A Political Surge
The War in Iraq has been supplanted recently, both in headlines and on the list of things Americans are most concerned about, by presidential politics and the economy. But an upcoming Senate hearing on Iraq and the renewed sectarian violence there seem certain to bring a surge of attention to that subject. The primary reason, of course, is that the three surviving candidates for president -- Republican John McCain and Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama -- will all get chances tomorrow to ask questions of Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker at Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committee hearings.
As Sudarsan Raghavan reports from Baghdad, "animosity toward Prime Minister Nouri-al Maliki and his allies has deepened in the aftermath of Iraq's worst violence in months, threatening to escalate a conflict among Shiites that could further draw in U.S. troops." And Jonathan Weisman reports from Washington that the hearings are going to be about presidential politics and perhaps shed light on and who would be the best next commander in chief.
Taken together, these two stories have given our Readers Who Comment on Iraq a new opportunity to lob verbal shells, mostly at the Bush administration, although it does have its supporters.
We'll start with the hearing story.
gandalfthegrey wrote, "Good luck to all of us: Witnesses, Congress and the American people. Let's hear the facts so that we can help to craft and understand the decsions that we must make about Iraq."
4/6/2008 11:05:46 PM
edbyronadams asked, "Isn't the rule that the first casualty of politics is the truth?"
mikey30919 said, "Wonder how President Bush explains this; as another achievement for the Maliki govt? How many more Malikivictories can the United States afford? Is it time we pulled out yet?"
blakesouthwood wrote, "...Congress seems to have different priorities and the simple truth is that if we had millions of troops and armor we'd be more effective in the Middle East. I blame Congress for America's failings and not our generals who risk their life for America every day."
Arny said, "I certainly hope that the focus will be on three candidates. One of them will be next president. On the other hand, this hearing will solve nothing and do nothing. Next president will."
harkadahl dismissed the hearing as "A neutered and dishonest account of the occupation presented by a politically compromised general to preening presidential wannabees hoping to look good for the TV. This does not bode well."
hollywoodog said, "It's plain to all except the blindest partisan that the US is being blackmailed by the Iraqi government. They get into fights with their own factions, large contingents of Iraqi troops walk away from battle and the Maliki government cry for help and Uncle Sam duly obliges. The current Republican administration that meekly goes along with the tactic and thereby needlessly jeopardizes American lives, including John McCain, needs an elementary lesson in patriotism."
Now for comments on the Iraq story.
riskpref said, "The powers that be keep saying that the so-called surge is the cat's pajamas. But it seems more like it's all about to blow up, and everything and everybody with it."
aguy7 wrote, "Maliki's offensive and it's repulse by Sadr's forces showed the world the Iraqi army is a farce sustained only by U.S. forces. So much for Bush's touted turning over of power to Iraqi forces... And now the U.S. body count is starting to rise again. I'm amazed there's no uproar in U.S. against Bush and his lies."
HFNY said, "Here we go again, rescuing a government run by dim-witted, lazy, deceitful individuals whose only goals seem to be furthering their own political interests and enriching themselves... Given all that, it looks like we might be dumber than they are because we're still over there supporting these misfits."
Mnnngj wrote, "We are soooo close to the oil, our brave oil companies have their nozzles lines up and then this happens...mission not yet accomplished.."
cpwash said, "The really sad part about the latest violence is that the US is simply responding in kind and seems to have no strategy for victory... Did we arm-up tribes/sects in Japan or Germany during our occupation, and then hope they would sort it out in the end? How silly! But, we are doing just that in Iraq..."
hartman_john wrote, "Now, thanks to Bush-Cheney-Patreus, we can see just how absolutey well the SURGE is working to unify the country. Which stroke-of-genius strategy will these three come up with next? Just wait!"
twistedreality109 tying the two stories together, said, "Patraeus will pull out his magic graphs from one year ago, and American taxpayers and family members of the troops will be assured that the surge is working and soon the 4 million Iraqis who fled will be rushing back to their homes, now occupied by someone else..."
All comments on the article about dueling Shiites are here.
All comments on the article advancing the Senate hearing are here.
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