Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid admitted to being a jerk.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Thursday that he told liberal bloggers last week that he thinks outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is "incompetent."
Asked if Reid considered [Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Iraq] competent, Reid responded, "Not as far as I'm concerned."
Reid has worked as a politician for the vast majority of his life. What, exactly, gives him grounds to determine whether or not a soldier is competent? He has zero military experience or background. He has no basis to judge competency. But he shoots off his mouth anyway.
By the way, great way to build moral there, Senator. Tell the troops that you believe their commander is incompetent -- that'll encourage them as they go out on patrol.
Michael Yon is a photographer, blogger -- and former special operations member of the U.S. Army. I trust his judgment about General Petraeus infinitely more than I trust Senator Reid's. Michael Yon has a tremendous respect for General Petraeus.
Petraeus' Values Message
One of the reasons I trust General Petraeus is he just comes right out and says what needs to be said. The letter which he sent to our forces serving in Iraq (posted below) is a case in point. The letter is more important than it might appear on first glance.
We are making progress but the odds are still against us. We cannot take chances or play fast and loose with our own values. In addition to something immoral occurring, it could be the final straw for this war. All it would take is a weak leader behaving immorally, or a tired leader not recognizing the stress level of his soldiers and reacting accordingly, and we might have the proverbial straw that breaks this camel's back.
This letter from General Petraeus deserves the widest possible dissemination. It should be published widely, and posted on every headquarters wall, and read aloud by every troop in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can pummel al Qaeda and other terrorists mercilessly and grind them into the dirt, but we cannot afford to turn local populations against us while we do it.
Has Senator Reid written a PhD dissertation on counter-insurgency warfare? Heck, has he even read General Petraeus' dissertation on counter-insurgency warfare?
I've been reading General David Petraeus' Ph.D. dissertation between missions. The title page looks like this:
THE AMERICAN MILITARY AND THE LESSONS OF VIETNAM
A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era
David Howell Petraeus
PRESENTED TO THE FACULTY
OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY IN CANDIDACY FOR THE DEGREE
OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
RECOMMENDED FOR ACCEPTANCE
WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
In his dissertation, General Petraeus (Ph.D.) writes:
The Importance of Perceptions
Perceptions of reality, more so than objective reality, are crucial to the decisions of statesmen. What policy-makers believe to have taken place in any particular case is what matters"”more than what actually occurred. . . .
Here's a view of General Petraeus' surge strategy, from the ground.
If I might insert a personal opinion, I think Petraeus' plan has a serious chance of working despite heavy odds. In fact, within my first three days with 1-4, talking with Iraqi families and police, there were strong indicators that for this little neighborhood, local people and Iraqi police are definitely encouraged. This doesn't extend to the terrorists, however, and 1-4 Cav has been under fire.
Senator Reid, I'm giving you all due respect when I say, "Please, shut up!" You voted to confirm General Petraeus as commander in Iraq. You and all of your Democrat collegues. If he's incompetent, the only verdict that leaves for you is willful idiot.
Thanks for filling the role.