"General" Maher Testifies before The Situation Room
Bill Maher in the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer last Tuesday:
BLITZER: You listened closely to General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Both are career professionals -- a career military officer, a career diplomat. They made the case, effectively for President Bush, that the U.S. should continue this strategy.In addition, Bill Maher also said this:
MAHER: Wait a second. He put the words in their mouth. That wasn't the Petraeus report.
BLITZER: But they say those words were their own.
MAHER: Well, it was a White House written report. We know that. Bush has an interesting little scam going. He also quoted in his speech on Thursday night, Maliki. And he said basically that the Iraqi leadership is asking us to stay. So in other words, he puts words into his stooges' mouths. And then, he quotes them.
It's the same thing that ...
BLITZER: Let me point out. General Petraeus who has been a military officer for more than 30 years, the first thing he basically said out of his mouth, last week, is I didn't show this testimony to anyone. I wrote it myself. I didn't have it vetted by the chain of command. Not by the White House. Not by anyone at the Pentagon. Not by anyone in Congress. Don't you believe him when he says that?
MAHER: No. I'm sorry, I don't.
BLITZER: Well, you attack him personally. You just did on our show. You said you don't believe him when he said he never cleared his testimony with anyone in Washington.Maher is such a vile, useless idiot. I doubt he really paid close attention to the Petraeus and Crocker testimony, but simply got the MDB (Moonbat Daily Brief) from Huffington Post and Daily Kos.
MAHER: Call me a cynic, Wolf. Look, I understand that he's doing an impossible job over there. And I have no doubt that he actually does more before 9:00 a.m. than I do all day or perhaps all year. Yes. I admire anybody who is in the war zone. But that doesn't mean that he is not performing a political function for the White House. Now, you can read into that what you will. But I'm sorry. Just because he's wearing a uniform, I can't not see what I see, which is that the man is doing a political job for George Bush.
Robert Kaplan is not someone who I would consider a partisan. He has also spent a vast amount of time with the military, being the author of Warrior Politics and Imperial Grunts (as well as a new book out). Here is, by far and away, the most balanced and straight-shooting perspective I've seen on whether or not General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are political tools of the Bush Administration:
The idea that General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are front men for the administration is ludicrous. Until he took the job as overall ground commander in Iraq, Petraeus was a favorite of liberal journalists: the Princeton man who enjoyed the company of the media and intellectuals, so much so that he was vaguely distrusted by other general officers who envied the good ink he received. As for Crocker, he is a hard-core Arabist, a professional species that I once wrote a book about: He is the least likely creature on earth to buy into neoconservative ideas about the Middle East. Neither of these men are identified with the decision to go to war. If I had to bet, I’d say that Crocker especially would have been against it, like his other Arabist colleagues. Thus, these men have no personal stake in proving the president right. They and their staffs are much more likely to provide a balanced analysis of the reality in Iraq than senators and congressmen looking over their shoulders at opinion polls and future elections. As Petraeus said, “I wrote this testimony myself,” meaning, the White House had nothing to do with it. Watching them brief Congress Monday, I came away convinced that they made a better impression on the public than anyone else in the room.So, who to believe? Bill Maher or Robert Kaplan? Which one has the more informed and educated opinion?
Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt and Duane Patterson
Video download also available at Newsbusters