Skip to comments.Petraeus Takes the Beltway
Posted on 09/12/2007 8:30:09 AM PDT by WBL 1952
So the two men best qualified to give an honest and comprehensive account of events in Iraq have marched through Congress to say--and show--that the surge is working and America's goals are still within reach. Yet it's a sign of the U.S. political debate that their evidence of progress seemed to make the headlines in none of our leading news sources yesterday.
Consider some excerpts from Mr. Crocker's testimony. The Iraqi government puts its cell phone spectrum up for auction: It nets a better-than-expected sum of nearly $4 billion. At a recent conference in Dubai, "hundreds of Iraqi businessmen met an equal number of foreign investors newly interested in acquiring shares of business in Iraq." Iraqi oil is now flowing out of the country via Turkish pipelines, and the International Monetary Fund predicts economic growth for Iraq of 6% this year.
In the vicinity of Abu Ghraib, 1,700 men--many of them former Sunni insurgents--have joined the Shiite-dominated Iraqi Security Forces. The Iraqi government is quietly offering jobs or retirement packages to thousands of former soldiers, many of them one-time members of the Baath Party. Significantly, it is doing so without taking the politically sensitive steps of declaring a general amnesty or enacting legislation on de-Baathification.
As Mr. Crocker notes, these developments "are neither measured in benchmarks nor visible to those far from Baghdad." It's a point that seems to have been missed by Democrats on the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, as well as by such Republicans as John Warner and Dick Lugar. Their collective view seems to be that Iraq is a lost cause because the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has failed to achieve "national reconciliation," on the grounds that a series of legislative benchmarks have still not been met.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
"One element that's still missing is the non-interference of Iraq's neighbors in its affairs. With Democratic Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich paying court this week in Damascus, it was especially useful to hear General Petraeus describe Syria's role in Iraq as "malign" and provide specific details of Iran's killing of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi government leaders. Our own sources say Iranian-backed forces are now responsible for 70% of U.S. casualties. The problem of Iran in Iraq is worth another editorial, but as the surge continues President Bush is going to have to get far more serious about proving to Tehran that there really are "consequences" for killing Americans."
Excellent artcile. The social and business aspects are truly heartening. Progress is made is measurable steps like these...and unfortunately, the lamestream press and tje Lefties in Congress will choose to ignore them.
Pelosi’s response today is as vapid as Barbara Boxer’s yesterday.
My sweet fantasy - Petraeus surrounds the Capitol with troops and arrests the traitors in congress.
I find it curious that the national press correspondents who were present began asking pointed questions as to troop strengths, locations, equipment and other facts which could only be known by the enemy through covert operations. It is disgraceful that the national press and members of congress conspire to force the disclosure of such sensitive military information, and it is curious as to why the question was answered in detail rather than simply stating that the information is classified.
The briefing that took place on October 5, 2005 began by General Petraeus stating generally what the situation at that time was, which information was more than enough information for our enemies, yet the press continued to press for troop strength, location, and equipment.
The following was reported by NewsBank
QUESTION: General, you mentioned in your opening comments the Iraqis are still volunteering to join the army in large numbers. Let me ask you about the problem of vetting and understanding the extent and level of infiltration by either insurgents or sympathizers. Do you really have a handle on that problem?
Wouldnt it be useful for infiltrators to know whether or not their methods of infiltration are working? They proceeded to ask exactly how many battalions were in place, how many police and army, how many of those were at what level of readiness, now many would be ready within two, three and four months, how many actual feet on the ground exist, the number of echelons above the brigade and divisions levels, what specifically the level 2 battalions need to become level 1, how long will it take to go from level 2 to level 1, what is the personnel turnover in the battalions and how will that affect long-term readiness, are the Iraqis being trained to respect human rights as the Western world understands it to be, are the numbers of troops you reported to us the same number as in the classified documents, is it true that the Iraqi police are not being paid, are you being successful in attracting members of the militia into the national forces,
February 4, 2005 General Petraeus briefed the news media and these were some of the questions:
How many U.S. troops are going to be diverted from counterinsurgency and combat operations and assigned to training?
How many Iraqi security forces do you consider fully capable, capable of fighting the insurgency?
Your request for forces, how many people is that?
where are you getting these new leaders for the Iraqi military
at what point will these Iraqi security forces be in a position to provide adequate security for the country
December 13, 2006  news briefing by General Caldwell
President Bush yesterday conducted a video satellite with General Casey and a number of commanders, and they discussed the military situation -- the security situation in Iraq. Could you brief us on the results of this videoconference?
Will the US finance Arab Sunnis when the US troops pull out?
September 11, 2007 investigation by Senator Carl Levin:
Levin: How many of the 89 capable units in Iraq are capable of taking the lead and supporting the coalition?
MCCAIN: Some argue that ethnically cleansing has already taken place. Why not let it just continue?
MCCAIN: General Petraeus, we agree that the police, or the national police have been a colossal failure. What are we going to do about it? And how many people are we talking about and in the context of the overall national police force, as it is?
KENNEDY: It shows the gradual reduction of personnel -- American personnel over the period. These are the number of the brigades that are going down. These -- has it eventually flattening out -- virtually nothing, that's the chart over here. What is the timeline between these various bars that we have in this chart that's on this -- on the chart that you have over here and that you've distributed here?
 Congressional Quarterly Transcriptions
December 13, 2006
Author: MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM CALDWELL (USA)
 SEN. CARL LEVIN HOLDS A HEARING ON THE STATUS OF THE WAR AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ
Congressional Quarterly Transcriptions
September 11, 2007
Author: SEN. CARL LEVIN
Honorable, victorious AND permanent!!
There never have since 1979; what makes you think they'll start now?
Some of the Republican inquisitors were just as bad...Warner, Graham, etc. Their tone was disrespectful.
How dare they speak this way to a man who has dedicated his life to keeping them SAFE and FREE?
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