A quick trip to D.C. won’t get me there in time to broadcast tonight, so Dean Barnett will fill in today. I hope he spends time on the subject he wrote about below, as the Burns interview is combining with the O’Hanlon/Pollack piece to send the anti-war fringe into something like shock.
The transcript of my interview with Michael O’Hanlon from yesterday’s program is here. Unlike the hard left, O’Hanlon trusts General Petraeus. But he wants a second Iraq Stud Group, an idea that seems odd given the surge that O’Hanlon sees working –on a military level– was not part of the first Iraq Study Group’s prescription. An exchange:
HH: Do you trust him to give a complete, fair and accurate assessment of conditions on the ground when he makes his September report?
MO’H: Oh, yeah, Petraeus is outstanding, and so is Ambassador Crocker, and they will…you know, and General Odierno’s quite capable as well. They will give us good information. However, I will nod my cap, or tip my cap just a little bit to Democrats on this point. They have said well, you know, we don’t necessarily trust them. I think these are people of great integrity and great ability, however their job is to try to find a way to succeed. And that’s good for our country, but it also means that they’re going to be looking for the bright spots. I still think they are about the three best people we could ask to speak on this of everybody I can think of, but I would favor the more independent eyes, and I’d favor, for example, an Iraqi Study Group II that might include Tony Zinni, the retired general, or Sam Nunn, the retired Senator, and have them look at the information as well to complement what Petraeus and Crocker will do.
The surge was the stratgey propsed by General Petraeus and others and embraced by George Bush. The authors of the first sustained success in the last year-and-a-half deserve to be listened to and their advice taken. That would include obviously General Petraeus, but also General Keane and Fred Kagan –who first proposed the surge in December of last year.