Pillars of the news media and foreign policy establishment were scolded Wednesday night on ABC by Jack Keane, a retired four-star General and former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, who asserted both are living “in the past” in their pessimistic warnings about Iraq. Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek International, had asserted that “the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans.” For World News, anchor Charles Gibson gathered Zakaria, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Keane to assess the road ahead in Iraq. Zakaria charged: “One of the dirty little secrets about Iraq is that Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed. It's sad to say, but the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans. When people say bad things are going to happen if we leave, bad things have already happened. Where were you for the last four years?” Haass maintained: “We should be realistic. Iraq is likely to be a messy and slightly dysfunctional country for the foreseeable future.”
Keane pounced: “Both of you are really not describing what's happening in Iraq. I mean, you're in the past, to be quite frank about it. The Sunni insurgency has gone through a conversion. They have thrown the towel in. They have now saddled up along side of us...”
From the Gavel -- At a House Armed Services Committee Hearing on Iraq Legislation Friday morning (revised from "this morning" when originally posted on Monday), Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda apparently heard as much good news as she could stand.
So she did the old cut-and-run by walking out (as The Gavel explains, "She is responding in part to General Jack Keane, who testified before the Committee but left before Rep. Boyda’s remarks, and was reportedly one of the architects of the escalation policy"; there should probably be a "from" before the second mention of Keane's name):
"I was certainly hoping that General Keane would be able to be here as well. Let me say thank you very much for your testimony so much, Mr. Korb, and I just will make some statements more for the record based on what I heard mainly General Keane. As many of us, there was only so much that you could take until we, in fact, had to leave the room for a while, and so I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things that after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to."
"But let me just first say that the description of Iraq as if some way or another that it’s a place that I might take the family for a vacation, things are going so well, those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying here’s the reality of the problem and people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue."