Video: "Politics vs. Petraeus"

A preemptive strike from the RNC ahead of tomorrow’s testimony. Spots like this are a double-edged sword, of course, in the same way that Iraqis praying for a McCain victory are: They prove the GOP’s point that a significant troop presence is needed at the price of reminding the viewer that the peace won by the surge is so fragile. I hate the bit at the end, too, about disregard for “our general,” which does Petraeus’s credibility as an objective observer no favors in the context of an ad by a political party (yeah, I realize “our” ostensibly refers to Americans, not Republicans, but how many Democrats do you know who are strong “Betray Us” supporters?) and also reduces Hillbama’s withdrawal plan to some sort of personal affront to him instead of emphasizing how it tacitly accepts the prospect of genocide in Iraq. Which, incidentally, even the group that produced the Baker-Hamilton commission now recognizes.

Something to watch for tomorrow is the role, or lack thereof, of Al Qaeda in Iraq in the questions and answers. We may end up with a bizarro world scenario where, instead of telling Petraeus that his claims of progress defy belief, the Democrats pivot and insist that AQI has been flatly defeated, thereby permitting a “mission accomplished” withdrawal with rising tensions among the Shiites no concern of ours. Why, if they’re feeling especially cheeky, they might even roll this new clip from MEMRI of Sunni Awakening leader Ali Hatem Ali Suleiman explaining why it’s so important to ruthlessly kill Al Qaeda. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, but the man does give good soundbite.