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Whose Quote From the Petraeus Hearings Do You Agree With?

Gen. Petraeus faced big questions (and several protests) on Capitol Hill today, with Senate hearings stretching all day. It was a real marathon of inquiry. Here are some highlights of the varied responses from some of the Senators.

  1. "In the intelligence world, at least for the foreseeable future, they tell us that we are much more likely to be subject to a terrorist strike emanating from Afghanistan or possibly the tribal regions of Pakistan than we are Iraq. And yet we are currently spending five times as much in Iraq as we are in Afghanistan on a monthly basis." — Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.
  2. "As I hear the questions and the statements today, it seems to me that there's a kind of 'hear no progress in Iraq, see no progress in Iraq, and most of all, speak of no progress in Iraq.' The fact is, there has been progress in Iraq." — Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.
  3. "This new increase in violence raises questions about the military success of the surge. But, more significantly, the purpose of the surge, as announced by President Bush last year, which was to give the Iraqi leaders breathing room to work out a settlement, has not been achieved." — Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
  4. "Today it is possible to talk with real hope and optimism about the future of Iraq and the outcome of our efforts there. For while the job of bringing security to Iraq is not finished, as the recent fighting in Basra and elsewhere vividly demonstrated, we're no longer staring into the abyss of defeat and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success." — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Petraeus faced all three presidential candidates today, here's how they differed in approach. Do you think anyone had a particularly poignant statement or question?

The quotes above range wildly in tone — who summed up best how you feel about the war?

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stephley stephley 8 years
One of the many things the 'troops' from all over the Middle East have in common is their anger that we invaded a soverign nation to force a form of government favorable to us and our interest in their oil. WE were told the invasion was to free the people from an evil dictator with weapons of mass destruction. There's no government there to step up yet, we don't have the oil, the dictator is dead and there are no wmds. We've been paying the tribal factions not to fight you know - what do you think they've been doing with our money?
stephley stephley 8 years
One of the many things the 'troops' from all over the Middle East have in common is their anger that we invaded a soverign nation to force a form of government favorable to us and our interest in their oil. WE were told the invasion was to free the people from an evil dictator with weapons of mass destruction. There's no government there to step up yet, we don't have the oil, the dictator is dead and there are no wmds. We've been paying the tribal factions not to fight you know - what do you think they've been doing with our money?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I think you're absolutely right Jillness but also I feel that in order to create such an environment where faction leaders feel safe enough to come together and have that opportunity under the recent set of circumstances we needed to go in strategically wipe the slate and now it is time to allow that process to begin.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Here is my take on the strategy... These factions we are fighting against have an endless supply of "troops" from the entire middle eastern region. It isn't just one team against another, it is many groups coming in from many countries. The recent violence was one Shiite faction against another. They are fighting against many groups, and all of them will continue to pour endlessly into Iraq. The US military can't stop these small attacks made by individuals, it is too random. What the US CAN do, is get the faction leaders to call off their people. Peace will only be achieved when the militia leaders, who are guiding these forces and the violence, want their followers to stop.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Here is my take on the strategy...These factions we are fighting against have an endless supply of "troops" from the entire middle eastern region. It isn't just one team against another, it is many groups coming in from many countries. The recent violence was one Shiite faction against another. They are fighting against many groups, and all of them will continue to pour endlessly into Iraq. The US military can't stop these small attacks made by individuals, it is too random. What the US CAN do, is get the faction leaders to call off their people. Peace will only be achieved when the militia leaders, who are guiding these forces and the violence, want their followers to stop.
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
1) is it me or does it seem odd the surge that is "working" coincides with the us paying off certain terrorist groups. "here is some money, can you stop shooting at us now, thanx!" 2) it also seems a bit coincedental that we want to focus our attention on afghanistan after we implemented a prime minister that is a former 76 executive and after we began building an oil line out there. 3) if mccain or bush or anyone else bothered to get the sunni/shiite thing down, we wouldnt be in this mess and finally... the quote i agree with most is when biden asked those to stop introducing obama by name because he didnt want to kick people out amidst the cheers
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
1) is it me or does it seem odd the surge that is "working" coincides with the us paying off certain terrorist groups. "here is some money, can you stop shooting at us now, thanx!"2) it also seems a bit coincedental that we want to focus our attention on afghanistan after we implemented a prime minister that is a former 76 executive and after we began building an oil line out there. 3) if mccain or bush or anyone else bothered to get the sunni/shiite thing down, we wouldnt be in this messand finally... the quote i agree with most is when biden asked those to stop introducing obama by name because he didnt want to kick people out amidst the cheers
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
"(Jillness runs for cover from approaching mob)." (Loud deep belly laugh from hypnoticmix). ;p First of all I think that Gen. Petraeus is doing a fine job. His initiatives have experienced more success than any of his predecessors. I respect his candor even in the light of bad news. My only disappointment is that he was not at the helm of this invasion from the beginning. Now don't get me wrong I've always been against the invasion and have strongly criticized the administration for its choices. We are there now and we need to own our actions and the consequences of them & do right by the people of Iraq. While our soldiers deliver sanctuary through blood, sweat and tears. While bombs ring in their ears and bullets fly through the night with out conscience to lay down their marks. Hundreds of thousands of souls paid the governing powers that were so hell-bent to invade this land for truths which are hidden under layers of aberration have spun a web which they can not navigate. They turn this way and that, strike forward leap back but our path is still not clear. As fingers point to save face time records our lack of grace. Now is the hour to bring to bare all of our wisdom and clear the air. Our heroes are waiting..waiting..and waiting for all they hold dear to ring the all clear. God only knows when that day will come as long as we're led by George the dumb dumb. In the end a people must find courage and a belief in them selves to lift up their heads, their voices, their eyes stand assertive and seize the prize. Unsheathe their swords of justice denied and force their enemies to break into panicked stride. If the lines should break do not fear for as quickly as America has left you to stand on your own you will find us right by your side.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
"(Jillness runs for cover from approaching mob)."(Loud deep belly laugh from hypnoticmix). ;pFirst of all I think that Gen. Petraeus is doing a fine job. His initiatives have experienced more success than any of his predecessors. I respect his candor even in the light of bad news. My only disappointment is that he was not at the helm of this invasion from the beginning.Now don't get me wrong I've always been against the invasion and have strongly criticized the administration for its choices. We are there now and we need to own our actions and the consequences of them & do right by the people of Iraq. While our soldiers deliver sanctuary through blood, sweat and tears. While bombs ring in their ears and bullets fly through the night with out conscience to lay down their marks. Hundreds of thousands of souls paid the governing powers that were so hell-bent to invade this land for truths which are hidden under layers of aberration have spun a web which they can not navigate. They turn this way and that, strike forward leap back but our path is still not clear. As fingers point to save face time records our lack of grace. Now is the hour to bring to bare all of our wisdom and clear the air. Our heroes are waiting..waiting..and waiting for all they hold dear to ring the all clear. God only knows when that day will come as long as we're led by George the dumb dumb. In the end a people must find courage and a belief in them selves to lift up their heads, their voices, their eyes stand assertive and seize the prize. Unsheathe their swords of justice denied and force their enemies to break into panicked stride. If the lines should break do not fear for as quickly as America has left you to stand on your own you will find us right by your side.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
His country is occupied by a foreign army. If you were him, do you think defending your nation would be seen as "an error"?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I would counter that the goals in Iraq will be achieved both politicaly and militarily. That is, we can't do one without the other. I agree that we need the Iraqi factions to want to work together. It is a minor miracle that they are sitting together to talk about a process after decades of fighting one another, or living in fear of Saddam's henchmen.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I heard 40% on NPR the other day when they were discussing the recent violence, and the police that we trained and armed...only to have them give up their weapons to "extremists". "Does anyone really think that Al Sadr called his ceasefire out of the goodness of his heart." The ceasefire was brokered by Iran. Until we acknowledge and engage the other interests that are working in the region, the only "discussion" that will be happening will be in the form of violence. The solution to Iraq will be political, not military. "Iraq" isn't even 100 years old, they have no patriotism to rally around. The only way we will stop the violence is to make the leaders of the different Iraqi factions want peace. The surge tries to stop the violence, but not the cause of the violence. If you only treat the symptoms and not the cause, there will never be resolution.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I heard 40% on NPR the other day when they were discussing the recent violence, and the police that we trained and armed...only to have them give up their weapons to "extremists". "Does anyone really think that Al Sadr called his ceasefire out of the goodness of his heart."The ceasefire was brokered by Iran. Until we acknowledge and engage the other interests that are working in the region, the only "discussion" that will be happening will be in the form of violence. The solution to Iraq will be political, not military. "Iraq" isn't even 100 years old, they have no patriotism to rally around. The only way we will stop the violence is to make the leaders of the different Iraqi factions want peace. The surge tries to stop the violence, but not the cause of the violence. If you only treat the symptoms and not the cause, there will never be resolution.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Jill I can't seem to find that 40% part... I swear I hear Crocker say during when Obama was asking the questions that more Iraqi military and police are staying in than every before and that the 40% was the before number... Grrr... I can't find it!
