Monday, September 10, 2007

Petraeus & Crocker testify: There are no easy answers

I watched bits of the testimony and the McNeil-Lehrer summary, read Petraeus’s and Crocker’s prepared statements, and half-watched their appearance on Fox.

Petraeus informed us that “There are no easy answers or quick solutions.” No quick solutions? Really? What was your first clue? Was it that we’re in the fifth year of this war?

Crocker: “In my judgment, the cumulative trajectory of political, economic, and diplomatic developments in Iraq is upwards, although the slope of that line is not steep.” Yay! Er, boo?

Crocker: “There will be no single moment at which we can claim victory; any turning point will likely only be recognized in retrospect.” Hell it may have happened 6 or 7 times already.

Crocker says the whole problem is that there was no Iraqi Nelson Mandela, because if there had been such a person, Saddam would have killed him. Or maybe he smothered to death at the bottom of a naked human pyramid in Abu Ghraib.

I’ve been told by one of my operatives that Crocker brought up the Sabra/Shatila massacres in Lebanon (he was stationed there at the time). He thinks the massacres occurred because Reagan pulled out prematurely, and the same sort of thing could happen in Iraq if we pulled out prematurely (and if Israel invaded and occupied part of Iraq and allowed its Christian militia allies access to refugee camps) (which very well could be Richard Perle’s exit strategy).

Crocker: “No longer is an all-powerful Baghdad seen as the panacea to Iraq’s problems.” Way to put a positive spin on the fragmentation of Iraq and the impotence and incompetence of the Maliki regime!

I forget who said this one: “[W]e are putting quick response funds, QRF, in the hands of our provincial reconstruction team leaders to help build communities and institutions in post-kinetic environments.” I believe post-kinetic environment means “after the rubble has stopped bouncing.”

On Fox, Petraeus says outright that there would have been no sectarian violence without Al Qaida.

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