Back in the hoary mists of time the above phrase used to mean that a person drove hard but fair bargains, and was an honest man.
Any resemblance between a fictitious 'fair and honest' Dutchman and General David Petraeus is purely coincidental.
Very basically, General Petraeus in two days of testimony failed to say whether our invasion and occupation of Iraq made us any safer, said that while the troop escalation over the past year had managed to lower one narrow index of violence, the gains made were fragile, and said that he was suggesting a 'pause' in the withdrawal already on the schedule in order to pause and see where things were headed.
Pausing to look at what must be done to adjust the plan is a reasonable thing to do, in my opinion; plans never survive first contact with an enemy so a commander should reduce the tempo a tad to see if a tweak is required.
However, when asked his opinion of the recent slap the Iraqi Army took to the balls in Basra at the hands of the JAM, Petraeus punted by saying that he hadn't been informed of it. Just to remind everyone - this man is the Tactical Commander in the theater of operations; he HAS to know what's going on. This makes Cheney's visit to al-Maliki all the more suspicious, doesn't it?
And Ambassador Crocker said two things that made me laugh out loud. One, that history would have to judge whether we did the right thing by invading Iraq; second, he kept insisting that there was "great potential" for Iraq to slide into chaos if we withdrew our forces.
Well, Shitfire and Sweet Zombie Jesus, folks, I have "great potential" to be elected Pope - and I'm neither a priest nor a Catholic. These apparatchiks and their slimy enablers in the press keep telling us this, but they can't articulate a specific victory goal beyond nebulous shit like a "free Iraq."
Iraq was free under Saddam Hussein; it was free from sectarian strife, Iranian influence, US occupation troops ...
And history will be written by the victors.