearing on the GAO Report yesterday,.......
Wrong war, wrong time, wrong this, wrong that, wrong, blah blah blah. I, me, me, I, blah blah blah blah. I am sorry folks, but this is the argument?
On the other hand, many former critics of the war have recently seen a shift and have been reporting it. Two thinkers from the liberal leaning Brookings Institute, recently penned a cautious, but positive evaluation. Katie Couric's recent report said their had been real progress. And now, we have Max Boot saying the surge is working in his latest piece, from the LA Times.
So, if a person is pre-disposed to be critical of the war, for political reasons, he/she will most certainly be inclined to swallow Sen. Kerry's assessment. If one is a staunch war supporter, they will be inclined to disagree and believe that the war is going just fine.
But to those of us that know that spin comes from all sides and are pragmatic in our assessments, we know that the Administration and Congress are not the ones that should be micro-managing this war, in the first place. The military commanders should be. And most American people agree with my view, as is reflected in this latest NYT/CBS poll.
But for weeks now, certain attention-seeking (but yet still irrelevant) elected officials have been trying to cast a cloud over the report that Gen. Petraeus is about to present. Most of them have not been to Iraq since the surge began. But somehow, we are supposed to believe them, over and above the man that has been in country and responsible for overseeing the operation. It cannot get more arrogant than that.
If there were in existence, a Congressional Arrogance Index, John Kerry and his like-minded cause-subverters would indeed score high. And most people that have the free-will to think for themselves, can see it.
I seriously doubt the report will show amazing and stellar success, as much as I doubt it will show a dismal failure. To make either of these claims, ahead of the actual report, shows how incredibly irresponsible the claim-maker is. I, like many others, just want the truth and damn the politics. Like many others, I have been willing to wait for the report, before I decide where I stand on this gravely important issue.