Petraeus vs. Webb

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Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 10:52 am

This exchange wasn’t so significant for its substance, but rather its tone. Jim Webb really got in Petraeus’s face over his Iran statements. What does it mean, he said, that Iran has a "malign" influence, as Petraeus testified?

Petraeus reiterated that Iran is playing a destabilizing role. But Webb figured Petraeus was trying to snow him, and reminded Petraeus that Nixon opened relations with China even as China was providing weapons and money to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. "Would you agree, historically, that one of the realities we have to deal with is some sort Iranian influence in the region?" The subtext: General, aren’t you out of touch with reality?

That wasn’t an implication Petraeus appreciated. "Senator, I think if you’ll read my statement,you’ll see that sentiment in Iraq," he said, icily. The two went back and forth over very little substantive yardage.

What’s important is that Webb showed why he’s on the shortlist for the Democratic vice-presidential nod. Not only does he have a firm grasp on both military realities and on the broader strategic questions of the Middle East, but he’s willing to go toe-to-toe with anyone, even the most respected general in the country.

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Categories & Tags: National Security|

Comments

4 Comments

mikemidcity
Comment posted May 22, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

Jim Webb would, on a short leash, be an excellent Vice President to Barack Obama. He’s a fearsome patriot of American virtues and values. His credibility impeccable, his courage unquestioned.

He would be a reassuring presence for anyone who has questions about Barack’s lack of national security experience.

But Senator Webb, you’ll have to leave the guns to the Secret Service.


ronindc
Comment posted May 22, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

Would you agree, historically, that one of the realities we have to deal with is some sort Iranian influence in the region?

Webb is great. That a state shouldn’t influence the affairs of a border state under hated occupation is idiocy.


ronindc
Comment posted May 22, 2008 @ 9:00 am

Would you agree, historically, that one of the realities we have to deal with is some sort Iranian influence in the region?

Webb is great. That a state shouldn't influence the affairs of a border state under hated occupation is idiocy.


mikemidcity
Comment posted May 22, 2008 @ 10:01 am

Jim Webb would, on a short leash, be an excellent Vice President to Barack Obama. He's a fearsome patriot of American virtues and values. His credibility impeccable, his courage unquestioned.

He would be a reassuring presence for anyone who has questions about Barack's lack of national security experience.

But Senator Webb, you'll have to leave the guns to the Secret Service.


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