CROCKER/PETRAEUS WRAPUP….Various tidbits from Democracy Arsenal’s liveblogging of the Crocker/Petraeus hearings on Tuesday:
Ambassador Crocker again refuses to engage in hypotheticals with Senator Biden. Unless we hypothetically talk about leaving Iraq, in which case he is absolutely sure that everything would fall apart and the world would end.
When asked by Senator John Warner whether Iraq was making us safer Petraeus kept hedging and stated that it would ultimately be up to history. Not very comforting.
Obama was able to hit Petraeus and Crocker very hard….He got Petraeus to agree with him that the total elimination of Al Qaeda is an impossible standard for withdrawal. Next he goes after Crocker’s points about Iranian influence, pointing out that both Iran and Al Qaeda are in Iraq because we invaded and that we can not expect to eliminate Iranian involvement.
Then came the hammer. Obama pointed out that if the definition of success is put so high – no Al Qaeda, no Iranian influence, a prosperous diverse democracy we will be there forever. He then points out that we still, after 8 hours of testimony, have no definition of success….Crocker’s weak response its “hard and complicated.”