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April 08, 2008

Crocker and Petraeus - Thread 2
Posted by The Editors

11:09 (Max) No one, not Crocker or Petraeus can describe what success looks like. When asked by Levin, if all went well what would be an optimistic projection of U.S. troops levels at the end of 2008. Petraeus refuses to answer, saying he can’t know. So he won’t make projections of what success will look like. But both Crocker and Petraeus have absolutely no qualms about projecting the future if we withdrawal from Iraq. This to me is ridiculous. What is the plan for "victory"? What are the projections? They should have to answer those questions, especially when asking for a blank check.

10:59 (Max) - Kennedy points to the circular logic of staying - when violence is up we can’t leave and when its down we can’t leave.

10:52 (Ilan) - Did McCain just confuse Shi'a and Sunni?  Again.  Not sure.  Need to take a look at the video, but seriously?

10:47 (Ilan) - Not giving estimates.  Petraeus refuses to give an estimate on roughly how many troops we might have in November 2008.  This is part of the same pattern.  He, Crocker and the Administration can't predict anything.  It all depends on the situation on the ground.  The only single thing they can predict is that if we leave Iraq, Iran and Al Qaeda will take over and that the country will fall apart.  Why do they know this with such certainty, if they don't know anything else?  It's really intellectually dishonest.

10:38 (Max) - Both Crocker and Petraeus have played the regional meltdown genocide fear card... (via Kevin Drum) Gregory Gause in testimony points out that the scenarios that are noted are already in play and that wider regional war is unlikely:

The Iranians already have what they want in Iraq — substantial influence both with the Baghdad government and with major actors in border regions to the south and the north. The Turks do not want to occupy Iraqi Kurdistan or annex it. The Saudi army is hardly capable of serious cross-border operations. Foreigners will play in Iraqi politics as long as Iraq is weak and Iraqi parties seek foreign support. They are doing it now, with the American military there. They will continue to do it. But they do not appear to have the desire (in some cases, like Turkey and Iran) or the means (Saudi Arabia) to intervene in a direct, sustained military way that could lead to a wider regional war.

10:33 (Ilan)  Here’s what Crocker said on the Security Agreement.

“The agreement will not establish permanent bases in Iraq, and we anticipate that it will expressly foreswear them. The agreement will not specify troop levels, and it will not tie the hands of the next Administration. Our aim is to ensure that the next President arrives in office with a stable foundation upon which to base policy decisions, and that is precisely what this agreement will do. Congress will remain fully informed as these negotiations proceed in the coming weeks and months.” 

Here’s what he didn’t say:  “The agreement will not offer any security guarantees to the Iraqis.”  Someone has to ask him about that.  This is a crucial question.


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I would like to say the Glorious Surge is working! Well, at least for Halliburton and Co. and their shareholders (guess who those are?). Cheers to no-bid contracts! Vote for military genius John McCain! Great thing that the MSM are whoring themselves out to this GOP adulterer in Sedona. Otherwise we might get some actual news.U.S. NATO 'ally' Turkey does not want to "occupy Iraqi Kurdistan or annex it" - they just want to bomb it into submission! U.S. 'ally' Saudi Arabia doesn't have the means to "interfere in a direct, sustained military way" in Iraq.

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