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Jill I can't seem to find that 40% part... I swear I hear Crocker say during when Obama was asking the questions that more Iraqi military and police are staying in than every before and that the 40% was the before number...Grrr... I can't find it!
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I watched the majority of this hearing today.. well that majority of it that was on, it's probably still going on for all we know. Anyways, I think Petraeous did a great job, though I still can't spell his name. His chart were very informative, they illustrated that the Iraqi gov't will superceed us in terms of money the will be spending to train their forces in the next few months, the charts also showed the decrease in violence in very specific areas as well as the fact that Iraqi police with our forces have found more IEDs and weapons caches this month alone than in all of last year... considering that the majority of casualties have been from IEDs, I think this is progress. As for the violence last week, so what? So that completely dismisses entirely the success of the last few months? I don't think so. If you don't want to see violence, you better turn away because as Iraqi provincial elections get closer and our elections get closer, there will be more violence, just the same as there was more violence this week probably because of this hearing.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I watched the majority of this hearing today.. well that majority of it that was on, it's probably still going on for all we know. Anyways, I think Petraeous did a great job, though I still can't spell his name. His chart were very informative, they illustrated that the Iraqi gov't will superceed us in terms of money the will be spending to train their forces in the next few months, the charts also showed the decrease in violence in very specific areas as well as the fact that Iraqi police with our forces have found more IEDs and weapons caches this month alone than in all of last year... considering that the majority of casualties have been from IEDs, I think this is progress.As for the violence last week, so what? So that completely dismisses entirely the success of the last few months? I don't think so. If you don't want to see violence, you better turn away because as Iraqi provincial elections get closer and our elections get closer, there will be more violence, just the same as there was more violence this week probably because of this hearing.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
McCain mispoke for about a 1/2 second when he said that today and he corrected himself immediately... as if no on here has ever missread something when reading out loud... geez..
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I will agree that the mission of the surge has not been completed. That doesn't mean it's a failure. As we've seen from our own political process, the best that can be described about its progress is that it is very slow. Does anyone really think that Al Sadr called his ceasefire out of the goodness of his heart. The increased number of US troops helped him to see the error of his ways. As far as 40% of the police force stopped coming to work, in the early days of the fighting in the American Revolution, the minutemen regularly abandoned their posts at the thought ofactual fighting. This number will decrease, and as it does, we can rely on them to do more of the work, and begin a phased withdrawl of our troops
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I will agree that the mission of the surge has not been completed. That doesn't mean it's a failure. As we've seen from our own political process, the best that can be described about its progress is that it is very slow. Does anyone really think that Al Sadr called his ceasefire out of the goodness of his heart. The increased number of US troops helped him to see the error of his ways.As far as 40% of the police force stopped coming to work, in the early days of the fighting in the American Revolution, the minutemen regularly abandoned their posts at the thought ofactual fighting. This number will decrease, and as it does, we can rely on them to do more of the work, and begin a phased withdrawl of our troops
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"The surge is working, no matter what you want to believe." Then why did 40% of the police force in eastern Bagdad stop coming to work last week? Did you miss the fighting last week? They have been paying people not to fight each other. That is not lasting progress. The goal of the surge was to make political progress. This has not happened, and therefore the mission of the surge was not completed. Liberty, I believe it is because he does not understand the nuance of the region. (Jillness runs for cover from approaching mob).
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"The surge is working, no matter what you want to believe."Then why did 40% of the police force in eastern Bagdad stop coming to work last week? Did you miss the fighting last week? They have been paying people not to fight each other. That is not lasting progress. The goal of the surge was to make political progress. This has not happened, and therefore the mission of the surge was not completed. Liberty, I believe it is because he does not understand the nuance of the region. (Jillness runs for cover from approaching mob).
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Because he is a republican, and we can't seem to get anyone who can read a teleprompter.... *sigh*
LibertySugar LibertySugar 8 years
Why can't McCain get the whole Sunni/Shiite thing down?
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
I think the Sadr backed ceasefire had more to do with the decrease in violence than the surge. Despite the well meaning efforts of our troops, they are simply not equipped for a prolonged occupation.
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