The interview with General Petraeus generated a long list of links, some from silly people, some from extremists who denounce the general for talking to a member of the center-right media thus revealing themselves as anti-intellectual screamers, and some from writers who carefully assessed his words and made some interesting observations. Among the latter is The Belmont Club, and I think you should read all of Wretchard’s analysis.
The commentators objecting to the general being interviewed by an avowed Republican who is also a journalist no doubt don’t object to Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos and Chris Matthews running talk shows depsite their past partisan attachments. This amusing double standard says nothing about the ability of those Dems who are also journalists to conduct interviews, but volumes about the gullibility of the anti-intellectuals who want General Petraeus only to speak to the MSM and thus through the filter of MSM. That’s an absurd straight-jacket which the neither the military nor any other institution in America ought to put on. The day will never come when the left forces all of America only to talk to its approved outlets, but you learn a lot about people when they start calling for gag rules and censorship. You learn all you need to know about Andrew Sullivan, for example, who premptively denounces General Petraeus as a liar for the content of his not-yet-composed much-less-delivered September report.
The key to the public’s understanding of the war is for the war’s leaders in D.C. and Iraq and across the globe to go to every forum and answer all the questions again and again. Those who want to muzzle the military want to keep covered the truth about the stakes in Iraq, the extraordinary progress being made there, and the valor and effectiveness of our forces. Anyone wishing to black out those stories isn’t interested in an informed and self-governing public.