April 05, 2007

Newshour Interview's David Petraeus

It's a good Interview. General Petraeus was impressive, he stayed on message despite the leading nature of Mr. Lehrer's questions. Some of which are merely negative statements rather than actual questions.

Via PBS GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: Well, one thing that it tells us is that Iraqi security forces, certainly, are on the front lines and are fighting and dying for their country. They are committed to this endeavor.

It also tells us, as I noted a second ago, that al-Qaida is still capable and able to cause significant death of innocent civilians. In fact, that has rebounded against them in some parts of the country.

While finding the level of sectarian violence upon returning here was, frankly, something quite disheartening to see, on the other hand, going into Anbar province to the west of Baghdad and seeing Sunni Arab tribes fighting against al-Qaida was very heartening.

In fact, that's a major development in a province that, as you'll recall, some six or eight months ago, many were ready to write off as a lost cause, and all of a sudden you have cities all the way from the border, al-Qaim through Haditha, Hit, Ramadi and Fallujah, where tribes have volunteered for the Iraqi security forces.

In fact, in the latest recruiting effort, which used to draw minimal numbers of Iraqis willing to serve in the Iraqi army or the Iraqi police in Anbar province, there were over 2,000 volunteers for the latest training. And, again, that's quite a shift and quite -- frankly, it's a stunning development and reflects the frustration that the Sunni Arab tribes in Anbar have had with al-Qaida and what al-Qaida has done to them, to their sheiks, their families, their young men and, frankly, to their businesses and livelihoods.

It has really had a devastating effect. And they have said, "No more," and stood up and voted with themselves and with their young men.

JIM LEHRER: Senator Levin asked you a question then. To quote him, he said to you, General Petraeus, he said, "Do you agree to give your personal views when asked before this committee to do so, even if those views differ from the administration in power?" And you answered, "Yes, sir." Nothing changed?

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: No, I stand by that. I think that I have been forthright. I have tried to be forthright with you, as well. I have a sacred obligation to some wonderful young men and women, not just from the United States, but from all the coalition countries, to do just that. And that's what I intend to do.

You can download an mp3 to listen to the interview here.

Update: Here is a portion of the interview on youtube.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

Anyone other than myself think maybe it's time for a general as president?

By Howie at 08:20 AM | Comments |