31 December 2007

General Petraeus: 2007 Man Of The Year

The editors at Time did not bestow this honor on General Petraeus, but other editors did. I have four such selections below, but the list is not intended to be inclusive of all publications which chose General Peatraeus as their man of the year.

National Review Online (14 December 2007)

Time magazine hasn't announced its pick for "man of the year" yet, but we certainly know ours: Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq and architect of the surge strategy that is turning the tide in the war. Petraeus formulated a brilliant counterinsurgency plan. He executed it with care and diligence. And when much of the country didn't want to notice the security gains that the surge had wrought, he took the national media spotlight to defend his strategy and his honor. In all this, he was nothing less than masterly.

When Petraues testified on Capitol Hill in early September, much of the media and the Left simply refused to believe that violence in Iraq was down. The Government Accountability Office's comptroller general had appeared before Congress to ask why the Pentagon was reporting much lower numbers of Iraqi civilian deaths than the GAO had (answer: the GAO assessment was based on incomplete figures). And the day Petraeus's testimony began, MoveOn.org ran its infamous "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" ad. It said that "every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed"; that Petraeus "is constantly at war with the facts"; and that the general "is cooking the books for the White House." Throughout his testimony, Petraeus continued to suffer slanders from members of Congress who cared about politics more than truth. Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped just short of calling him a liar, saying that to believe his report required "a willing suspension of disbelief."
Investor's Business Daily (19 December 2007)

Year In Review: Time selects Vladimir Putin as its "Person of the Year" because of the stability he has brought to Russia. Our choice is Gen. David Petraeus — the man who helped bring democracy to the Middle East.

The newsweekly's 2007 honor went to the Russian leader because of Putin's "extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability," according to Managing Editor Richard Stengel.

If returning a nation said to be on the road to democracy to its militaristic and autocratic past is a criterion, Putin is certainly a valid candidate. He has presided over Russia's rise from a shattered remnant of the Soviet Union to a player on the world stage flush with oil revenue and a military returned from the dead.

Our preference is not for tyrants, but for those who defeat them. We prefer those who advance the causes of peace and democracy and who make the world freer and safer.

In other words, we prefer Petraeus, especially by Stengel's criteria. Petraeus has indeed turned in an "extraordinary feat of leadership" by taking Iraq, another country in chaos, and bringing it more than stability. He has brought it true democracy from the grass roots up, and he's done it by transforming a country full of Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis into a nation of Iraqis.
The Weekly Standard (31 December 2007)

Time ludicrously chose to make Russia's ex-KGB agent-turned president Vladimir Putin its cover boy. They just couldn't make Petraeus man--oops--person of the year. Our liberal elites are so invested in a narrative of defeat and disaster in Iraq that to acknowledge the prospect of victory would be too head-wrenching and heart-rending. It would mean giving credit to George W. Bush, for one. And it would mean acknowledging American success in a war Time, and the Democratic party, and the liberal elites, had proclaimed lost.

The editors couldn't acknowledge their mugging by reality. That's fine. Nonetheless, reality exists. And the reality is that in Iraq, after mistakes and failures, thanks to the leadership of Bush, Petraeus, and General Ray Odierno--the day-to-day commander whose contributions shouldn't be overlooked--we are winning.
The Telegraph (U.K.) (31 December 2007)

The critics said it couldn't be done, but the vision and determination of General David Petraeus have brought greater security and cause for optimism to the people of Iraq. He is The Sunday Telegraph's Person of the Year

For a man whose critics say he is far too fond of the television cameras, General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, has been rather out of the limelight this Christmas.

The sprightly, media-friendly 55-year-old is not perturbed, however, that his face is no longer number one item on the US networks. As he said last week, where Iraq is concerned, "No news is good news."

Today, we put him in the spotlight again by naming Gen Petraeus as The Sunday Telegraph's Person of the Year, a new annual accolade to recognise outstanding individual achievement.
My favorite is the IBD selection, in which they state that, "Our preference is not for tyrants, but for those who defeat them. We prefer those who advance the causes of peace and democracy and who make the world freer and safer."

Thank you, General Petraeus, for all you and your Troops are doing for America and the world.


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