Blawgletter tries to avoid political stuff. We have enough challenges attempting to understand law stuff. But we couldn’t help observing yesterday how much the persuasiveness of the administration’s case for its Iraq strategy depends on the personal character — the ethos — of General David Petraeus.
We couldn’t avoid noticing it because both sides harped on it. The againsters (particularly MoveOn.org) tried to trash the general, suggesting that he’ll misrepresent facts and "betray us" while the pros built him up as the greatest military genius since Napoleon.
But we don’t think a military officer’s ethos can win the argument. Nor usually do mere words and logic prevail. We imagine that pathos — the gut emotional reaction — will decide the issue. Do the Iraqis deserve more deaths of our sons, daughters, husbands, and wives? When you put it that way . . . .
Yes, we do remember that clear blue day six years ago.