War Has New Symbol: Petraeus

General copes with his transformation into a political actor
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 10:46 AM CDT
Gen. David Petraeus speak during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Once untarnishable, David Petraeus is being transformed into a political figure on both sides of the aisle. Supporters of the US Iraq strategy continue to paint him as a savior, while critics compare him to Westmoreland. "Up until this week, it was Rumsfeld's war," a retired lieutenant colonel tells the Washington Post. "Now, for better or worse, it's Dave's war."

Petraeus' appearances before Congress this week crystallized his evolving role. He's come in for heavy criticism by antiwar activists, although most Democratic politicians are trying to shift focus away from the general and concentrate on the administration. "We needed to stay away from General Petraeus and focus on making this Bush's war," says a Democratic Senate aide.