Brit Hume coaches Petraeus to echo Bush administration talking points, describing the entire conflict in Iraq as a battle against al Qaeda. It was the final word of the GOP infomercial last night, a low-point in military press relations. Now there's no argument that al Qaeda exists in Iraq - because Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld gave it the space to come in, and the incentives to flourish. But that it is the central actor in that country, that our woes there are due to al Qaeda and not the inherent sectarian instability of Iraq: well this is absurd, ahistorical and can only be explained by Hume's desire to advance the interests, as he sees them, of the party he supports and broadcasts for. Petraeus' exclusive on Fox to my mind reveals that he has sadly been coopted by Rovism. This is about rallying the base of the GOP, by distorting the reality of the war to fit an ideological, propagandistic template. It's a disgrace.

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