During the Senate hearing segment yesterday of the long-running horror-opus, ‘Decider George and The War,’ nothing new and nothing blue was blubbered into the ether.
In fact, after digging at the entire proceedings, CNN’s Baghdad Bureau Chief Michael Ware gave an accurate synposis of the plot: “I just see a lot of oxygen being wasted here.”
Ware, who appeared wired-for-sound, told Wolf Blitzer the whole show was politics.
Iraq is hard?
Asked repeatedly yesterday what “conditions” he is looking for to begin substantial U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq after this summer’s scheduled drawdown, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said he will know them when he sees them. For frustrated lawmakers, it was not enough.
“A year ago, the president said we couldn’t withdraw because there was too much violence,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). “Now he says we can’t afford to withdraw because violence is down.” Asked Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.): “Where do we go from here?”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said: “I think people want a sense of what the end is going to look like.”
But the bottom line was that there was no bottom line. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, Petraeus, the top US military commander in Iraq, and US Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker echoed what they said seven months ago in their last update to Congress — often using similar words. Iraq’s armed forces continue to improve, overall levels of violence are lower than they were last year, and political reconciliation is happening, albeit still more slowly than they would like.
“Iraq is hard, and reconciliation is hard,” Crocker said in September. Yesterday, he added: “Almost everything about Iraq is hard.”
In eight hours of testimony, the two men danced around the question of what constitutes success in Iraq. “As I’ve explained, again, from a military perspective,” Petraeus said wearily as the day drew to a close, “. . . what we want to do is to look at conditions and determine where it is without taking undue risks. This is all about risk.”
“We’ll look at the circumstances and assess,” Crocker said, as he and Petraeus spoke of “battlefield geometry” and “political-military calculus.”
— washingtonpost.com, (4/9/08)
Even with all the math, neither one of the assholes could give a straight answer with a ruler:
BAGHDAD â€” Army Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker were critical of Iran when they testified Tuesday before the Senate, barely giving credit for an Iranian-brokered cease-fire that curbed the killing after a week of Shiite-on-Shiite bloodshed in southern Iraq and Baghdad .
As they spoke, firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr threatened to unleash his Mahdi Army militia against U.S. and Iraqi forces. Once again, it was Iran that stepped into the political vacuum and urged a halt to militia attacks into the heavily fortified Green Zone, where U.S. and Iraqi officials, including Petraeus and Crocker, have their offices.
This week, it transformed into a conflict largely between the Mahdi Army and U.S. forces. Twelve U.S. troops were killed since Sunday, at least eight of them in the capital, several of them from rocket and mortar attacks into the Green Zone.
Tuesday was the last day of Maliki’s ultimatum for militias, mainly the Mahdi Army, to turn in weapons for cash or face a battle. Far from disarming itself and handing its weapons to forces dominated by Shiites in Maliki’s Dawa party, Sadr threatened to end the ceasefire he declared in August.
“If it is required to lift the freeze (cease-fire) in order to carry out our goals, objectives, doctrines and religious principles and patriotism, we will do that later and in a separate statement,” he said in a statement read by his aide, Salah al Obaidi.
Sadr also postponed his planned million-man march in Baghdad to protest the U.S. occupation on the five-year anniversary of the fall of the capital. The march was expected to bring more violence.
— McClatchy Newspapers, (4/8/08)
What’s become of al-Qeada? Osama and his boys were once the main bad guys (after Iran), but the horror-house in Iraq has seemed to have diverted attention from the real chase.
After much badgering during the Senate hearing Tuesday, Crack-head Crocker finally had to acknowledge the biggest threat is not al-Qeada In Iraq, whom Decider George and his lackeys have been crowing about, but the al-Aqeada in Afghanistan.
Also during the hearings, John McCain displayed his So-Like Decider George pose: He argued that “much more needs to be done” on security, political and economic fronts, but that “we are no longer staring into the abyss of defeat, and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuori al-Maliki, however, is indeed staring into the abyss. And if the US doesn’t make a move soon to withdrawÂ all it’s troops and hardware, Decider George will drag everybody down with him.