Petraeus seems to have the Pentagon civilians behind him in turning the politically neutral military into a branch of the Cheney wing of the GOP:
In a stinging rebuke to a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to questions Clinton raised in May in which she urged the Pentagon to start planning now for the withdrawal of American forces.
A copy of Edelman's response, dated July 16, was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press."Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia," Edelman wrote.
He added that "such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks."
We need an honest, neutral assessment of the situation in Iraq from military professionals, divorced from any partisan agenda. But Bush and Cheney will see to it that we don't.