In what appears to be yet another desperate House Democrat attempt to stay relevant while in the minority, Rep. Lynn Woolsey accused General David Petraeus of using a “Charlie Sheen counter-insurgency strategy” in Afghanistan. Speaking at the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force, Woolsey made the comments while hearing testimony from Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings and other military experts:
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) on Wednesday sharply criticized David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and signaled agreement with an assessment from a Rolling Stone editor who likened the commander’s performance to that of Charlie Sheen.
Woolsey said the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force held a briefing on Tuesday with Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone and other panelists, where Hastings said:
“General Petraeus is giving us the Charlie Sheen counter-insurgency strategy, which is to give exclusive interviews to every major network, and to keep saying ‘we’re winning’ and hope the public actually agrees with you.”
Doesn’t that sound familiar? In late 2007, Democrats openly accused Petraeus of lying to Congress when he told them that the surge in Iraq was succeeding. Hillary Clinton in particular accused him of being dishonest, but that sentiment was widely shared among the Democrats in Congress and their supporters. MoveOn bought an ad in the New York Times calling him “General Betray-Us.”
All of them ended up eating their words when events proved Petraeus correct. In fact, the surge was so successful in Iraq, as was Petraeus’ application of counter-insurgency strategy (COIN), that one of the most vocal critics of the surge ended up applying the same strategy to Afghanistan once elected President. Thus far, the increase in personnel and aggressive tactics has produced significant results, although the real question in Afghanistan is whether those will outlast the increase in personnel.
The Charlie Sheen reference is just another way of calling Petraeus a liar, and adding in a dig at his mental health as well. Comparing a man who has dedicated his life to America’s security to a drug-addled celebrity in full meltdown is par for the course for “progressives” the last few years, although in this case it reflects far more on Woolsey’s questionable state of mind than on Petraeus. Is Woolsey that desperate for a headline? Maybe her constituents should send her to political rehab in 2012, and let her call that “winning”.