The Petraeus/Crocker Report: Let the Liveblogging Continue! (Part Two)

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This is Part Two of our liveblogging. Part One is here.

1:29: Petraeus finally gets going. Shocker number one: the surge is succeeding militarily.

1:32: Petraeus cites the progress with the Sunni tribes, which we’ve already noted started before the surge began and is unrelated to increased troop numbers.

1:33: It’s the Iraqis fault that their country is in chaos. Apparently competition between ethnic groups is the cause of violence in Iraq. Also Iran and Syria are making it worse.

1:35: General Petraeus, the “Ross Perot of the military,” loves his charts.

1:36: They used non-kinetic means, apparently.

1:37: “We do not rely on gut feel.” What’s he doing working for The Decider?

1:40: OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH pretty pictures! The man really loves his charts.

1:41: They’ve found and cleared over 4,100 caches of weapons and bombs this year. How many of the 180,000 missing guns did they find?

1:42: Anbar again. Again, it has nothing to do with the surge.

1:43: A steady decline in the past three months sounds impressive, but attacks always decline as the weather gets hotter during the summer.

1:44: Iran wants to use insurgents in Iraq as a proxy force to attack coalition forces. Also, more protesters just got kicked out for yelling.

1:45: Anbar again! And Petraeus acknowledges it is “unique.”

1:47: More charts!

1:48: 445,000 people “on the payrolls” of the Iraqi security forces. How many of them actually show up to work? How many of them are real?

1:49: Sounds like he’s wrapping up now… “to summarize…. the United States will be in a position to reduce its forces in Iraq in the months ahead.”

1:52: Petraeus is proposing a draw-down to pre-surge levels by mid-July 2008. And then we can use the extra forces to attack Iran!!!

1:53: Projecting “too far into the future” is difficult and misleading.

1:54: In mid-March, he’ll come back and ask for another Friedman unit.

1:56: Petraeus wants to keep the mission the same — “counterinsurgency and stabilization”

1:57: He believes Iraq’s problems need a “long-term effort,” and warns against a rapid withdrawal. How long-term?

1:59: Hooray for the military-industrial complex! More defense funding now!

2:00: Someone starts screaming: “General Petraeus, the American people don’t believe you anymore!” They’re really loud. Cindy Sheehan was among those arrested earlier, according to Brian Williams.

2:01: Skelton announces that “We will prosecute [protesters] under the law. This is intolerable…. And I hope that everything that’s considering it understands, because they will be prosecuted.”

Go to Part Three.

—Nick Baumann

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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