Obama's cordial smackdown of Crocker and Petraeus
Posted by Max Bergmann
While it seemed very cordial, Obama was able to hit Petraeus and Crocker very hard. Obama took them down a path. First, on Al Qaeda on Iraq. He got Petraeus to agree with him that the total elimination of Al Qaeda is an impossible standard for withdrawal. Next he goes after Crocker's points about Iranian influence, pointing out that both Iran and Al Qaeda are in Iraq because we invaded and that we can not expect to eliminate Iranian involvement.
Then came the hammer. Obama pointed out that if the definition of success is put so high - no Al Qaeda, no Iranian influence, a prosperous diverse democracy we will be there forever. He then points out that we still, after 8 hours of testimony, have no definition of success. And he points out, something that we have been saying all day, they have no definition of success.
Crocker's weak response its "hard and complicated."