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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: September Morn

“Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday a pivotal September report on the war in Iraq is likely to show ‘significant progress’ — putting himself ahead of President Bush, who has refused to speculate on what the report will say.
Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are required to report to Congress by Sept. 15 on progress in Iraq. Their evaluation is expected to shape the administration’s next move on the war, including decisions on how many U.S. troops will stay in Iraq, and for how long.
‘The reports I’m hearing from people whose views I respect indicate that the Petraeus plan is in fact producing results,’ Cheney told CNN’s Larry King in an interview to be telecast Tuesday night. ‘Now, admittedly, I’ve been on one side of this argument from the beginning.’”
-Associated Press, August 1, 2007

“Big Dick has always been an optimist. The kind of man who always sees his open graves as half full. Still, this is pretty impressive. He apparently has a lot of faith in General Petraeus’ ability to manage this war and what his report will indicate in September. Maybe that is because Petraeus has been a big supporter for a while now.”

“I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago - I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago - whether they were destroyed right before the war, [or] whether they're still hidden.”
-Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne, May 13, 2003

“I mean, this is the kind of guy who had ‘no doubt’ that Iraq still had chemical weapons before the war. This is the kind of guy who thought that the Iraqis were stepping up…”

“Until a couple of weeks ago, [Gen. David] Petraeus was in charge of the U.S. effort to train and equip Iraqi forces. In perhaps the most detailed public account so far of the state of Iraq's forces he said 115 army combat and special police battalions were rated as being ‘in the fight.’"
-United Press International, October 6, 2005

“…even when his bosses weren’t quite so convinced.”

“GEN. CASEY: We fully recognize that Iraqi armed forces will not have an independent capability for some time, because they don't have the institutional base to support them. And so Level 1, as you'll recall from the slide, that's what's got one battalion. And it's going to be a long time before . . .
SEN. MCCAIN: Used to be three. Now we've gone from three to one?
GEN. CASEY: Pardon me?
SEN. MCCAIN: It was three before.
GEN. CASEY: Right.
SEN. MCCAIN: The previous report was you had three battalions. Now we're down to one battalion.
GEN. CASEY: Right, and things change in the battalions. I mean, we're making assessments on personnel, on leadership, on training.
SEN. MCCAIN: And you . . .
GEN. CASEY: I mean, there are a lot of variables that are involved here, Senator.
-Iraq War Hearings, September 29, 2005

“This is the man that Fearless Leader chose to lead his surge in Iraq, and we all know how successful that has been.”

“Last week, General Petraeus was in Washington to brief me, and he briefed members of Congress on how the operation is unfolding. He noted that one of the most important indicators of progress is the level of sectarian violence in Baghdad. And he reported that since January, the number of sectarian murders has dropped substantially.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 1, 2007

“U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.
Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.”
-McClatchy Newspapers, April 26, 2007

“And the Administration already knows that Petraeus wants to keep on keeping on for a while..”

“U.S. officials tell ABC News that the troop levels in Iraq cannot be maintained at the present level, either politically or practically, with the military stretched so thin.

But that does not imply an immediate drawdown. Officials tell ABC's Martha Raddatz the senior commanders in Iraq -- Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno and Gen. David Petraeus -- want the surge to continue until at least December, and expect to report enough progress by September to justify the extension.”
-ABC News, June 1, 2007

“Yes, General Petraeus is a respected and trusted member of the Administration.”

“Here's the lineup of military commanders and ‘military thinkers and planners’ that the president is listening to: Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Iraq. Yesterday in his press conference, Bush mentioned him more than 10 times.
Yes, Bush mentioned the Joint Chiefs a few times in some vague way as people he consults with. But Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president's principle military adviser by law? No mention, even by position. Adm. William Fallon, the commander of U.S. Central Command, the president's combatant commander for the region by law and the next in the chain of command above Petraeus? No mention.”
-William M Arkin, Washington Post, July 15, 2007

“But… there are times that his devotion to the cause may not be fanatical enough…”

“[U.S. Sen. Gordon ]Smith said he recently spoke with Gen. David Petraeus, the new top military commander in Iraq, who told him the troop surge has only a one in four chance of succeeding.
-The Oregonian, March 3, 2007

“…and so, since Fearless Leader has made statements like this..”

“And he's [Gen Petraeus] making progress. And I believe it's in the interests of this country, for our own security, for the United States Congress to fully support General Petraeus in his mission and to give him time to come back and report to the United States Congress the progress that he's making.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, July 26, 2007

“..well, some small changes may need to be made.”

“Despite Bush’s repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.
And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report’s data.”
-LA Times, August 15, 2007

“Do you ever get the feeling that this September report is just a big theatrical piece to justify the war?”

“Stay with me a while

I only wanna talk to you
We've traveled halfway 'round the world
To find ourselves again

September morn
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day
Two lovers playing scenes
From some romantic play
September morning
Still can make me feel that way”
-Neil Diamond, ‘September Morn’


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