The Washington Post has the account of General John Abizaid’s appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday but focused it’s coverage chiefly on the exchange between General Abizaid and Senator Clinton. Ms Clinton couldn’t disguise her contempt for the military in her remarks to General Abizaid.

The Washington Times took a different tack, getting into the meat of the testimony….

The top U.S. commander for Iraq rejected yesterday proposals from Senate Democrats to immediately pull troops from Iraq or do it on a specific timetable starting in March.

“Our troops’ posture needs to stay where it is as we move to enhance the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces,” Gen. John Abizaid, the head of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “and then we need to assess whether or not we can bring major combat units out of there.”

His response was, in effect, a dismissal of a proposal from incoming Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, for a phased withdrawal to begin in four months, and from Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, for an immediate pullout.

Gen. Abizaid said current troop levels, and an improving Iraqi security force of more than 300,000, are sufficient to eventually win.
“I believe that we can move forward,” he said.

The Washington Post highlighted the Abizaid-Clinton exchange but left out half of Abizaid’s response to Clinton.

In order to add more punch to her statement, General Hillary stooped to exaggeration. The war began in March, 2003. It’s now November, 2006. Not four years as she claims but three years and eight months. Not that long actually but too long for the politicians.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) took exception with Abizaid’s talk of all the steps that the Iraqi government needs to take. “Hope is not a method,” she told him. “We’ve had testimony now for four years about what ‘must be done’ — and it doesn’t get done.”

Abizaid shot back: “I would also say that despair is not a method.”

Here is the rest of the response the Washington Post did not include. Makes a big difference in the context of the exchange.

When I come to Washington, I feel despair. When I’m in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to my soldiers and Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing,” said General John Abizaid, the head of US Army’s Central Command or CENTCOM.


Warrior Senator John McCain was right there in the fight for the evening news sound bites.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), another presidential contender, voiced disappointment that Abizaid seemed to be clinging to the “status quo” — an assertion the general rejected.

This badgering of General Abizaid by John McCain is one reason why I will not be supporting McCain for the 2008 Presidential Election.

The only re-deployment to Okinawa that Wide Awake Cafe favors is the re-deployment of every one of the Senator Naysayer Skeptics eager to embrace surrender.The United States Military has throughout our history been subject to civilian oversight but the constant second guessing by the Democrats and some Republicans has not been helpful.

Betsy’s Page has more.

UPDATE: No cut and run for President Bush.