Friday, August 10, 2007

Petraeus hints the U.S. war in Iraq may last a decade more

I found a couple of late night stories off Americablog. First up, the American military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, is quietly telling congress members that the U.S. will be in Iraq for 9 or 10 years. According to The Hill:

Gen. David Petraeus told a congressional delegation visiting the Middle East that success in Iraq will require a U.S. military presence there for about a decade, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Friday.

The commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, who will deliver a highly anticipated progress report next month, said the U.S. “will be in Iraq in some way for 9 or 10 years,” according to Schakowsky. The general also highlighted progress in Anbar province, where former Sunni insurgents have turned against Al Qaeda extremists in recent months.

"It was pretty upbeat from his point of view,” Schakowsky said. “He said he wanted to be frank and honest. But still we would have to be there for some time -- for a long time.”
The lawmaker added that she believes that the American public would “not tolerate” such a continued presence in Iraq.

A co-founder of the House Out of Iraq Caucus, Schakowsky chaired a bipartisan delegation of six Representatives that traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The visit included lunch in Baghdad with Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker.
The delegation also included Reps. Tom Allen (D-Maine), Thelma Drake (R-Va.), Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.).

Schakowsky said she came away from the trip convinced that the United States was fighting the wrong war, calling Iraq “a huge distraction from the real war on terror” in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Because of our engagement in Iraq we can’t afford to give [fighting al Qaeda leaders and a resurgent Taliban] the kind of attention that we need to,” she said. “We know what the mission is there.”

It is all a part of a PR-campaign by the Bush administration to convince Congress that the U.S. will be fighting in Iraq well after President Bush leaves office, and allow Bush to dump the entire Iraq mess on his successor. Bush is using Petraeus to sprinkle these hints in an attempt to soften any Democratic congressional outrage, when Petraeus gives his report in September. It is an endless war.

No comments: