Monday, June 18, 2007

Gen. Petraeus turns to

If you did not catch Gen. Petraeus Sunday morning - you need to go here and see both part 1 & 2. Either that, or read the transcript.

As mentioned before, it looks more and more like there will be a political make-it-or-break-it storm in September. Gen. Petraeus knows this - it will be an interested thing to watch. Here is the pull quote.
WALLACE: Senate Majority Leader Reid this week questioned your credibility after you gave an interview in which you said you saw, quote, "astonishing signs of normalcy in Baghdad such as soccer games and open markets." And here's how Senator Reid responded. Take a look.


SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV.: We're now back up to 1,000 attacks a day in Iraq. And for someone, whether it's General Petraeus or anyone else, to say things are great in Baghdad isn't in touch with what's going on in Baghdad, even though he's there and I'm not.


WALLACE: General, the argument seems to be that we're getting spin out of Baghdad and not the straight talk as to what the situation is there. Your response.

PETRAEUS: Chris, I've tried hard to be forthright all along in this endeavor. My testimony before the Senate in January, again in April, when I did a VTC in the middle of that as well, with every congressional delegation and with the press, I have tried not to pull punches.

I base my assessments, what I offer, on personal observation, walking around Baghdad, driving around it, flying around it. The fact is that there are signs of normalcy throughout a good bit of Baghdad. There are tens of thousands of kids that will be out there tonight playing soccer.

In fact, we flew around the city on the way over here today, since they'd lifted the curfew, just to see how things were going. There's traffic all over the streets. The markets are reopened and so forth.

That is not to say — and in fact, in that interview I followed and also warned, for example, that the mosque bombing could spark new violence. I have tried hard to present both the good and the bad.

But I will not shrink from announcing that there is some good out there, if you will, that there is some normalcy, nor will I shrink from acknowledging that there is plenty of bad out there, as I did with the fact that we have to really focus on 30 percent of those Baghdad neighborhoods.

And there's certainly not much normalcy in some of those neighborhoods which are under the threat of both Al Qaeda and then extremist militias.

WALLACE: So how do you feel when you hear a senator here in Washington say that you're out of touch with what's going on in Baghdad?

PETRAEUS: Chris, as I said, I am just going to present what I see. I am going to provide a forthright assessment. That's the same thing that we'll do in September.

And frankly, we've got more than enough work out here to keep us occupied and to keep us focused and busy.
Senator Reid isn't up to political battle, methinks. It will be bloody - regardless of what the SEP report will be; though you just got a preview.

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