Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Roundup on Iraq

By Libby

I didn't watch the hearings yesterday but fortunately all the wonks did and I've assembled some of the best analysis for you this morning. To begin with, this post on the current situation on the ground by Juan Cole didn't address the hearings but is a really good summation of what's really going on right now.

Democracy Arsenal has been liveblogging the hearings. Scroll through the posts for the details. On a quick scan, McCain of course played kissyface with Crocker and Petraeus. Hillary was pretty strong in her criticism. I thought Obama was better at scoring points having forced St. Pet to admit the idea of eliminating all AQ and any Iranian influence in Iraq was an impossible goal.

Points scored by others included the obvious lack of poltical progress towards reconcilation, the fact that we're spending our money while Iraq is sitting on $30 billion in reserves that are slated to grow to over $50 billion in the next year and neither Petraeus or Crocker can define what metrics would allow us to withdraw the troops nor can they say that staying is in the interests of our national security.

Jonathan Schwarz expands on the point that the majority of Iraqis want us out of there and their Parliament voted not to extend the US mandate to remain in occupation without parliamentary approval. Taking a cue from Bush, Maliki, who didn't support the legislation and lost in the vote, basically ignored it and went ahead and is making a deal with Bush anyway. Bush for his part, is wrongfully cutting Congress out of the negotiations on our side. [via]

And finally the Danger Room archives Gen. Petraeus' power point slides and prepared statement on pdf at their place. Cernig takes a closer look and sees a lot of smoke and mirrors that are covering up the ugly truth of where we are now.

[cross-posted with slight modifications to The Reaction]


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