Man of the Year: General David Petraeus
TIME can have their Russian dictator…
We are now winning the war. To say this was not inevitable is an understatement. Even those of us who were early advocates and strong supporters of the surge, and who thought it could succeed, knew the situation had so deteriorated that success was by no means guaranteed. Two military experts told me early in 2007 that they thought the odds of success were, respectively, 1-in-3 and 1-in-4. They nonetheless supported the surge because, even at those odds, it was a gamble worth taking, so devastating would be the consequences of withdrawal and defeat. We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD thought the chances of success were better than 50-50–but that it remained a difficult proposition.
Petraeus pulled it off. The war is not over, of course. Too quick and deep a drawdown–which some in the Pentagon and elsewhere in the Bush administration are, appallingly, pushing for–could throw away the amazing success that has been achieved. Still: It is as clear as anything can be in this world, where we judge through a glass darkly, that General David H. Petraeus is, in fact, America’s man of the year.
Was there ever any question?
Time ludicrously chose to make Russia’s ex-KGB agent-turned president Vladimir Putin its cover boy. They just couldn’t make Petraeus man–oops–person of the year. Our liberal elites are so invested in a narrative of defeat and disaster in Iraq that to acknowledge the prospect of victory would be too head-wrenching and heart-rending. It would mean giving credit to George W. Bush, for one. And it would mean acknowledging American success in a war Time, and the Democratic party, and the liberal elites, had proclaimed lost.
Let them gnash their teeth and curse the failed Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
We’ll take victory, freedom and democracy.
Shame on them all for choosing defeat.
Thank you, General Petraeus.
Thank you for helping America by saving Iraq.
Jules Crittenden notes the interesting parting shots in The Weekly Standard piece.