"Petraeus: I Need Another Six Months To Determine Whether ‘We’ve Reached A Turning Point’"
In the past few months, conservatives such as Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) have been quick to declare victory in Iraq. In November, McCain said that “we’ve succeeded militarily.” A day later, Lieberman declared that “we are winning” because “we have made progress” in “one of the most remarkable turnarounds in modern military history.”
Gen. David Petraeus, however, appeared on NBC this morning and rebutted the declarations of mission accomplished and said that he’ll need at least another Friedman Unit before he can make a judgment:
We think we won’t know that we’ve reached a turning point until we’re six months past it. We have repeatedly said that there is no lights at the end of the tunnel that we’re seeing. We’re certainly not dancing in the end zone or anything like that.
These six months appear to be never-ending, and are used by the right wing to constantly beg more time for the war. As The New York Times reported in September, Petraeus recommended to Congress that “decisions on the contentious issue of reducing the main body of the American troops in Iraq be put off for six months.”
With timelines like these, U.S. troops might actually be stuck in Iraq for a million years.
ENGEL: But the top U.S. military commanders remain cautious. They say Iraq has not yet reached a turning point and that, without continued American support, the security gains could be lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETRAEUS: We think we won’t know that we’ve reached a turning point until we’re six months past it. We have repeatedly said that there is no lights at the end of the tunnel that we’re seeing. We’re certainly not dancing in the end zone or anything like that.
ENGEL: Do you think the insurgents, the militias, are just waiting out the surge?
PETRAEUS: There may be some who are, but certainly the Al Qaida and related insurgents — most of those are not. They don’t have that luxury. The people have turned against them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)