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Never Play Chess With a Two Star

My (much) older bother was career military. Once while on base with him, he introduced me to one of the Generals. This old guy, who had been thru Korea, Vietnam and a bunch of minor skirmishes along the way, was more than willing to show me the pictures on his wall and tell me stories of his past exploits. I noticed he had a chess set in his office so I asked where it came from (Korea) and if he played much. I was all too willing to tell him that I was in my school chess club and loved to play. He offered to play and I jumped at the challenge, sure I was going to teach the old geezer a thing or two.

My bother wandered off to talk to some other people and returned maybe 15 minutes later. I had gotten cocky and brought my Queen out too early to predictable results. My brother reentered the room, took one look at the board and said the words that are still seared into my brain 25 years+ later... "Little brother, never play chess with a two star."

I was reminded of that bit of childhood humiliation when I read the news that General Petraeus is going to recommend troop reductions by March. He just beat Congress before he walked in the room.

It's obvious to everyone the surge can't last forever. We had 130,000 troops before the surge started and we're presently at 160,000. It can't last much past April without extending the tours of the guys there which is a political nightmare. So we have to reduce troops by March.

But by recommending that to Congress and throwing them the bone that some can start rotating home by Christmas, he gets the time he needs while giving up "nothing." The "troop reduction" will only get troops back to previous levels.

Petraeus is going to walk into Congress, rattle off a list of talking points about how well our troops are doing and then tell Congress that as a result we can start bringing people home (winners) before Christmas. Make no mistake this isn't what the Democrats wanted 60 days ago, but they will have no choice but to take it.

To the American public, it will seem like a fair and reasonable plan that the Democrats will object to at their own risk.

The "lose at all costs" wing of the Democrat party (that would be most of them) will have to suck it up and give the troops the time they need to finish the job.

I believe the bellwether person to watch is Hillary. Reid and Pelosi have already marginalized themselves... especially Reid. If Petraeus offered them a pony they would whine about something. If Hillary feels she is forced to support the plan, the game is over.

Just a few weeks ago, the Democrats envisioned Petraeus's testimony as a big tactical win over the Republicans. Now they're learning that you don't play chess with a four star.

Petraeus will get the time he needs. All that will be left is for him to continue the gains he's made so far in the field.

Lorie adds: Stop the ACLU has a roundup of blog response to this report.


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Comments (21)

I wouldn't be surprised to ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

I wouldn't be surprised to see Hillary support the plan. She knows she has Obama beat, and doesn't need to pander to the lefties to win the nomination. They can bleat all they want, but they know deep down she's one of them. She'll be running hard for the center all the way through the general election, so she has to be, if not more hawkish, then at least more pragmatic than her Primary opponents.

Yes, an excellent political... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Yes, an excellent political play by Petraeus. I would just prefer that the pawns not be US lives and that I didn't have to pay for a very expensive chess board.

I should add - Petraeus = w... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I should add - Petraeus = white house in my comment above. (As we all know, they are really writing the "report")

Again, good news and out of... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Again, good news and out of the chute a liberal stomps on it to show his love of the troops. ww

I should add - Pe... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I should add - Petraeus = white house in my comment above

Of course you should have added also that the Democratic controlled congress wrote the law that dictates the report is prepared by the White House.

But to relieve you of any anxieties over the fear of a doctored report, I'll go out on a limb here and "Promise" and I mean really, really promise that Gen. Petraeus will make himself available to those in Congress who have doubts.

Mmmmmmm-kay

Feel better?

Some lefties will complain ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Some lefties will complain when their friends (the terrorists they support) leave a jagged stump instead of making a clean cut as they chop off the leftie heads. Everyone, even terrorists, hate a traitor. JP2 has identified who he stands with and it'll stay with him long after the war is over. Treatment for BDS is going to be super expensive, but then half or more of the democrats are on Medicaid (welfare).

One last thing before I hea... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

One last thing before I head to the grind stone jp2, if you are insinuating Gen. Patraeus is a Republican plant then your party leaders still have the option of going to Iraq and interviewing the commanders on the ground.

And unlike the "perky one" who chimed she was only shown what "they" wanted me to see, they can be given access to those "bad" places ya know.

Of course in the "reality based world" if they still don't like what they hear and goes against the party line of all is lost, then you still have the argument of "who are you going to believe"........

Those with boots on the ground or us?

Now hopefully you can stop taking those deep breaths in the paper sack due to your hyperventilating because of your anxieties.

I'm off now...

Please pick up on my light work if jp2 has anymore words of wisdom.

Thanks...Jumpinjoe.....Out

>Yes, an excellent politica... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Yes, an excellent political play by Petraeus. I would just prefer that the pawns not be US lives and that I didn't have to pay for a very expensive chess board.

