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Petraeus Takes the Hill
Motherjones ^ | April 8, 2008 | David Corn

Posted on 04/11/2008 9:52:31 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Washington Dispatch: The Iraq general's testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee was predictable: progress is real, we must stay the course. But committee Democrats missed an opportunity to undercut the White House story.

By David Corn

April 8, 2008

As General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and pitched a story of success in Iraq, a news update flashed on the television screen: Sadr threatens to end cease-fire. Meaning that civil war between the Shiite-dominated government of Baghdad and the Shiite movement led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr could erupt. But Senator John McCain, the senior Republican member at the hearing, seemed unaware of this development. He asked Petraeus, "What do you make of Sadr's declaration of a cease-fire?"

This brief moment underscored a point that war supporters and war critics on the committee kept making throughout the hearing: The ground reality in Iraq is starkly different from how the war is depicted in the United States. Senator Joe Lieberman scoffed at war skeptics for embracing what he called a see-no-progress, hear-no-progress, speak-no-progress view of the war. On the other side, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) remarked that the testimony from Petraeus and Crocker—who each claimed there has been significant though fragile progress in Iraq—"describes one Iraq while we see another."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 110th; davidcorn; hezbollah; hizbollah; iran; iraq; lebanon; motherjones; petraeus; ryancrocker; sadr; surrendercrats; surrenderjunkies; syria; weusemotherjonesnow

1 posted on 04/11/2008 9:52:31 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: NormsRevenge; elhombrelibre; Allegra; SandRat; tobyhill; G8 Diplomat; Dog; Cap Huff; ...
Closing of the article....:


With Petraeus and Crocker spending two high-profile days on Capitol Hill to appear before four committees, the Democrats have a chance to undercut the White House story—which has gained traction within the media (if not within the public)—that the surge has been a success. In the opening round, they did not do much to inconvenience Petraeus and Crocker. It was not an entirely triumphant appearance for the pair, but it was good enough for anyone who favors a continuation of the current course in Iraq, and that includes their boss in the White House.

2 posted on 04/11/2008 9:57:36 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: All
H/T to Belmont Club for pointing to Corn' article:

"People hearing without listening"


David Corn is depressed at the inability or incapacity of Congressional Democrats to discredit the Surge.


See the above posted article


Corn thinks the "big news" in Petraeus testimony is that there isn't going to be a definite drawdown to pre-Surge levels any time soon. He may wish to consider another candidate for the headline. Admiral Fallon left CENTCOM amid rumor that he and Petraeus had clashed over the subject of how to respond to Iran. A recent spate of articles quoting Petraeus shifting the focus of operations to Iranian and Iranian backed groups suggests that the real context of the Surge and what follows is no longer driven by events in Iraq, but in its Islamic neighbor. That change in emphasis the "real news". Petraeus said in his testimony to Congress:


It's hard to say what lies ahead. My guess is that Petraeus himself doesn't know how the confrontation with Iran will play out. And that is the fascination with watching events unfold between Maliki and Sadr: it is freighted with information about how all sides (the Iraqi government, Iran and the Coalition) are going to deal with this conflict. Interestingly enough, Petraeus has explicitly mentioned the role of the "Lebanese Hezbollah" in training Sadr's men. This suggests that Petraeus regards the problem in theater-wide or regional terms, not simply as a problem that is confined to Iraq.

Corn seems to think that the proper role of the Democratic Congressmen was to discredit or attack the Surge. I would have thought their first duty was to listen to Petraeus and think about America's strategic choices in the region. But then it's 2008 and we all know what that year signifies.

3 posted on 04/11/2008 10:04:04 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: All
And there is this:

Spy photos reveal 'secret launch site' for Iran's long-range missiles

4 posted on 04/11/2008 10:14:48 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
committee Democrats missed an opportunity to undercut the White House story
By contrast, the author of this partisan screed undercuts his own attempt to pass off this op-ed piece as an article. Thanks Ernest.
5 posted on 04/11/2008 10:48:39 AM PDT by SunkenCiv ( updated Saturday, March 29, 2008)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; freema
Watched both the Senate and the HR with Petraeus and Crocker as well the the Senate Arms Ways and Means Committee with Gates and Mullins.
By far the later was more informative and even Kennedy asked reasonable questions for a change. I continue to be amazed at how ill informed some of the house are regarding the over all Iraqi issue(s). And the stupidest questions come from some of the bozos on the left.
6 posted on 04/11/2008 6:17:32 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter was our best choice...)
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