10 September 2007

Listen to the Generals Joe Courtney

Today, two Congressional committees will hear the long awaited testimony by General David Petraeus on the progress of the surge in Iraq. But before one word has been uttered, Congressman Joe Courtney has already made his mind up. In today's Hartford Courant, Courtney displayed the same nuanced approach to the war he used during the 2006 Election - I am with the troops but we need to get out. At the same time, Courtney doesn't say what the new policy should be, but that is should change because, he claims, families and soldiers from the 2nd Congressional District have told him so.

In an interview with David Lightman of the Courant, Courtney uses the same lawyer-like approach to life and death matters:

"Courtney, the only Connecticut member on the House Armed Services Committee, which will conduct today's hearing with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sees the war differently. His views have evolved, he said. Before the war, when he was still a private attorney, "I was willing to give the people in D.C. close to the intelligence the benefit of the doubt."

His doubts gradually overwhelmed him. He was "definitely unhappy," he said, when the U.S. moved largely on its own and invaded Iraq in March 2003. "

Unhappy? Joe was unhappy. My God, does this guy understand anything that isn't some health care treatus?

Maybe Courtney should remember what his own Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi said to Larry King in January about the war. She said the government should be "listening to the generals."

Some Democrats, like Sen. Joseph Lieberman, understand that and have no illusions about what is going on.

Lieberman told the Courant:

"Before Gen. Petraeus has even had a chance to testify, some have gone as far as to suggest that our troops have accomplished basically nothing, that we have made no meaningful progress," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent. "That is simply wrong and a disservice to the men and women who serve us today in Iraq."

Amen. Let's hear the report and have a debate. That's what we elect people to do, especially when it comes to life and death.