Obama’s decision to override Petraeus’s recommendation has not ended the conflict between the president and senior military officers over troop withdrawal, however. There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including Gen. Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun to try to pressure Obama to change his withdrawal policy.
A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilising public opinion against Obama’s decision.
Petraeus was visibly unhappy when he left the Oval Office, according to one of the sources. A White House staffer present at the meeting was quoted by the source as saying, “Petraeus made the mistake of thinking he was still dealing with George Bush instead of with Barack Obama.”
Listen, you schmuck. Petraeus isn’t some political campaign rival of yours. Don’t treat him as such by leaking quotes like these to the media.
You want to disagree and do it your way, Mr. President? Fine. That’s your right as Commander-in-Chief. But when you make this more about exuding political cojones rather than making the right decision, it lessens confidence in you. For the umpteenth time, this isn’t a political campaign anymore. These are real-life decisions. Act like it.