11:15 a.m. With the televised portion of the Petraeus and Crocker appearances now concluded–including a very little Q&A with some senators–there is indeed little new news. What Petraeus said, or projects for the future–“the way ahead,” it’s characterized–amounts to little good, for the public interest.
The ‘drawdown’ of the ‘surge’ buildup will be completed in about July. Then there will be a ‘pause,’ acc to SecDef Gates, tho Petraeus phrases it differently, for “assessment” and “evaluation.” The ‘pause’ is projected to last about 45 days, during which time apparently they’re not going to be trying to bring any more troops home. Then–it will be around election time.
I suppose we can all hope that John McCain will not suddenly notice that the Iraq war is wrong, go roadblock on national television at the end of October, and call for bringing all the troops home with a promise to do it himself if elected. Or if he does, we can but hope that the public will not be fooled. But both Ike and Nixon did milder versions of same, Ike with regard to Korea and Nixon w/ Vietnam.
Shots of Sen. Joe Lieberman always show him looking like McCain’s mini-me. All the speculation about how the three senators who are presidential candidates will present seems to me to be trumped by the inevitable: Sen. Clinton will come across bogus; Sen. McCain will come across used up by the system, played out; Sen. Obama will come across well.
CNN seems to have judged accurately that the news quotient of any remaining discourse will be comparatively negligible. Some senators might ask good questions, however. We can tune in at cnn.com.
Meanwhile, I wish the Code Pink people would demonstrate at Lockheed Martin, at GE (incl NBC), etc. Much of the political world has gotten the message. It’s the corporate world that needs to get it.