August 16, 2010

David Gregory did his part to help Gen. David Petraeus start the first leg of his media blitz to try to sell the public on continuing our occupation in Afghanistan past the 2011 deadline for troop withdrawal. From the HuffPo:

Gen. David Petraeus Cites Progress In Afghanistan, Hedges On July 2011 Troop Withdrawal:

Progress in Afghanistan only began this spring and needs time to take root, Army Gen. David Petraeus said in comments broadcast Sunday that were aimed at shoring up American support for the war.

Petraeus, who's been credited with a successful war strategy in Iraq and who took charge of U.S. and NATO military operations in Afghanistan in July, described an "up and down process" of seizing Taliban-controlled territory and creating "small pockets of progress" that he hoped will expand.

The goal, he told NBC's "Meet the Press," is to keep al-Qaida and other extremist groups at bay while the Afghan government has a chance to take control and earn the trust of the local population.

"We're here so that Afghanistan does not once again become a sanctuary for transnational extremists the way it was when al-Qaida planned the 9/11 attacks in the Kandahar area," Petraeus said in an interview taped in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The general also stressed that the withdrawl of U.S. troops scheduled to begin in July 2011 would be based on conditions on the ground, and that he could advise President Obama to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan if he felt it was not the right time for a drawdown. [...]

On Sunday, Rethink Afghanistan released a video hammering Petraeus' comments as just spin. Read on...

And from Firedoglake:

Sunday Late Night: Stretch Talks Progress with TMCP:

The Man Called Petraeus spoke to Stretch Gregory about the amazing progress, security progress, economic progress, rule-of-law progress, up-and-down progress, small pockets of progress, areas of progress, governance progress, greater progress, incremental progress, pockets of progress, sustained progress that began just this spring: progress = winning in Afghanistan!

I predict TMCP’s media blitz drinking game drunk-word…. progress

Look at all the progress and say we aren’t winning, America! Or the two-thirds of us Americans whose message Stretch carries to TMCP: we lack confidence in a successful outcome to this war. We need to look at the progress.

It’s all a matter of ‘inputs,’ which according to TMCP were absent in terms of organizations and individuals and refined concepts like reintegration of bad guys who want to reconcile with Afghani society. This war is also a long-term proposition (not a news flash, TMCP). Alert the media: America’s longest war is a long-term proposition! These additional inputs are enabling outputs, which lead to progress. Recall, please, that progress = winning!

(Is there actually wood to touch in the General’s chopper when he says “touch wood?”)

Amazingly, what was achieved in Iraq is what we can achieve in Afghanistan! It’s just another American war theatre, after all. Read on...

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