Why? Because he's the Patriarch of a new Russian Empire.
Which is hardly news; Russia's successful leaders over the years have all shared in common the desire to consolidate territory and strangle dissenters.
But in the USA, there's growing consensus that the man of 2007 was General David Petraeus, he who has run a campaign that promises fulfillment of promises of democracy in Iraq.
Seventy senators voted last Tuesday to provide $70 billion more to fund the Iraq War, and the latest cash came free and clear. No timetable for withdrawal. No deadlines. No strings attached.Why not the guy who hired him?
Who would have thought this possible a year ago? Or a half-year ago? Surely not the Iraq Study Group, which wanted a staged withdrawal. Surely not the nation's media-cracy, which had decided Iraq's "civil war" was "lost." Surely, not Democrats, who'd taken control of Congress and wanted out of Iraq. Surely, not their sunshine Republican allies, who wanted either to play commander-in-chief or buck up their 2008 election prospects. If President Bush wouldn't declare defeat and bring the troops home, Congress would defund the war by hook or by crook.
How to explain last Tuesday's 70-30 vote? One man and the troops he would represent if he had been named Person of the Year: Petraeus, the architect, implementer and public face of a surge and counter-insurgency strategy that's pacified Baghdad, Anbar province and, apparently, even Washington, D.C.