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General Petraeus: Iraq Doesn't Lend Itself to Victory Slogan

General Petraeus: Iraq Doesn't Lend Itself to Victory Slogan

General David Petraeus will leave his post as commander of US troops in Iraq, taking over US Central Command. As the chief of Central Command, the four-star general will oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This week, General Petraeus discussed progress in Iraq and the possibility of victory. Check out these highlights from his interview with BBC, which airs tonight.

  • On whether US troops could withdraw from Iraq by the middle of next year: It's "doable."
  • On whether he will ever declare victory in Iraq: "This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag, and go home to a victory parade . . . it's not war with a simple slogan."
  • On his new role of overseeing Afghanistan at US Central Command: "The trends in Afghanistan have not gone in the right direction . . . and that had to be addressed." Afghanistan remains a "hugely important endeavor."
  • On progress made by the surge: Petraeus said that recent security gains were "not irreversible" and that the US still faced a "long struggle."

Provincial elections supposed to take place this year, but still waiting on parliamentary approval, will test stability in Iraq. If the Iraq war doesn't lend itself to the traditional notion of victory, how will the US know when it's time to leave?

Source

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UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"And if the Iraqis can fill mass graves now, they could have offed Saddam themselves." The Iraqis didn't fill the graves, Saddam did it to the people who didn't agree with him. Please show me where I've said the war in Iraq was about fighting terrorism. I know I've said that several times about the war in Afghanistan.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"And if the Iraqis can fill mass graves now, they could have offed Saddam themselves."The Iraqis didn't fill the graves, Saddam did it to the people who didn't agree with him. Please show me where I've said the war in Iraq was about fighting terrorism. I know I've said that several times about the war in Afghanistan.
Vespa Vespa 7 years
"Do you understand what a surge would require - and would still probably fail? We really need to learn to pay attention to recent history." Um, yeah, people said that about the surge in Iraq. And it worked!! Even Obama said so.
stephley stephley 7 years
Do you understand what a surge would require - and would still probably fail? We really need to learn to pay attention to recent history.
stephley stephley 7 years
Maybe the U.S. should pay its dues and fees to the U.N. - we're about two billion in arrears. You have claimed the war was about fighting the Islamic terrorists who you claim are hellbent on destroying us. And if the Iraqis can fill mass graves now, they could have offed Saddam themselves. Do you remember what happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan? Do you understand what a surge would require to probably fail?
stephley stephley 7 years
Maybe the U.S. should pay its dues and fees to the U.N. - we're about two billion in arrears. You have claimed the war was about fighting the Islamic terrorists who you claim are hellbent on destroying us. And if the Iraqis can fill mass graves now, they could have offed Saddam themselves. Do you remember what happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan? Do you understand what a surge would require to probably fail?
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Do you really think Iraq is a random country, and that they haven't done anything wrong in the years since the first Iraq war? Let's try not to forget the mass graves our servicemen discovered. I've never claimed that Iraq was about fighting terrorists, but I know I've said they are there, and fighting them there is better than fighting them at our home. I would like to see us use a "surge" in Afghanistan to take care of the people we need to take care of, and then get our guys and gals back home where they belong. As for Rwand or Darfur, wouldn't it be nice if the UN actually stepped up and did their job, instead of relying on the US to do it for them?
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Do you really think Iraq is a random country, and that they haven't done anything wrong in the years since the first Iraq war? Let's try not to forget the mass graves our servicemen discovered. I've never claimed that Iraq was about fighting terrorists, but I know I've said they are there, and fighting them there is better than fighting them at our home. I would like to see us use a "surge" in Afghanistan to take care of the people we need to take care of, and then get our guys and gals back home where they belong. As for Rwand or Darfur, wouldn't it be nice if the UN actually stepped up and did their job, instead of relying on the US to do it for them?
stephley stephley 7 years
You're not seriously comparing the war in Iraq to WW2 are you?
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
"Help our allies" I did mention helping our allies, CG. And if steph were to congratulate herself, I'd say that's just fine ;)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Okay you both cant have the same picture, i thought steph was congratulating herself.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
