Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Boxer's Breakthrough

You have to get to the last two paragraphs of the Washington Post story on yesterday's hearings to learn that Gen. David Petraeus actually heard something one of the US Senators was saying:

"The United States was still funding the roughly 90,000 Sunni security volunteers who Maliki's Shiite-dominated government is reluctant to put on its payroll, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told Petraeus. 'I'm just asking you why you would object to asking [Iraq] to pay for that entire program, given all we are giving them in blood and everything else.'

"'It is a very fair question,' Petraeus responded, 'and I think that if there's anything that the ambassador and I will take back to Iraq candidly after this morning's session and this afternoon's is, in fact, to ask those kinds of questions more directly.'"

Very noblesse oblige of our Middle East proconsul to acknowledge that, after all those long hours, something actually registered behind that stony stare as the plebians were ranting about his management of the empire's affairs.

If Petraeus asks politely enough, maybe Maliki will also agree to give him some advance notice the next time he decides to play George Washington in Basra and draw us into bailing him out--at our expense, of course.

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