The Surge, According to Petraeus: Day 1

by Ryan on September 10, 2007

in Media Bias,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

A little while ago, General Petraeus just finished the first day of his much anticipated Congressional testimony to Democrats and Republicans on the state of the Baghdad Security Plan, commonly known as the Surge.  He returns tomorrow for more Q&A on the Hill.  Petraeus was also joined by the US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, who asked Congress to stay the course since improvements are being made, even though Iraq has serious social/sectarian problems that won’t be fixed by anyone but them.   It was a more sobering look at things, but it was honest.  Crocker admitted that leaving precipitously would compound the existing problems and make them exponentially worse.  Stability is critical at this juncture in his opinion.

Alas, this should not be a purely partisan hearing, but nonetheless anticipating that it might be Petraeus issued a disclaimer almost immediately that these were his words and thoughts that he was presenting.  Petraeus was predictably asked the standard Democrat questions about Iraq as a distraction, straining our forces, etc.  Even tried and true anti-war shill Cindy Sheehan showed up, the Code Pink rubes had to be escorted out (how’d they get a seat?), while Moveon decided to plaster the New York Slimes with a General “Betray-Us” (pdf file) ad, calling him a stooge essentially. 

Back to reality, Petraeus believes that the Surge’s goals “are in large measure being met,” and should continue or face disasterous consequences.  He even used a Power Point to demonstrate specific numbers (another pdf file), which is a change for homeland media.  Also, Petraeus believes that Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq.  I’ve personally felt this was the case for a while and have been a bit upset that US troops have not followed the IRG over the border and incinerate them.  But, I digress.  Petraeus continued that though the Surge is working, we need more time and to maintain troop levels before we leave.  He also said that since the sectarian violence has calmed down, our biggest problem currently is Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).  Also, the Shiite Sadr militia is an aggrevating force that should be dealt with as well. 

Essentially, the only surprise was the details that Petraeus gave. We’re not used to details, just sweeping political statements.  The basic jist of the report and the Democrat reaction to it could have been scripted in February, but that’s why they play the game, right?  We’ll hear more tomorrow on the Surge, but the anti-war folks cannot be happy tonight (but what could really satisfy them but full capitulation?).  Either way, the Q&A continues tomorrow and I truly hope this doesn’t get too partisan, even though I wouldn’t mind letting the Dems hang themselves a little more on their positions.

AP photo.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

BillT September 11, 2007 at 1:41 pm

The devil, for the Democrats, is lurking in the details. It makes all the redeployment talk sound like bunk. But, on the other hand, one of the great advantages for being a democrat is that, like the facts, details are not nearly as important as one’s beliefs. Right or wrong.

Sometimes it stinks to have to be the adults in the process.


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