Pelosi: “Surge” Has Failed, Really? Petraeus Report Doesn’t Matter
(Vanderbilt – ‘07)
As reports come in suggesting the “surge” is producing some military but not political results, some conservatives are raising the possibility that Democrats will face a backlash from the voters for their staunch opposition to the Iraq war. Those hopes could be bolstered by a report in the Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire” column, which notes that by “50%-45%, Americans express confidence the U.S. commander in Iraq,” Gen. David Petraeus, “will provide an objective assessment of situation on the ground. By 36%-13%, public holds positive rather than negative view of Petraeus. Proportion saying the troop ‘surge’ is helping grows to 29% from 24% in April.”
Jane Harman, a hawkish…” well, for a Democrat, a hawk, “… California Democrat and chairman of the Homeland Security intelligence subcommittee, ‘The military victories are just episodic.’ Rep. Charlie Wilson, a freshman Democrat from a conservative blue-collar Ohio district, said he ‘would definitely need monumental proof, not just an isolated improvement.’ The remarks echo the opinion of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, who aides say is ‘not willing to concede there are positive things to point to’ in Iraq.”
UPDATE I: Transcript: Secretary of State Rice on ‘FNS’ – August 5, 2007
WALLACE: All of Washington is waiting for the progress report that comes in mid-September from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.
From what you’ve seen so far, how is the surge going and does it justify keeping more troops in Iraq into 2008?
RICE: Well, the president will get this report and then we will be able to chart a coherent way forward, but I think that there are many very good elements here.
Clearly, the security situation with American forces working closely with Iraqi forces has improved some.
Clearly, the situation in Anbar, which just a little while ago was considered the epicenter of Al Qaeda’s activities, has really turned, and there we’re working with locals.
Clearly, too, we have a lot of work to do on the political side. But, Chris, I would not underestimate the importance of the continuing work of the leaders of these very powerful parties in Iraq working through the presidency council, with the prime minister, to try to forge a compromise on some of these very essential elements.
So I think there are some very good elements. There are clearly some — there’s a lot more work to do, but we will see what General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker report.
But obviously, the president is looking to chart a way that is coherent, a way that stabilizes Iraq, and a way that exercises our obligations to the region to leave the region more stable with a stable Iraq at its center.
Read the full transcript HERE.