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Published:April 8th, 2008 15:36 EST
The General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker Dog And Pony Show

The General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker Dog And Pony Show

By Robert Paul Reyes

Every few years oil industry chiefs are grilled before a congressional committee, they are asked to justify their astronomical profits. The oil barons, unfazed by the cameras, calmly explain that the sky-high price of crude oil is not their fault and that their monstrous profits are in line with other industries.

The last time we witnessed this dog and pony show was on April Fools' Day, 2008. The oil executives may have fidgeted during the few hours they were grilled by Congress, but they relaxed as soon as they escaped in their limousines.

The oil company CEO's don't sweat because they know that every one of these public charades is followed a few months later by a report from a congressional sub-committee announcing that after much research they have determined that oil companies are not guilty of price gouging or illegal profiteering.

I watch these hearings only for their comedic value; I know that nothing will change. The oil companies will still make over a hundred billion a year and we will still be paying over $3 for a gallon of gas.

Today I saw the highlights of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s testimony at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the war in Iraq, and I was reminded of the poker-faced oil tycoons. It's just another dog and pony show.

I take pride in the way I express myself in written form, but sometimes I defer to an individual who gets right to the heart of the matter with passion and eloquence. Congressman Phil Hare's (D-IL) press release in reaction to the sideshow taking place in the Senate today is priceless:

"Since General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker last testified before Congress in September, 243 American troops have been killed in Iraq, nearly 2,000 have been wounded, American taxpayers have spent over $70 billion there, our economy has entered a recession, and Al-Qaeda has resurged in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government is nowhere near achieving the political reconciliation necessary for peace.

My constituents don’t need progress reports, Congressional testimony, or other analysis to know what is at stake. They want and deserve a responsible redeployment of our troops from Iraq so we can refocus the fight on terrorism and begin to invest in the priorities of the American people again. Staying the course, as General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker suggested today, is simply unacceptable."

The hearing on the war in Iraq serves only to give the presidential candidates a forum to pontificate and try to build up their foreign policy creed. Isn't there one senator with the guts to tell the emperor that he doesn't have any clothes? If the senators weren't blinded by the general's stars they would see that he is naked as a jaybird.

There is no way you can justify oil companies makes over a hundred billions a year, and there is no way you can justify 4,000 of our brave warriors dying in an immoral, illegal and insane war.

The conventional wisdom is dead wrong; the troop escalation (the surge) is a failure. Since the troop escalation less American soldiers are being killed, but that's only because we are paying Sunni insurgents to kill al Qaeda militants instead of American soldiers. You can't buy permanent loyalty, and it's only a matter of time before the Sunni insurgents start killing our troops again.

Since the surge the Iraqi puppet government, safely ensconced inside the Green Zone, has not taken any concrete steps to reach out to the Sunni minority.

Even many Republicans agree that there is no military solution to the Iraqi quagmire. You don't have to be a 5-star general or a geopolitics expert to know that we need more diplomats and less American soldiers in that godforsaken corner of the earth.

Sending more American soldiers to Iraq is just adding fuel to the fire. It's the American invasion and occupation of Iraq that has enraged al Qaeda and other Muslim extremists and compelled them to set up shop in Iraq.

One of the senators, who questioned General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, Barack Obama, has an opportunity to bring this insanity to an end -- if he is elected president.

Let's elect Obama to the White House, he will bring our troops home as soon as possible.

Congressman Phil Hare is right; we don't need any more hearings, analysis or congressional reports. The time for bloviating is over, now's the time for action. Bring our courageous fighting men and women home now!