we lost 416,800 in WW2 I think it was worth it, to get rid of Hitler, free the Jews, Help our allies etc. I think if you start talking "worth it" you get into grey areas though.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
Nicely put, steph. It would be great if we really could run all around the world deposing all leaders with whom we disagree, or who we feel are violating basic human rights, but unfortunately we can't. I think our military is best used fighting those who really do directly threaten us and our allies.
stephley stephley 7 years
Randomly attacking countries because we don't like their leaders is fighting for our freedom? If they didn't like Saddam, they could have gotten rid of him - they're apparently very good with car bombs, assassinations are very popular - was it worth more than 4,000 American lives to get rid of Saddam Hussein for Iraq? Are we going to Burma next? Or Rwanda, Darfur, North Korea or Uganda? How about Saudi Arabia? Are you going to sign up to fight for the glorious cause? You used to claim that the war in Iraq was about fighting the Islamic terrorists who threatened America - have we won that war? I believe in living for a cause. You actually can't kill everyone in the world who disagrees with your world view.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Freedom isnt free, it costs a heavy-f*cking fee. freedom costs a buck 0'5 I need to eat something, getting loopy
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Are the Iraqi people now in charge of Iraq, Yes. Were they before (Sadam Hussein)? No, he was. He alone decided the direction of the country, and if you didn't like it, you better just keep your mouth shot, or you might end up in one of the mass graves. In the end, that's what makes this a victory, no matter what direction the Iraqi people take their country, it is now their option. It was a great gift that our forefathers gave to us, and IMO, it's a good thing to be able to give that gift to others. Freedom is worth fighting and dying for, wouldn't you agree?
stephley stephley 7 years
Iraq was in charge of Iraq before we attacked, so what did we spend more than 4,000 U.S. lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives to win? Is Iraq a democracy? That remains to be seen or depends on your definition of democracy. Is it now governed by a stable government? Even Petraeus doesn't seem to think so. Are they friendlier toward us and are we going to have access to their oil? That's in doubt. You undoubtedly will claim anything short of Iraq merging with Iran as an American 'win' but I'm not sure you can point out what the U.S. has gained.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
I'll ask it again. How do we get "We can't win" out of his quote? Saying it's not a war with a simple slogan is not the same as "This war is unwinnable." It's not a classic war scenario, I agree. But we're headed inthe right direction, and Iraq is begining to take charge of their country. To me, that's a victory, even if there isn't a catchy slogan for it.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
"This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag, and go home to a victory parade . . . it's not war with a simple slogan." Thank you, General Petraeus!
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
well i think that it's about time that we are really understanding this isn't black and white and that we're most likely never going to get the 'victory' that we had hoped for going in. it's not the same scale as previous efforts and this one is not running at all as they had planned. his response of 'it's doable' shows that there's still a LOT of uncertainty on how successful we'll be - and it's just a big unknown if troops will make enough progress to come home. i know that a lot of people want that - so we'll see if his new role makes any impact on things.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag, and go home to a victory parade . . . it's not war with a simple slogan." How do you get "There's no victory" out of that?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
He isnt saying there will never be a victory of some sort, he is just saying that this isnt a war where there is the opportunity to stand on a hill top and give the american people a nice "USA" moment, The Flag at Iwo Jima for example. we can be successful in Iraq/Afghanistan we just cant End it in some fireworks display.
FitZucchero FitZucchero 7 years
I'm just delighted (bad word to use here, but you know what I mean) that he's addressing the fact that there is no victory here. When anyone Republican or Democrat talks about victory or defeat I get so frustrated. There are no winners here. We can't sit back and say "well, that was a win".
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
"This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag, and go home to a victory parade . . . it's not war with a simple slogan." I'm sorry but if this is what General Petraeus is saying, how can the McCain camp make the argument that Obama's withdrawal plan would be defeat? McCain criticizes Obama for supposedly not listening to Petraeus but is Mac listening to him?
stephley stephley 7 years
Not even Patraeus is claiming we've created a stable democracy: "Petraeus said that recent security gains were "not irreversible" and that the US still faced a "long struggle."
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