Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bronner Errs

The New York Times' Ethan Bronner, wrote this:
Gen. David H. Petraeus, who oversaw American war efforts in Iraq and now in Afghanistan, told Congress this year that the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict created a hostile environment for the United States in the region

It's wrong, though.
Petraeus was asked the question on camera by Philip Klein and denied it.

How's that for the paper of record?



Anonymous said...

A possible important element in the Petraeus equation:

Petraeus' new deputy political adviser is Lewis Elbinger, a State Department foreign service officer on loan to Central Command as of this summer.

Elbinger’s most recent service was in Saudi Arabia.

He’s also one of two active State Department officials who contribute to J Street’s Political Action Committee. (The other is Nicole Shampaine, director of the State Department's Office for Egypt and the Levant.)

Anonymous said...

Here are the quotes (from:

Petraeus: Israel is -- has been, is and will be a -- an important strategic ally of the United States
Do you think Petraeus' comments at the Woodrow Wilson Institute this week will finally shut up the Waltsheimers, Brzezinskis, Rosenbergs and J Street-walkers and their whining that Israel is a burden to the U.S.?

Probably not.

Read the General's comments that appeared in the Kuwaiti News Service (KUNA): Petraeus affirms strategic relation with Israel

WASHINGTON, April 14 (KUNA) -- General David Petraeus has affirmed the special and strategic relation between the United States and Israel.

In an address to Washington based think tank the "Woodrow Wilson Center" on Tuesday, the U.S. Army Commander of the Central Command said: "Israel is -- has been, is and will be a -- an important strategic ally of the United States".

Petraeus denied recent press reports claiming he expressed interests to relocate both Israel and Palestinian Territories from the European Command to his Central Command, saying "that's just not correct".

He down played these press reports saying "it said in one of these blog reports that got it all started that I had requested the addition of Israel and the Palestinian Territories to the Central Command area of responsibility".

Petraeus did not reiterate his early opinion expressed in Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 16th that the deadlocked Arab- Israeli peace process affect negatively the U.S.'s ability to advance its interests in the region.

Instead he hoped for progress toward a comprehensive Mideast peace process saying "I think rightly, seized on was the inclusion of the comment about insignificant progress or insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Mideast peace process".

"It did not say anything about settlements, didn't say anything about putting our soldiers at risk or something like that" Petraeus added referring to his early statement in the Senate.

Petraeus named several factors that influence regional instability within his command region that stretch from Egypt to Pakistan and from Kazakhstan to Yemen.

They are "militant Islamist movements; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; ungoverned, poorly governed and alternatively governed spaces; insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Mideast peace process; significant sources of terrorist financing and facilitation; piracy; ethnic, tribal and sectarian rivalries; criminal activities, such as weapons, narcotics and human trafficking; uneven economic development and lack of employment opportunities; and lack of regional and global economic integration, " he said. (end)

Anonymous said...

The wrong things have been read into Petraeus' Senate statement, which is why he has backpedaled so hard. He did originally endorse a proposal to look at transferring Gaza and Judea/Samaria from the EUCOM AOR to the CENTCOM AOR. This is an active proposal under discussion by State Dept types and some in the Pentagon. But the idea is one that can make sense to a narrow military view without having implications about a military officer's political views on Israel.

It was writen about here:

Petraeus had only the considerations of a theater military commander in view when he spoke about this in the Senate hearing. It's State Dept officials and pundits who read into the comments a political statement on Israel and the Palestinians. My guess is Petraeus has learned his lesson: that this is a minefield. His background includes little time in EUCOM, which is where senior officers generally learn to skirt factional prickliness regarding Israel. Outside of a couple of the J-codes, it doesn't come up that much in the Pentagon.