The (New?) Politics of Iraq

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Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

This whole summer was full of threequels, why should politics be any different? For the last two days I've been completely immersed in these hearings on Iraq. Part One: Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker make their case to the House Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees. Part Two: The Senate Armed Services Committee. And Part Three: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The plot was a little predictable, and at times, dull. There was the occasional surprise, but so much of the big news leaked in advance that the only mystery is whether this week's testimony will actually change anything. The progress report on Iraq has been front page news all week. Did anything you hear or read change your mind?

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When discussing "victory" or "success" or "getting the job done" in Iraq, please first define and/or describe what each of these terms means. Otherwise, the conversation is meaningless. Thank you.

Sent by Alice D. Kisch | 2:25 PM | 9-12-2007

For the lady who complained about Petraeus being inerviewed only on FOX, the general and Ambassador Crocker will be on The Jim Lehrer New Hour tonight! I'm sure that interview will be "fair and balanced."

Sent by Carol Norris | 2:34 PM | 9-12-2007

W'eve come full circle...General Petraeus says the goal is now a stable Iraq with no terrorists. Gee...we had that with Saddam.

Sent by Doug Frye | 2:39 PM | 9-12-2007

I doubt you can play this entire segment on you show today, but The Daily Show's "Resident Expert" John Hodgman really nailed this issue last night in his secgment "Keys to Success."

Here's the link to the video: http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/index.jhtml?ml_video=102586
I'd love to hear some of this on the air soon, if posible,

Tom Francell
Marietta, Georgia

Sent by Thomas Francell | 2:41 PM | 9-12-2007

My election focus HAS been changed by listening to the last two day's capitol hill proceedings. But not really concerning the war. I was angered by the questioners use of the opportunity for sound bites and political exposure rather than becoming informed. Most began their questions with a statement that they essentially were not listening but had an agenda. Several didn't even ask questions but made statements. It is no wonder we are no longer promoting a democracy in Iraq, when we create a system where our leaders are truly only pawns of their partys we don't seem very different from the Suni/Shite conflict.

Sent by Carole Heun | 2:41 PM | 9-12-2007

Hi,
I want to point out that everybody seems to be talking about the troops in Iraq. THe troops are there just to provide security to the people. But I think that while the people of iraq need the security what they need more importantly is a means to put bread on their table. What is the US planning to do for providogn jobs and education to the public? Do we expect people used to living under decades of dictatorship to suddenly have the skills to work or start a business? Does it not become an obligation to the US to provide jobs and education to the public? Nobody seems to talk about this!! Beware that an idle and desparate mind is the devils workshop!!
Unless some of the leaders of this country have a plan to provide food and shelter for the people of Iraq, keeping the troops for however long you want will not change anything..

Sent by Vijay Krishnan | 2:43 PM | 9-12-2007

Does anyone remember anything about OIL? Let's be real, this war is still and primarily about OIL!!!

Sent by Dave in Baltimore | 2:44 PM | 9-12-2007

Bush has to withdraw 30,000 troops by next summer unless he starts a draft,extends troops tours or starts recruiting from prisons.
What Bush is talking about as far as troop withdrawal would happen no matter what...please point this out.

Sent by Dr Richard Blackmoor | 2:52 PM | 9-12-2007

Listening to all these reports and our congressional questioners I became convinced that the best way to bring this Iraq mess to an end would be for the Democratics to refuse to approve ANY funding bill until a 10% emergency war-funding sur-tax on individuals earning more than $250,000 per year. This sur-tax would be reduced based upon the reducing congressional budget allocations for the Iraq debacle.

Sent by Michael Murphy | 3:09 PM | 9-12-2007

I am beginning to wonder why the U.S. presence in Iraq is still being defined/termed as a "WAR" in the U.S.

This "WAR" was OVER with the defeat of Saddam.

Our troops are now there to prevent the internecine fighting among these people while a "central govenment" is established.

This military action is "NOT A WAR".

Our troops are trying to minimize the violence and killing among the people living within this geographic area.

It is completely unrealistic to expect that this society will evolve from a Saddam regime to "democracy" in my lifetime.

My question is why should the blood of our young people be shed while these tribal people "sort themselves out"?

We have and continue to antagonize Muslims in the Middle East with our interference and have thus set our Nation up for more retribution.

Nice Job... George and friends!

At the very least these folks ought to be sending 'Thank You' notes to the middle and lower class taxpayers whose tax decrease was minimal while the costs of our Nation have increased.

The Corporate Giants, like Halliburton, et al. have been laughing all the way to the bank.

Sent by Paula White | 6:58 PM | 9-12-2007

Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who understands our failures dealing with Iraq and our nation's foreign policy in general.

An ABC News national survey of Iraq, released on Monday, found six in 10 Iraqis now call the U.S.-led invasion of their country wrong, fifty-seven percent call violence against U.S. forces acceptable, and despite the uncertainties of what might follow, 47 percent now favor the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

In addition, the poll finds almost unanimous opposition to most activities of al Qaeda in Iraq; the sole exception is its attacks on U.S. and other coalition forces.

Ron Paul is right, our military presence in Iraq is part of the problem not the solution. It is time to bring our troops home.

Link to ABC News National Survey of Iraq:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3571504

Sent by Daniel Kurikesu | 1:33 AM | 9-13-2007

THE PERTREAUS/CROCKER REPORT PROVIDED NOT NEW INFORAMTION ON ANY REAL PROGRESS RATHER SHOWED THEY ARE BOTH PUPPETS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. THAT IS THE REAL REASON WHY HE WENT TO IRAQ. IT WAS TO ENSURE THE PUPPETS SAID WHAT HE WANTED THEM TO SAY. BOTTOM LINE IS REALLY NOTHING HAS CHANGED AT ALL. ONE AREA IS SECURED WHILE OTHERS ARE NOT. MORE IRAQIS DIE EVERY DAY AS WELL AS US SERVICE MEN AND WOMAN. BUSH IS ONLY WORRIED ABOUT HIS LEGACY; AND THAT MAKES HIM A COWARD.

Sent by tom melvin | 12:27 PM | 9-13-2007

In response to Paula, don't push too hard to remove the classification of this action as a war. My father fought in Korea, but since it was never delared a war (it was a police action) he did not have access to veterans resources and support. It may seem a matter of syntax, but we cannot risk our servicemembers resources for a name.

Sent by Carole Heun | 1:50 PM | 9-13-2007

Haw wonderfull Is when you join a beutiful kids from your nation doing their best to create a peaceful life and freedom to others...
For more than four years I red and watched many t.v and media talking about operation Iraqi freedom from very far away,believe me I could write lot better than most of them because I lived the situation day by day almost all over Iraq last four years,but this is the first time I am writing some thing about it..
Please media,and please every body stand with pleasure and support what our beutiful kids doing here in Iraq for Iraqi people,also support our govt especialy now more than before,believe me things getting lot better and it is for our nation safety and our kids future,and remember I am not political person and not a member of any orgs but I am an American working with our troops in Iraq since 2003 as a linguist..
God help our beutiful kids and keep them safe always,and God bless America the beutiful Amen
noel n yaro
Baghdad-Iraq

Sent by noel n.yaro | 2:46 PM | 9-14-2007

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