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My buddy King makes this comment about Barack Obama's lack of understanding about Iraq.
He couldn't possibly have an iota of knowledge about Iraq in comparison to Petraeus or Crocker. Link
Well, let's see how much Petreaus and Crocker really know, you know, because Obama is so clueless.
OBAMA: OK. I just want to be clear if I'm understanding. We don't anticipate that there's never going to be some individual or group of individuals in Iraq that might have sympathies toward Al Qaida. Our goal is not to hunt down and eliminate every single trace, but rather to create a manageable situation where they're not posing a threat to Iraq or using it as a base to launch attacks outside of Iraq. Is that accurate?
PETRAEUS: That is exactly right.
OBAMA: I mean, if one of our criteria for success is ensuring that Al Qaida does not have a base of operations in Iraq, I just want to harden a little bit the metrics by which we're measuring that.
At what point do we say they cannot reconstitute themselves or are we saying that they're not going to be particularly effective and the Iraqis, themselves, will be able to handle the situation?
Petreaus gave no answer to this question. If you don't believe me, go read the transcript.
If the immaculately conceived, pristinely non-partisan great warrior leader in Iraq doesn't know the answer to this question or is unwilling to state the answer....after 5 long years of little progress.....who would be able to give Americans that answer? According to da King, Obama is clueless and Petreaus and Crocker are deeply experienced and overflowing with insights of wisdom concerning Iraq that only they, exclusively, possess. Why then do these men not know the answer to the most basic of questions concerning Iraq?
Could it be that Petreaus is only another political hack for Bush, one of many, who, on orders from his Leader Boss, refuses to even entertain any question like the one Obama asked for fear that he, like many others before him, might be handed his walking papers for saying something unscripted that could be imterpreted as damaging to the Dear Leader? Could it be that faithfulness to this CinC is much more important than truthfully answering questions from the next CinC?
OBAMA: Do we feel confident that the Iraqi government is directing these -- this aid to these special groups?
Do we feel confident about that, or do we think that they're just tacitly tolerating it? Do you have some sense of that?
CROCKER: There's no question in our minds that the Iranian government, and in particular the Quds Force, is -- this is a conscious, carefully worked-out policy.
OBAMA: If that's the case, can you respond a little more fully to Senator Boxer's point? If, in fact, it is known -- and I'm assuming you've shared that information with the Maliki government -- that Iran's government has assisted in arming special groups that are doing harm to Iraqi security forces and undermining the Iraqi government, why is it that they're being welcomed the way they were?
CROCKER: In terms of the Ahmadinejad visit, you know, Iran and Iraq are neighbors. A visit like that should be in the category of a normal relationship.
Excuse me for being so.....suspicious.....but don't Crocker's answers seem contradictory here? If a cordial visit from Ahmandinajab to Iraq is "normal", just what neighbors do.....what would Iran's government interference with Iraq's sovereignty be? Abnormal? Unneighborliness?
Could it be that Crocker needs to speak out of both sides of his mouth to protect his easily angered boss? If Crocker doesn't include Bush's insistence on Iran being the problem, rather than our invasion of Iraq, will the Decider decide to cut Crocker loose? Not like Bush hasn't cut loose dissenters from within his own ranks before. Crocker, I think, discredited himself with "yeah, the Iran government is the problem, but Ahmadinajab being received cordially by Iraqi leaders? Normal."
OBAMA: I continue to believe that the original decision to go into Iraq was a massive strategic blunder, that the two problems that you've pointed out -- Al Qaida in Iraq and increased Iranian influence in the region -- are a direct result of that original decision.
This extremely important point was made, I believe, masterfully by Obama. The very problems Petreaus/Crocker/Bush/McCain state as the reason for staying the course were not present in Iraq before we attacked and occupied. This will be the focus of the upcoming Obama/McCain campaign fight.
Leadership like Bush/McCain's not only enthusiastically endorsed and cheerled for an illegal pre-emptive war of aggression in Iraq....but now the same nitwits are cheerleading to stay in Iraq because of the two new calamities created by the initial illegal act.....Iran involvement and an al-Qaeda presence....neither of which would exist today if Saddam was still the dictator there. This is all called resolute, experienced leadership.
However the partisan nature of the non-partisan, twin truth-tellers, Petreaus and Crocker comes out in this final exchange....
OBAMA: ...if we were able to have the status quo in Iraq right now without U.S. troops, would that be a sufficient definition of success?
It's obviously not perfect. There's still violence, there's still some traces of Al Qaida, Iran has influence more than we would like. But if we had the current status quo, and yet our troops had been drawn down to 30,000, would we consider that a success? Would that meet our criteria, or would that not be good enough and we'd have to devote even more resources to it?
CROCKER: Senator, I can't imagine the current status quo being sustainable with that kind of precipitous drawdown.
BIDEN: That wasn't the question.
OBAMA: No, no, that wasn't the question. I'm not suggesting that we yank all our troops out all the way. I'm trying to get to an endpoint.
Crocker and Petreaus testified again to Congress to present the Bush/McCain 'continue the course' strategy. They have no clue when anything will change in Iraq...they have no answers to the toughest questions. They only know, as Crocker implies, that they must spout the Bush/McCain message. No troop reductions and no end in sight.
Crocker jumped at what he thought was a Democratic talking point. Obama didn't say anything about a "precipitous" withdrawal of troops. No one IS talking about a "precipitous" withdrawal. That's merely the Republican neo-con talking point used, disinformationally, to smear all Democrats. Crocker leapt at the chance, even though embarassing himself in the process, to faithfully express the Party of Neverending War's talking points. Some non-partisanship.
The question to Crocker was one about how do we bring about an end to the worst foreign policy decision in American history. A foreign policy decision that has created the current twin problems, according to the twin-truth tellers, of Al Qaeda in Iraq and Iranian involvement in Iraq. Would the current status quo be acceptable? Not perfect, mind you, but would that imperfect status quo be acceptable? Crocker responded to that question by defaulting to his final pre-determined Bush/McCain talking points.
Pressed further, Crocker said, "...this is hard and this is complicated."
Yep, these guys know a lot.