April 10, 2008

The Morning After

(Abu Muqawama can't write the subject line of this post without thinking of that Outkast interlude on The Love Below. But now that he's put ATLiens on, he can go back to posting his reflections on the Petraeus/Crocker testimony yesterday and the day before.)

So Petraeus and Crocker both got slapped around a bit by both houses of Congress, and honestly, the whole affair left a bad taste in Abu Muqawama's mouth: a) it's not their policy they're trying to implement in Iraq and b) these two guys with a very limited scope of responsibility were constantly asked about American strategy writ large.

"What about Afghanistan?!"
"I dunno, I'm in charge of Iraq."

"What about the welfare of the ground forces?!"
"I dunno, I'm in charge of Iraq."

"What about Osama bin Laden?!"
"Is he in Iraq?"

"Why haven't we secured our ports?"
"Well, it's been tough to do from Baghdad, but we'll get on it."

Anyway, Abu Muqawama knows it's not the job of the president to go before Congress and defend the minutiae of policy, but it was clear to even Abu Muqawama that the administration sends David Petraeus out there to draw fire because he's a lot more credible speaking about the administration's strategery for Iraq than the president or his national security adviser would be.

And yeah, sure, go ahead and complain the Congress are jerks for beating up on the general, but honestly, when you consider how impotent the legislative branch is with respect to this war, it's understandable that they would let off some steam by putting Petraeus and Crocker through the ringer. Those guys are the only ones Congress can question and give the third degree, and all those guys speaking yesterday have to get re-elected this fall (which is a good and healthy thing) by an American public that isn't happy we're in Iraq.

All this is to say that it might be time to appoint someone else to take the heat for the administration's policy in Iraq. Shouldn't it be this man's job? Why not leave Petraeus and Crocker in Baghdad and send LTG Lute in to answer the questions of Congress? We know he's a busy man, but wouldn't he better represent the administration?

Update II: Holy cow, Abu Muqawama just read this on LTG Lute's wikipedia page:

Lute is married to Jane Holl Lute, who has a Ph.D in Political Science from Stanford University, and a J.D from Georgetown University. She is currently UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations.

Abu Muqawama has no idea how that marriage works, but that's pretty awesome.