I absolutely agree... it is a piss poor shame the Democrats are willing to sell out the country and the US soldier just to they can have a stick with which to beat George Bush... but alas that's reality.

The War in Iraq is over and... (Below threshold)
kim:

The War in Iraq is over and the globe is cooling. You think I'm joking.
================

KimThe sad thing i... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Kim

The sad thing is I don't think you're joking but I do know you're nuts.

Yeah, the White House w/ Pe... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Yeah, the White House w/ Petraeus playing along is going to get another umpteenth 6 month extension to drag out Bush's Iraqi disaster at a cost likely to be +/- another 600 US deaths and hundreds more ground up in Bush's meatgrinder as the US turns Anbar Sunni arming into a stroke of genius. This and the Potemkin village at the Baghdad Dora market will be all the fuel that the neocons will need to dope the American public, just like the little triggers in the hospital that, when pressed, delivers another boost of mind numbing morphine.

People like you Wizfools will have another proximate 600 notches on your canes.

FreedomFries, JFO obviously... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

FreedomFries, JFO obviously meant this for Y-O-U:
"The sad thing is I don't think you're joking but I do know you're nuts."

Ah, politics. Now, if we c... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ah, politics. Now, if we can talk about what all this means for Iraq for a moment...

Petraeus will get the time he needs. All that will be left is for him to continue the gains he's made so far in the field.

You do realize what his gains in the field mean for the nation of Iraq, right? They mean there will be no nation of Iraq, at least not for a very long time. When we decided to pour more and more resources, support, and especially weapons to various non-state groups, especially Sunni tribes, we sealed Iraq's fate to balkanization at best, endless internecine fighting at worst. How does one produce a viable and secure state while simultaneously funding and arming groups which will undoubtedly reject, and violently so, the legitimacy of that state's government when it is most advantageous to them?

I guess the only thing that matters is you can say we're "winners," through some tortured reasoning, eh Paul? Well, if we're the winners, guess who the losers are here (hint: it's not the Democrats).

What most fail to relaize i... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

What most fail to relaize is that the Dems never wanted the troops to come home in the first place. If they did, the would have defunded the war, or passed a resolution to cancel the war authorization resolution.

The Dems simply wanted Bush to twist in the wind, while they raked him over the coals. Unfortunately, you can't teach a stupid old dog new tricks. You spend too much time being asses, you lose the very moderates who voted for you, and your moon-bat base gets even angrier at you because you did not deliver on your end of the bargain to end the war and impeach Bush.

Patreus going before Congress will spell doom for the Dems. The left will get even angrier the war i not ending today (which would cause even more deaths in Iraq, thereby providing more ammunition for Bush's impechment) and the moderates will be disgusted that the Dems are bailing on the troops and using the welfare of the troops for political gain

Boy I'd like to see freedom... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Boy I'd like to see freedomfries get her c-hairs caught up in "Bush's meatgrinder"...better than dogfighting in my book!

>This and the Potemkin vill... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>This and the Potemkin village at the Baghdad Dora market

geeze can't you even come up with some original bullshit to spin?

Oh... I forgot, you can't.

I guess no one wants to tal... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I guess no one wants to talk about what Petraeus plan means for Iraq.

The funniest part? None of ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

The funniest part? None of the lefty nitwits understood the title of this post.
And what's even funnier? They're not even playing chess with a 2-star, they're playing war with a 4-star.

Because as we all know, nitwits with little or no understanding of the military, military history or even the difference between strategy and tactics, are much better at military strategery and tactics than a man who's studied war for his entire adult life.

That's just funny.

Bobby Fishher still is a sq... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Bobby Fishher still is a squaling little brat who neds a good aplication in his rear no wonder his stupid movie SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER stunk

Sorry mantis, missed your p... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Sorry mantis, missed your post, I was replying to one above it....

>You do realize what his gains in the field mean for the nation of Iraq, right? They mean there will be no nation of Iraq, at least not for a very long time. When we decided to pour more and more resources, support, and especially weapons to various non-state groups, especially Sunni tribes, we sealed Iraq's fate to balkanization at best, endless internecine fighting at worst.

That's YOUR speculation. Did you see what Finland did this weekend?

Predicting the future in Iraq is a fool's game mantis. (If you notice, I don't do it.)

Sunnis Shia et al have lived in the past in relative peace but it took a totalitarian dictator to hold it together... Can they live in peace sans Saddam??? I have NFC, but there ain't another option.

Having said the above, I'm not in the "They're too dumb for democracy" camp. You are????

That's about it Paul. <br /... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

That's about it Paul.
White Man's Burden and all that. We need to rule them darkies with an iron hand. And they seem happy, after all, look at them singing.




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